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:

  • BSc Hons: Environmental Science
  • BSc Hons: Environmental Management and Sustainability
  • MSc / MRes: Sustainable Environmental Management 

  • 2020-2021: SoGEES stage 2 module GGP2206 “Human systems: Impacts of prehistoric societies on local and global systems”
  • 2020 and 2021: Eden Project Learning. MSc Land and Ecological Restoration guest lecture “How can long-term environmental data inform modern restoration?”



Research interests

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

Post-Doctoral Research 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. 

PI on GCRF funded research into "Water security in the agricultural landscapes of Turkey: towards improving the resilience of communities and socio-ecological systems". This project 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.

PI of a project focusing on "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. 

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

  • 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)