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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  January 2014  /  Death of Professor David Harris

Death of Professor David Harris

Distinguished geographer and archaeologist

Death of Professor David Harris

Professor David Harris, who was a member of the UCL Geography staff between 1964 and 1980, died in late December. In 1980 he moved to become Professor of Human Environment in the University of London Institute of Archaeology (part of UCL from 1986) and was its Director between 1989 and his retirement in 1996. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2004.

David undertook undergraduate and postgraduate studies in geography at Oxford, and obtained his PhD under Carl Sauer at the University of California, Berkeley in 1963, on "Plants, animals, and man in the Outer Leeward Islands, West Indies. An ecological study of Antigua, Barbuda, and Anguilla".

His research was generally concerned with the origins of agriculture and the domestication of plants and animals and conducted in many parts of the world, including New Guinea, the Torres Strait, Africa, Central America and Eurasia.

While in the Geography Department, with Professor Paul Wheatley David taught a highly influential course on cultural geography, and both were instrumental in setting UCL's postgraduate training in geography on a more professional, US-style, footing.

David retained strong personal links with colleagues in UCL Geography and his affable presence will be sorely missed.

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Professor David Harris


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