Dr Jessie Woodbridge

Dr Jessie Woodbridge


School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Lecturer in Ecosystem Resilience


University of Plymouth:

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science
  • PhD: Physical Geography (2005-2009) Late-Holocene lake diatom- inferred palaeoclimate from central Turkey
  • MRes: Global Environmental Change (2004-2005)
  • BSc Hons: Biological Sciences (First class ) (2001-2004)


  • Lecturer in Ecosystem Resilience 
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow: 2011-2022
  • Associate Editor: Anthropocene

University of Exeter:
  • Associate Lecturer in Physical Geography and Research Development Advisor: 2018/2019



Teaching interests

University of Plymouth:

Programme Lead: MSc / MRes: Sustainable Environmental Management

BSc Hons: Environmental Science

BSc Hons: Environmental Management and Sustainability

BSc Hons: Geography 



Research interests

Jessie Woodbridge's research interests focus on interdisciplinary approaches to address modern environmental challenges that integrate long-term environmental perspectives. 

PI: "Water security in the agricultural landscapes of Turkey: towards improving the resilience of communities and socio-ecological systems". This research aims to build socio-ecological and community resilience to water resource challenges through a capacity building pilot study based in the Konya Basin (Turkey) using an interdisciplinary approach combining natural and social science methods. Funded by: GCRF, British Academy and NERC Discipline Hopping Fellowship.

PI: "Improving socio-ecological resilience to wildfire in the UK via community engagement and integration of deep-time ecological data into landscape management, which is funded by the Royal Geographical Society and the Association for Environmental Archaeology.

Senior Researcher Fellow: “Biodiversity and land-use change in the British Isles” collaborative research project between the University of Plymouth, Historic England and the University of Birmingham. The research aims to understand how human land-use practices have impacted upon past and present land-cover and biodiversity patterns across the British Isles and the consequences of this for modern conservation.  

Jessie also worked on the "Changing the face of the Mediterranean: land cover and population since the advent of farming" and “Deforesting Europe” projects at the University of Plymouth. This research aimed to reconstruct changes in European land-cover over long (i.e. multi-centennial) timescales using pollen data. Jessie's research background is focused on reconstruction of Holocene palaeoenvironmental change using palaeoecological techniques based on peat and lake-sediment archives. Her PhD research focused on Eastern Mediterranean palaeoclimate.

Grants & contracts

  • Jan 2023: NERC Discipline Hopping Fellowship "Interdisciplinary synergies to enhance socio-ecological resilience to water security challenges in Turkey" (PI: Woodbridge (£13,523)
  • Oct. 2022: NERC (NEIF) "Improving socio-ecological resilience to peatland fire in the UK"  (PI: Woodbridge) (£4,050)
  • May 2022: British Academy grant "Water security in Turkey: lessons from the past to enhance socio-ecological resilience to future challenges" (PI: Woodbridge) (£10,000)
  • Nov. 2020: European Research Council (ERC) Synergy grant. ‘From correlations to explanations: towards a new European prehistory’ (PI: Kristiansen) (€9,759,609: UoP value: £68,491).
  • Jul. 2020: Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 'Water security in the agricultural landscapes of Turkey: towards improving the resilience of communities and socio-ecological systems'. PI: Woodbridge (£59,242). 
  • Apr. 2020: Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Environment and Sustainability Research Grant. ‘Improving socio-ecological resilience to wildfire in the UK via community engagement and integration of deep-time ecological data into landscape management’. PI: Woodbridge (£14,943).
  • Apr. 2020: Association of Environmental Archaeology. ‘Improving socio-ecological resilience to wildfire in the UK via community engagement and integration of deep-time ecological data into landscape management’ PI: Woodbridge (£500).
  • Feb. 2020: Quaternary Research Association small grants scheme ‘Palaeoclimate, land-cover and cultural change in central Turkey’. PI: Woodbridge, Co-Is: Turner/Carrer (U. Newcastle), Woldring (U. Groningen) and Greaves (U. Liverpool) (£900).
  • Dec. 2018: Co-wrote successful application to the Leverhulme Trust as named PDRF. ‘Biodiversity, habitat dynamics and human land-use change over multi-millennial time scales’ (£263,127). (PI: Fyfe).
  • May 2015: Co-wrote successful application to the Leverhulme Trust as named PDRF. Three-year project collaborative between University of Plymouth and University College London: ‘Changing the face of the Mediterranean land cover and population since the advent of farming’ (£298,065).
  • Feb. 2014: Successful bid to conduct research for the Westcountry Rivers Trust (UK) (Diatom analysis to assess the water quality of Westcounty Rivers) PI: Woodbridge (£2,200). 
  • May 2011: Funding obtained from INQUA to attend the XVIII International Quaternary (INQUA) Congress (Bern, Switzerland) (£800).
  • Apr. 2011: Funding obtained from the Quaternary Research Association (QRA) to attend the XVIII International Quaternary (INQUA) Congress (Bern, Switzerland) (£500).
  • Dec. 2010: Co-wrote successful application to the Leverhulme Trust as named PDRF. Three-year project: Deforesting Europe: a pollen-based reconstruction of Holocene land cover change (£146,741).
  • Apr. 2010: Seale Hayne Education Trust funding competition to conduct research into environmental change in reservoir catchments and water quality in Southwest England (UK) PI: Woodbridge (£9,400, fEC: £27,000).
  • Jul. 2009: Successful application for a funded place at the RCUK Joint UK-China Advanced Summer School ‘Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments’. Lanzhou University, China.
  • Mar. 2007: QRA travel grant to attend the XVII International Quaternary Congress (Cairns, Australia) (£600).
  • Mar. 2006: British Institute in Ankara travel grant to conduct field work in Turkey (£500).
  • Oct. 2005: School of Geography PhD scholarship (University of Plymouth).
  • Oct. 2004: School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Science MRes studentship (University of Plymouth).




Journal articles published:

  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R., Smith, D., de Varielles, A., Pelling, R. et al. (in review: Anthropocene) Agricultural systems regulate plant and insect diversity and drive the emergence of ecosystem novelty.
  • Githumbi, E., Pirzamanbein, B., Lindström, J., Woodbridge, J., Gaillard, M.J. et al. (2022) Pollen-based maps of past regional vegetation cover in Europe over 12 millennia—evaluation and potential, Front. Ecol. and Evol., 10, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.795794
  • Strandberg, G., Lindström, J., Poska, A., Woodbridge, J., Gaillard, M.J. et al. (2022) Mid-Holocene European climate revisited: New high-resolution regional climate model simulations using pollen-based land-cover, QSR, 281, 107431.
  • Woodbridge J, Fyfe R. et al. (2021) What drives biodiversity patterns? Using long-term multi-disciplinary data to discern centennial-scale change. J. Ecology.109, 1396-1410.
  • de Vareilles, A., Pelling, R., Woodbridge, J & Fyfe, R (2021) Archaeology and agriculture: plants, people, and past land-use, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 36, 943-954.

  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R., Smith, D., Pelling, R., de Vareilles, A., Batchelor, R., Bevan, A. and Davies, A. (2020) What drives biodiversity patterns? Using long-term multi-disciplinary data to discern centennial-scale change. Journal of Ecology. doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13565
  • Niedziałkowska, M., Doan, K., Sykut, M., Fyfe, R., Woodbridge, J. et al. (2020) Red deer (Cervus elaphus) distribution and ecological niche in Europe and Western Asia since the Late Pleistocene. Journal of Biogeography. doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13989
  • Racimo, F., Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R., Sikora, M., Sjögren, K.G., Kristiansen, K. and Vander Linden, M. (2020) The spatiotemporal spread of human migrations during the European Holocene. PNAS. 117: 8989-9000.
  • Woodbridge, J., Roberts, N., Palmisano, A., Eastwood, W., Izdebski, A., Çakırlar, C., Woldring, H., Broothaerts, N., Kaniewski, D., Bevan, A., Shennan, S. and Fyfe, R. (2019) Pollen-inferred regional vegetation patterns and demographic change in Southern Anatolia through the Holocene. The Holocene: special issue on Mediterranean land cover and population change. 29: 5, 728.
  • Hofman-Kamińska, E., Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., Fyfe, R., Gumiński, W., Makowiecki, D., Pacher, M., Piličiauskienė, G., Samojlik, T., Woodbridge, J. and Kowalczyk, R. (2019) Adapt or die - response of large herbivores to environmental changes in Europe during the Holocene. Global Change Biology. 25: 2915- 2930.
  • Stoddart, S., Woodbridge, J., Palmisano, A., Mercuri, A.-M., Mensing, S., Colombaroli, D., Sadori, L., Magri, D., di Rita, F., Giardini, M., Marioti, M., Florenzano, A., Torri, P., Bevan, A., Shennan, S., Fyfe, R. and Roberts, N. (2019) Tyrrhenian central Italy: Holocene population and landscape ecology. The Holocene. 29: 5, 761.
  • Roberts, N, Fyfe, R., Shennan, S., Bevan, A., Woodbridge, J. and Palmisano, A. (2019) Mediterranean landscape change during the Holocene: Synthesis, comparison and regional trends in population, land cover and climate. The Holocene. 29: 5, 923.
  • Finné, M., Woodbridge, J., Labuhn, I. and Roberts, N. (2019) Holocene hydro-climatic variability in the Mediterranean: A synthetic multi-proxy reconstruction. The Holocene. 29: 5, 847.
  • Palmisano, A., Woodbridge, J., Miebach, A., Langgut, D. Cheddadi, R., Greenberg, R., Leroy, S., Kaniewski, D., Khater, C., Litt, T., Bevan, A., Shennan, S., Fyfe, R. and Roberts, N. (2019) Holocene landscape dynamics and long-term population trends in the Levant. The Holocene. 29: 5, 708.
  • Weiberg, E., Bevan, A., Palmisano, A., Woodbridge, J., Kouli, K., Finné, M., Legarra Herrero, B., Avramidis, P., Engel, M., Izdebski, A., Panajiotidis, S., Shennan, S., Fyfe, R., Roberts, N., Katsianis, M. and Maniatis, Y. (2019) Long-term trends of land use and demography in Greece: A comparative study. The Holocene. 29: 5, 742.
  • Fyfe, R., Woodbridge, J., Palmisano, A., Bevan, A., Shennan, S., Burjachs, F., Legarra Herrero, B., Garcia Puchol, O., Carrión, J., Gil-Romero, G. and Roberts, N. (2019) Prehistoric palaeodemographics and regional land cover change in eastern Iberia. The Holocene. 29: 5, 799.
  • Connor, S., Vannière, B., Colombaroli, D., Woodbridge, J. and Roberts, N. (2019) Humans take control of fire-driven diversity changes in Mediterranean Iberia’s vegetation during the mid-late Holocene. The Holocene. 29: 5, 886.
  • Langgut, D., Cheddadi, R., Woodbridge, J., Mercuri, A.-M., Greenberg, R. and Eastwood, W. (2019) The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin: The fossil pollen evidence. The Holocene. 29: 5, 902.
  • Walsh, K., Estreny, J., Berger, J.-F., Roberts, N., Woodbridge, J., Vannière, B., Ghilardi, M. and Brown, A. (2019) Holocene demographic fluctuations, climate and erosion in the Mediterranean: A meta data-analysis. The Holocene. 29: 5, 864.
  • Berger, J.-F., Woodbridge, J., Palmisano, A., Shennan, S., Walsh, K., Mazier, F., Nuninger, L., Andrieu-Ponel, V., Azuara, J., Bevan, A., Fyfe, R. and Roberts, N. (2019) Holocene land cover and population dynamics in Southern France. The Holocene. 29: 5, 776.
  • Cheddadi, R., Roberts, N, Fyfe, R., Shennan, S., Bevan, A., Woodbridge, J. Palmisano, A., Reddad, H. and Fletcher, W. (2019) Human demography changes in Morocco and environmental imprint during the Holocene. The Holocene. 29: 5, 816.
  • Woodbridge, J., Roberts, C.N. and Fyfe, R.M. (2018) Holocene vegetation and land-cover dynamics in the Mediterranean from pollen data. Journal of Biogeography. 45, 2159-2174.
  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R.M., Roberts, C.N., Mazier, F. and Davis, B. (2018) European forest cover since the start of Neolithic agriculture: a critical comparison of pollen-based reconstructions. PAGES (Past Global Change) Magazine, doi: https://doi.org/10.22498/pages.26.1.10
  • Fyfe, R.M., Woodbridge, J. and Roberts, C.N. (2018) Trajectories of change in Mediterranean Holocene vegetation through classification of pollen data. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 27, 351-364.
  • Roberts, N., Fyfe, R.M., Woodbridge, J., Gaillard, M.J., Davis, B.A.S., Kaplan, J.O., Marquer, L., Mazier, F., Nielsen, A.B., Sugita, S., Trondman, A.K. and Leydet, M. (2018) Europe’s lost forests: a pollen-based synthesis for the last 11,000 years. Scientific Reports. 716.
  • Roberts, C.N., Woodbridge, J., Shennan, S., Bevan, A., Palmisano, A. and Asouti, E. (2018) Human responses and non-responses to climatic variations during the Last Glacial-Interglacial transition in the eastern Mediterranean. Quaternary Science Reviews. 184, 47-67.
  • Ruddiman, W.F. Fuller, D.Q., Kaplan, J.O., Ellis, E.C., Kutzbach, J.E., Vavrus, S.J., Tzedakis, P.C., Roberts, C.N., Fyfe, R.M., He, F., Lemmen, C. and Woodbridge, J. (2016) Late Holocene Climate: Natural or Anthropogenic? Review of Geophysics. 54, 93-118.
  • Roberts, N., Allcock, S.L., Arnaud, F., Dean, J.R., Eastwood, W.J., Jones, M.D., Malet, E., Woodbridge, J. and Yiğitbaşıoğlu, H. (2016) A tale of two lakes: a multi-proxy comparison of Late Glacial and Holocene environmental change in Cappadocia, Turkey. Journal of Quaternary Science. 31, 348-362.
  • Fyfe, R.M., Woodbridge, J. and Roberts, N. (2015) From forest to farmland: pollen-inferred land cover change across Europe using the pseudobiomization approach. Global Change Biology. 21, 1197-212.
  • Woodbridge, J., Davies, H., Blake, W. and Fyfe, R.M. (2014) Exploring recent environmental change in an upland catchment using evidence from reservoir sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology. 52, 229-244.
  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R.M. and Roberts, N. (2014) A comparison of remote-sensed and pollen-based approaches to mapping Europe’s land cover. Journal of Biogeography. 41, 2080-2092.
  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R.M., Roberts, N., Downey, S., Edinborough, K., and Shennan, S. (2014) The impact of the Neolithic agricultural transition in Britain: a comparison of pollen-based land-cover and archaeological 14C date-inferred population change. Journal of Archaeological Science. 51, 216-224.
  • Dean, J.R., Eastwood, W.J., Roberts, N., Jones, M.D., Yiğitbaşıoğlu, H., Allcock, S.L., Woodbridge, J. and Leng, M.J. (2014). Tracking the hydroclimatic signal from lake to sediment: a field study from central Turkey. Journal of Hydrobiologia. 529, 608-621.
  • Davis B.A.S, Zanon M, Collins P, Mauri A, Fyfe R, Woodbridge J., Kaplan J.O., et al. (2013) The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) project. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 22,521-530.
  • Dean, J.R., Jones, M.D., Leng, M.J., Sloane, H.J., Roberts, C.N., Woodbridge, J., Swann, G.E.A., Metcalfe, S.E., Eastwood, W.J., Yigitbas, H., and Yigitbasıoglu, H. (2013) Palaeo-seasonality of the last two millennia reconstructed from the oxygen isotope composition of carbonates and diatom silica from Nar Gölü, central Turkey. Quaternary Science Reviews. 66, 35-44.
  • Fyfe, R.M. and Woodbridge, J. (2012) Differences in time and space in vegetation patterning: analysis of pollen data from Dartmoor, UK. Landscape Ecology. 27, 745-760.
  • Roberts, N., Moreno, A., Valero-Garcés, B.L., Corella, J.P., Jones, M., Allcock, S., Woodbridge, J., Morellón, M., Luterbacher, J., Xoplaki, E. and Türkeş, M. (2012) Palaeolimnological evidence for an east-west climate see-saw in the Mediterranean since AD 900. Global and Planetary Change. 84-85, 23-34.
  • Woodbridge, J., Fyfe, R.M., Law, B. and Hayworth-Johns, A. (2012) A spatial approach to upland vegetation change and human impact: Aber Valley, Snowdonia. Environmental Archaeology. 17, 80-94.
  • Woodbridge, J. and Roberts, N. (2011) Late Holocene climate of the Eastern Mediterranean inferred from diatom analysis of annually-laminated lake sediments. Quaternary Science Reviews. 30, 3381-3392.
  • Fyfe, R.M., Roberts, N., and Woodbridge, J. (2010) A pseudo-biomisation approach to anthropogenic land cover change. Holocene. 20, 1165-1171.
  • Woodbridge, J. and Roberts, N. (2010) Linking neo and palaeolimnology: a case study using crater lake diatoms from central Turkey. Journal of Palaeolimnology. 44, 855-871.
  • Woodbridge, J., Roberts, N. and Cox, E.J. (2010) Morphology and ecology of a new centric diatom from Cappadocia (central Turkey). Diatom Research. 25, 195-212.

Peer-reviewed book chapters:

  • Woodbridge, J. Roberts, C.N. and Fyfe, R.M. (2019) Vegetation and land-use change in northern Europe during Late Antiquity: a regional-scale pollen-based reconstruction. Environment and society during the long Late Antiquity: Late Antique Archaeology Journal. Netherlands: Brill. 105.
  • Labuhn, I., Finné, M., Izdebski, A., Roberts, N. and Woodbridge, J. (2019) Climatic changes and their impacts in the Mediterranean during the first millennium CE. Environment and society during the long Late Antiquity: Late Antique Archaeology Journal. Netherlands: Brill. 247.
  • Fyfe, R.M., Bray, L., Juleff, G., Woodbridge, J. and Marshall, P. (2013) The environmental impact of Romano-British ironworking on Exmoor. In: Humphries J and Rehren T (eds) The World of Iron. London: Archetype Publications, 462-472.


  • Woodbridge, J. (2014) Trophic Diatom Index of Southwest Rivers. Report to Westcountry Rivers Trust.
  • Fyfe, R.M., Head, K., Hazell, Z. and Woodbridge, J. (2012) Palaeoecological analyses, Pen-y-Gwryd, Snowdonia. Report for Snowdonia National Park Authority.
  • Fyfe, R.M., Woodbridge, J. and Rowe, J. (2010) Archaeological and palaeoecological survey at Hangingstone Hill, Winney’s Down and Broad Down, Dartmoor. Report for Dartmoor National Park Authority.



Reports & invited lectures

  • Long-term environmental data and modern environmental challenges. University of York. June 2021.
  • Biodiversity and land-use change in the British Isles. Royal Holloway University of London. Mar. 2021. 
  • Mediterranean vegetation change, landscape dynamics and human population trends through the Holocene. University of Cambridge. Feb. 2019.
  • Mediterranean landscape and population change. University of Exeter. Feb. 2019.

Conferences organised

  • Lead convenor: ‘Holocene land-use and land-cover change: advances and applications - from quantifying vegetation change to estimating human impacts on biodiversity’. European Geoscience Union: Sharing Geoscience Online. (May 2020).
  • Proposed, designed, lead organised and convened: University of Plymouth Research Festival interdisciplinary event: ‘Biodiversity at a Crossroads’. (Jan 2020).
  • Co-organiser: Quaternary Research Association Annual Discussion Meeting ‘Data/model inter-comparison in Quaternary research’ held at University of Plymouth (2018).
  • Organised and ran a workshop based on the ‘Changing the face of the Mediterranean’ project on pollen-inferred vegetation, climate and demographic change with 35 participants. (Spain) (Sept 2017).
  • Lead convenor: ‘Land use and land-cover change over Holocene timescales’. European Geoscience Union General Assembly Vienna, Austria (May 2016). 

Other academic activities


  • 2018-2019: University of Exeter NERC/BBSRC Strategy groups. 
  • 2014-2018: University of Plymouth: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (Athena SWAN)
  • 2013-2014: University of Plymouth: Geography Research Committee (Post-Doctoral representative)

Editorial roles:


Leverhulme Trust funded research:

Biodiversity and human land use project 

Deforesting Europe project

Changing the face of the Mediterranean project

RGS-IGB & AEA funded PeakFireRes project (socio-ecological resilience to UK wildfire)

GCRF funded Kuruyan Kara (dryland) project (water security in the agricultural landscapes of Turkey)