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Dr Simon Turner

ST Hanmer Mere

UCL Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing, Gower Street
London. WC1E 6BT.
Tel: 020 7679 0522
Fax: 020 7679 0565
Twitter: @samdavtur

Possil Loch, Glasgow

  • 2019-2022 Science Coordinator: Anthropocene Working Group, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. The transdisciplinary project “Earth Indices. Evidence and Experiment” is following the geological endeavour to formulate and explore the stratigraphic definition of the Anthropocene epoch and its wider social and cultural impacts. Environmental archives (lake, ice core, coral, marine, peat) are being investigated from multiple sites around the globe to detect markers and provide data on the global transformation of geological processes in the mid-twentieth century.
  • 2016-2019 Research Associate: NERC Hydroscape - environmental stressors and connectivity in aquatic systems. Generating and gathering multiple strands of palaeoecological and biogeochemical data to further our understanding of the effects of long-term human activity, environmental change, and contaminants on current aquatic systems. Coordination and planning of experiment design, laboratory analyses and data production for PIs, post-doc researchers and technicians. Key responsibility is managing the process from field and laboratory work, through to analysis and interpretation of data, to reporting and publication of results. Duties involve logistical and organizational planning, generating and interpreting results from a diverse array of laboratory analyses; including sediment geochemistry, 210Pb measurements, trace metal analysis (ICP-MS, ICP-AES, Hg-CVAS) of ecological samples and provision of samples for macrofossil and diatom analysis. Use of analytical skills using GIS (ArcMap) and stratigraphic and statistical (SPSS, R) software and data management/reporting. The current role includes presentation of results at meetings, future conferences and production of first author and co-authored scientific publications.
  • 2016-2017 Teaching Fellow, UCL Geography: MSc Climate Change, MSc Aquatic Sciences; Undergraduate: Personal Tutor for 1st, 2nd, 3rd year undergraduates and MSc Climate Change students
  • 2012-2016 Research Associate: NERC ‘Lakes and the Arctic carbon cycle’. Analysis of Holocene lake cores for biogenic Si and C/N dual isotopes (𝛅13C/𝛅15N) from pan-Arctic sites. Production and management of data and results between NERC research institutions.
  • 2012-2015 Research Associate: NERC Macronutrients Cycle Programme LTLS. Analytical work on Holocene and recent lake sediments using dual isotopes (𝛅13C/𝛅15N) to trace changing fluxes of C and N in catchments due to climate and land use change. Production and management of sediment data for transfer between work packages and inputs required for long-term catchment modelling.
  • 2012-2015 Research Associate, Co-I with UCL Institute of Archaeology: Leverhulme Trust ‘Dark Earths and Maya civilisation’. Geochemical mapping and multi-disciplinary palaeoenvironmental techniques to assess soil and mangrove development due to human activity in coastal Belize. XRF geochemical, trace metal analyses and application of geostatistical data analysis techniques.
  • 2011-2012 Research Associate: Palaeolimnological assessment of trace element inputs to lakes in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada. Alberta Environment. Laboratory analysis of multiple lake cores using 210Pb, XRF and Hg analyses.
  • 2010-2014 Research Associate: REFRESH (EU FP7) project. Production and management of project website and outputs from EU research partners on understanding the impact of future climate changes on freshwater systems. Work package project coordination of fieldwork and laboratory analyses to assess impacts of recent hydrological/groundwater change on Turkish lakes.
  • 2010-2012 Technical support: NERC ‘Long-range atmospheric N deposition as a driver of ecological change in Arctic lakes’. Assistance provided to implement N-deposition network in W Greenland and analyses of lake cores using diatoms and C/N isotopes.
  • 2009-2012 Technical support: NERC ‘Influence of global teleconnections on Holocene climate in Kamchatka’. Analyses of lake cores using diatoms and C/N isotopes.
  • 2009-2010 Principal Investigator: Countryside Council for Wales ‘Standardised bathymetric data generation and statistical analysis of Welsh Lakes’ Compilation of disparate bathymetric datasets and development of computational process using ArcGIS and R. Project and data management and report production.
  • 2008-2012 Research Fellow: OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Water Centre. National lake monitoring and public participation projects. Big Lottery funded. Organisation of 5-year, quarterly monitoring program of chemical (including persistent organic pollutants and trace metals), biological and physical measurements in nine English lakes. Management of laboratory tasks to produce palaeoenvironmental data for each lake. Design and production of national public participation aquatic monitoring projects. Data management and production of learning materials, project reports and academic papers.
  • 2006-2009 Research Fellow: Lake sediment evidence for long-range air pollution on the Tibetan Plateau, Leverhulme Trust. Intensive sampling program of POPs and Hg in high altitude lakes across TP. Production and management of multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental data and coordination of data/samples between UCL and Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing).
  • 2006-2007 Research and technical support: Freshwater Umbrella – The effects of Nitrogen deposition and climate change on freshwaters in the UK. DEFRA. Intensive monthly field sampling and coordination of laboratory analyses of water chemistry and 15N in UK upland lakes.
  • 2006 Research and technical support: “Paleolimnological Study of Selected Lakes in the Wood Buffalo Region” CEMA, Canada. Production and management of sediment core data (trace metals, diatoms and C/N isotopes) to assess impacts of acid deposition in Athabasca oil sands region of Northern Alberta.
  • 2006-2009; Research and technical support: EU Eurolimpacs. Fieldwork and laboratory analyses (stratigraphy, geochemistry) of lake cores collected across Europe investigating effects of climate change on freshwater systems.
  • 2004-2005 Lecturer: Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, Brunel University. Mediterranean environmental change module (Yr3) including field class in Sicily.
  • 2004-2005 Research associate: HYDRATECH: Techniques for the Quantification of Methane Hydrate in European Continental Margins, University of Birmingham, EU Contract No. EVK3-CT-2000-00043. Production of final report and website for multi-work package project.
  • 2002-2004 Research Associate: Department of Geography, University of Liverpool. Application of PhD research and development of new palaeoecological skills in multiple projects; Geophysical and sedimentological evidence of Late Holocene sea-level change, Wetland formation and recent land use change in St Lucia Wetland, South Africa, Glacial coastal sedimentation in Irish Sea basin, External funding (£25000) from Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust for production of website and learning materials for Romney Marsh Research Trust. Trace metal and pollen analysis of climate/land-use changes in lake sediments of Coastal California, Palaeoenvironmental assessment of Mode 2/3 deposits, Kalambo Falls, Zambia.
  • 2000-2001 Research Fellow: School of Geography & Archaeology, University of Exeter. Leverhulme Trust. Establishment of pollen monitoring program in English organic vineyards for archaeological assessment of Roman vineyards in UK. Species-level pollen identification, vegetation surveying and database production.
  • 1999-2000 Lecturer (PT): Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, Brunel University. 3rd year modules on Mediterranean environmental change, Oceanography, Biogeography and Surveying for Physical Geography.
  • 1995-2000 Doctor of Philosophy "High Resolution Palaeoenvironmental Analyses of Coastal Wetland Sediments from South East Sicily". Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Brunel University.
  • 1992-1995 B.Sc. Environmental Geoscience (1st Class Hons). Department of Geological Sciences, University College London

Vorkuta 6, Russia (Lat:67.57269,Lon:62.68613)

Google Citations List (here)

Rose, N.L., Turner, S.D., Unger, L.E. & Curtis, C.J. (2021) The chronostratigraphy of the Anthropocene in southern Africa: Current status and potential. South African Journal of Geology,

Turner, S., Graham, E., MacPhail, R., Duncan, L., Rose, N. L., Yang, H., Whittet, R., & Rosique-Esplugas, C. (2021). Mercury enrichment in anthrosols and adjacent coastal sediments at a Classic Maya site, Marco Gonzalez, Belize Geoarchaeology, 1– 22.

Zalasiewicz, J., Waters, C. N., Ellis, E. C., Head, M. J., Vidas, D., Steffen, W., et al. (2021). The Anthropocene: comparing its meaning in geology (chronostratigraphy) with conceptual approaches arising in other disciplines. Earths Future, 9, e2020EF001896.

Bancone, C.E., Turner, S.D., Ivar do Sul, J.A. and Rose, N.L., 2020. The Paleoecology of Microplastic Contamination. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 8, p.154.

Rose, N.L., Milner, A.M., Fitchett, J.M., Langerman, K. E., Yang, H., Turner, S.D., Jourdan, A-L., Shilland, J., Martins, C.C., de Souza, A.C. and Curtis, C.J. 2020. Natural archives of long-range transported contamination at the remote lake Letšeng-la Letsie, Maloti Mountains, Lesotho, Science of The Total Environment,139642. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139642.

Anderson, J., Heathcote, A.J., Engstrom, D.R., Ryves, D., Mills, K., Prairie, Y.T., del Giorgio, P.A., Bennion, H., Turner, S., Rose, N.L. and Jones, V.J. and Globocarb contributors (2020). Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink. Science Advances, 6(16), eaaw2145. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2145

Turner, S. 2019. Air Pollution. The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences, S. L. López Varela (Ed.) John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/9781119188230.saseas0010

Turner, S., Horton, A.A., Rose, N.L. and Hall, C., 2019. A temporal sediment record of microplastics in an urban lake, London, UK. Journal of Paleolimnology, pp.1-14. doi: 10.1007/s10933-019-00071-7

Watt, J.A.J., Burke, I.T., Edwards, R.A., Malcolm, H.M., Mayes, W.M., Olszewska, J.P., Pan, G., Graham, M.C., Heal, K.V., Rose, N.L. and Turner, S.D. (2018). Vanadium: a re-emerging environmental hazard. Environmental Science & Technology, 52(21), pp.11973-11974. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b05560

Bennion, H., Sayer, C.D., Clarke, S.J., Davidson, T.A., Rose, N.L., Goldsmith, B., Rawcliffe, R., Burgess, A., Clarke, G., Turner, S. and Wiik, E. (2018). Sedimentary macrofossil records reveal ecological change in English lakes: implications for conservation. Journal of Paleolimnology, 60(2), pp.329-348.

McGowan, S. , Anderson, N. J., Edwards, M. E., Hopla, E. , Jones, V. , Langdon, P. G., Law, A. , Soloveiva, N. , Turner, S. , van Hardenbroek, M. , Whiteford, E. J. and Wiik, E. (2018). Vegetation transitions drive the autotrophy–heterotrophy balance in Arctic lakes. Limnol. Oceanogr., 3: 246-255. doi:10.1002/lol2.10086
Rose, N.L., Turner, S.D., Yang, H. et al. (2018). Palaeotoxicity: reconstructing the risk of multiple sedimentary pollutants to freshwater organisms. Environmental geochemistry and health 40: 1667.

Yang, R., Xie, T., Yang, H., Turner, S.D. & Wu, G (2018). Historical trends of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) recorded in sediments across the Tibetan Plateau. Environmental geochemistry and health 40 (1), 303-312. UCL Discovery

Vaughan, R., Turner, S. D., & Rose, N. L. (2017). Microplastics in the sediments of a UK urban lake. Environmental Pollution. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.057

Turner, S. D., Rose, N. L., Goldsmith, B., Bearcock, J. M., Scheib, C., & Yang, H. (2017). Using public participation to sample trace metals in lake surface sediments: the OPAL Metals Survey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189, 241. doi:10.1007/s10661-017-5946-y

Yang, R., Xie, T., Yang, H., Turner, S. D., & Wu, G. (2017). Historical trends of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) recorded in sediments across the Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Geochemistry and Health: official journal of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health. doi:10.1007/s10653-017-9908-7

Graham, E., Macphail, R., Crowther, J., Turner, S. D., Stegemann, J., Arroyo-Kalin, M., . . . Rosique, C. (2016). Past and Future Earth: Archaeology and Soil Studies on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Archaeology International, 19, 97-108. doi:10.5334/ai.1916

Evans, C. D., Malcolm, I. C., Shilland, E. M., Rose, N. L., Turner, S. D., Crilly, A., . . . Monteith, D. T. (2016). Sustained biogeochemical impacts of wildfire in a mountain lake catchment. Ecosystems. 20: 813 doi: 10.1007/s10021-016-0064-1

Yang, H., Turner, S. D., & Rose, N. L. (2016). Mercury pollution in the lake sediments and catchment soils of anthropogenically-disturbed sites across England. Environmental Pollution, 219. 1092-1101 doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2016.09.012

Rose, N. L., Turner, S. D., Goldsmith, B., Gosling, L., & Davidson, T. A. (2016). Quality control in public participation assessments of water quality: the OPAL Water Survey. BMC Ecology. doi:10.1186/s12898-016-0063-2

Macphail, R. I., Graham, E., Crowther, J., & Turner, S. (2016). Marco Gonzalez, Ambergris Caye, Belize: A geoarchaeological record of ground raising associated with surface soil formation and the presence of a Dark Earth. Journal of Archaeological Science, 77, 35-51. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.06.003

Yang, R., Xie, T., Li, A., Yang, H., Turner, S., Wu, G., & Jing, C. (2016). Sedimentary records of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in remote lakes across the Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Pollution, 214, 1-7. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2016.03.068

Levi, E. E., Bezirci, G., Cakiroglu, A. I., Turner, S., Bennion, H., Kernan, M., . . . Beklioglu, M. (2016). Multi-proxy palaeoecological responses to water-level fluctuations in three shallow Turkish lakes. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 449, 553-566. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.052

Rose, N. L., Yang, H., & Turner, S. D. (2016). A gradient of mercury concentrations in Scottish single malt whiskies. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 38(1), 309-313. doi:10.1007/s10653-015-9704-1

McGowan, S., Anderson, N. J., Edwards, M. E., Langdon, P. G., Jones, V. J., Turner, S., . . . Wiik, E. (2016). Long-term perspectives on terrestrial and aquatic carbon cycling from palaeolimnology. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 3(2), 211-234. doi:10.1002/wat2.1130

Barham, L., Tooth, S., Duller, G. A. T., Plater, A. J., & Turner, S. (2015). Excavations at Site C North, Kalambo Falls, Zambia: New Insights into the Mode 2/3 Transition in South-Central Africa. Journal of African Archaeology, 13(2). doi:10.3213/2191-5784-10270

Yang, C., Rose, N. L., Turner, S. D., Yang, H., Goldsmith, B., Losada, S., . . . Harrad, S. (2015). Hexabromocyclododecanes, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and polychlorinated biphenyls in radiometrically dated sediment cores from English lakes, ~1950–present. Science of The Total Environment, 541, 721-728. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.102

Graham, E., Macphail, R., Turner, S., Crowther, J., Stegemann, J., Arroyo-Kalin, M., . . . Austin, P. (2015). The Marco Gonzalez Maya site, Ambergris Caye, Belize: assessing the impact of human activities by examining diachronic processes at the local scale. Quaternary International, 1-28. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.08.079

Battarbee, R. W., Turner, S., Yang, H., Rose, N. L., Smyntek, P. M., Reimer, P. J., . . . Blaauw, M. (2015). Air pollutant contamination and acidification of surface waters in the North York Moors, UK: Multi-proxy evidence from the sediments of a moorland pool. Holocene, 25(1), 226-237. doi:10.1177/0959683614556380

Yang, C., Harrad, S., Abdallah, M. A. -E., Desborough, J., Rose, N. L., Turner, S. D., . . . Goldsmith, B. (2014). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in English freshwater lakes, 2008-2012. Chemosphere, 110, 41-47. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.03.028

Clarke, G. H., Sayer, C. D., Turner, S., Salgado, J., Meis, S., Patmore, I. R., & Zhao, Y. (2014). Representation of aquatic vegetation change by plant macrofossils in a small and shallow freshwater lake. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 23(3), 265-276. doi:10.1007/s00334-013-0427-x

Turner, S. D., Rose, N. L., Goldsmith, B., Harrad, S., & Davidson, T. A. (2013). OPAL Water Centre Monitoring Report 2008–2012. London: OPAL.

Yang, H., & Turner, S. (2013). Radiometric dating for recent lake sediments on the Tibetan Plateau. Hydrobiologia, 713(1), 73-86. doi:10.1007/s10750-013-1493-x

Curtis, C., Heaton, T., Simpson, G., Evans, C., Shilland, J., & Turner, S. (2012). Dominance of biologically produced nitrate in upland waters of Great Britain indicated by stable isotopes. Biogeochemistry, 1-20. Retrieved from

Rose, N. L., Yang, H., Turner, S. D., & Simpson, G. L. (2012). An assessment of the mechanisms for the transfer of lead and mercury from atmospherically contaminated organic soils to lake sediments with particular reference to Scotland, UK. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 82, 113-135. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.12.026

Curtis, C. J., Heaton, T. H. E., Simpson, G. L., Evans, C. D., Shilland, J., & Turner, S. (2012). Dominance of biologically produced nitrate in upland waters of Great Britain indicated by stable isotopes. Biogeochemistry, 111(1-3), 535-554. doi:10.1007/s10533-011-9686-8

Oczkowski, A. J., Flower, R. J., Thompson, J. R., Ayache, F., Ahmed, M. H., Ramdani, M., & Turner, S. (2011). Evidence of North Africa's green revolution preserved in sedimentary organic matter deposited in three coastal lagoons. Ecological Applications, 21(5), 1708-1717. doi:10.1890/10-0446.1

Boyle, J., Plater, A., Mayers, C., Turner, S., Stroud, R., & Weber, J. (2011). Land use, soil erosion, and sediment yield at Pinto Lake, California: comparison of a simplified USLE model with the lake sediment record. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 199-212. Retrieved from

Wang, X., Yang, H., Gong, P., Zhao, X., Wu, G., Turner, S., & Yao, T. (2010). One century sedimentary records of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, mercury and trace elements in the Qinghai Lake, Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Pollution, 158(10), 3065-3070. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.034

Yang, H., Battarbee, R. W., Turner, S. D., Rose, N. L., Derwent, R. G., Wu, G., & Yang, R. (2010). Historical Reconstruction of Mercury Pollution Across the Tibetan Plateau Using Lake Sediments. Environmental Science and Technology, 44, 2918-2924. doi:10.1021/es9030408

Lami, A., Turner, S., Musazzi, S., Gerli, S., Guilizzoni, P., Rose, N., . . . Yang, R. (2010). Sedimentary evidence for recent increases in production in Tibetan plateau lakes. Hydrobiologia, 648, 175-187. Retrieved from

Curtis, C. J., Flower, R., Rose, N., Shilland, J., Simpson, G. L., Turner, S., . . . Pla, S. (2010). Palaeolimnological assessment of lake acidification and environmental change in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta. Journal of Limnology, 69, {92-104}. doi:10.3274/JL10-69-S1-10

Harrad, S., Abdallah, M. A. -E., Rose, N. L., Turner, S. D., & Davidson, T. A. (2010). Current-Use Brominated Flame Retardants in Water, Sediment, and Fish from English Lakes. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 5318-5318. doi:10.1021/es101746s

Spencer, K. L., Cundy, A. B., Davies-Hearn, S., Hughes, R., Turner, S., & MacLeod, C. L. (2008). Physicochemical changes in sediments at Orplands Farm, Essex, UK following 8 years of managed realignment. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 76(3), 608-619. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2007.07.029

Plater, A. J., Boyle, J. F., Mayers, C., Turner, S. D., & Stroud, R. W. (2006). Climate and human impact on lowland lake sedimentation in Central Coastal California: the record from c. 650 AD to the present (vol 6, pg 71, 2006). Regional Environmental Change, 6(3), 165-166. doi:10.1007/s10113-006-0016-y

Roberts, D. H., Chiverell, R. C., Innes, J. B., Horton, B. P., Brooks, A. J., Thomas, G. S. P., . . . Gonzalez, S. (2006). Holocene sea levels, Last Glacial Maximum glaciomarine environments and geophysical models in the northern Irish Sea Basin, UK. Marine Geology, 231(0), 113-128. Retrieved from

Collins, P. E. F., Rust, D. J., Salih-Bayraktutan, M., & Turner, S. D. (2005). Fluvial stratigraphy and palaeoenvironments in the Pasinler Basin, eastern Turkey. Quaternary International, 140(0), 121-134.

Turner, S. D., & Brown, A. G. (2004). Vitis pollen dispersal in and from organic vineyards: I. Pollen trap and soil pollen data. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 129(3), 117-132. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2003.12.002

Turner, S. and Plater, A., 2004. Palynological evidence for the origin and development of late Holocene wetland sediments: Mdlanzi Swamp, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 100 (3-4), pp.220-229.

Brown, A. G., Meadows, I., Turner, S., & Mattingly, D. (2002). Roman vineyards in Britain: finds from the Nene Valley and new research. Antiquity, 75, 745-757.

Brown, A. G., Meadows, I., Turner, S. D., & Mattingly, D. J. (2001). Roman vineyards in Britain: Stratigraphic and palynological data from Wollaston in the Nene Valley, England. Antiquity, 75(290), 745-757.

Collins, P. E. F., Turner, S., & Cundy, A. B. (2001). High-resolution reconstruction of recent vegetation dynamics in a Mediterranean micro-tidal wetland: implications for pollen taphonomy and palaeoenvironmental research. Journal of Coastal Research, 684-693.

Cundy, A. B., Collins, P. E. F., Turner, S. D., Croudace, I. W., & Horne, D. (1998). 100 years of environmental change in a coastal wetland, Augusta Bay, southeast Sicily: evidence from geochemical and palaeoecological studies. Geological Society Special Publication, 139, 243-254. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.1998.139.01.20

Round Loch of Glenhead, Scotland


  • Recent environmental change in aquatic systems
  • Lakes and contaminant monitoring
  • Sedimentological and palaeolimnological records of human activity
  • Public participation in environmental science
  • IT and GIS in environmental research