Dr Tim Daley
Associate Professor of Physical Geography
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
I am Deputy Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute (SEI) a cross-faculty university research institute focused on the development of multidisciplinary research projects and real-world impact from research. Within the Institute I lead a team of researchers focused on climate and earth system science.
PhD, Geography, University of Southampton
B.Sc (Hons) Geography, 1st Class, University of Southampton
Honour Moderations (Geography), Oxford University
2017- Associate Professor of Physical Geography
2015 - 2017 Deputy Director - Sustainable Earth Institute
2013 - 2015 Director of the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research, Plymouth University
2010 - 2013 Lecturer in Geography, Plymouth University
2009 - 2010 DEFRA / EA Climate Change Adaptation Co-ordinator for Northwest England
2008 - 2009 NERC QUEST Postdoctoral Research Officer, Swansea University
- Award for Best Postgraduate Research Poster, NERC RAPID International Science Meeting, Birmingham, 2006
- Award for Best Postgraduate Research Poster, NERC RAPID 1st Annual Meeting, Nottingham, 2004
- Florence Miller Award for Best Undergraduate Dissertation, University of Southampton, School of Geography, Class of 2003
Quaternary Research Association (QRA)
European Geosciences Union (EGU)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Roles on external bodies
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Peer Review College Member
I love teaching. It's a joy to be able to engage and excite others in things that have fascinated me all my life. I am primarily a researcher in climate and earth system science. It should be little surprise then that this is where I teach.
You can find me leading modules in
Stage 1: Environment and Climate
Stage 4: Climate Change - Adaptation and Mitigation; Global Climate Change
Stage 7: Climate Change: Science and Policy
I also contribute to several others from the philosophy and history of science, to approaches to knowledge creation and fieldwork in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
Staff serving as external examiners
University College Cork (2020 - 2022)
"...Creating better understanding of the Earth System to help solve some of society's most pressing problems..."
That could sound impossibly difficult. The way I approach its delivery is through research in three key areas. Associated projects are highlighted, but please see "grants and contracts" below for full details and award values.
- Understanding climate change in the last 21,000 years with a view to improving our ability to understand the causes and predict the effects of present and future climate change.
- Development and application of new isotopic techniques for investigating the climate information recorded in the remains of plant material in peat bogs. This work is associated with a NERC RAPID project ISOMAP-UK (see final RAPID brochure here ) and ongoing projects: PRECIP and PATAGON, both supported by NERC.
- Working with numerical modellers to validate models used to predict future climate against the yardstick of past climate change data (NERC QUEST, NERC RAPID and NERC PATAGON)
CLIMATE-CARBON CYCLE INTERACTION (how does the land surface regulate carbon?)
- The investigation of changes in the carbon cycle with past climate change through 1) the synthesis of carbon isotope data from bones and sediments ( NERC QUEST grant - QUEST Deglaciation ) and 2) through analysing the efficacy of peatlands in sequestering carbon, exploring the relative roles of methane derived- and atmospheric- carbon dioxide in bog plant growth (supported by the Royal Society and NERC BESS Programme).
CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION (how does society adapt and when?)
- Working with industry (e.g. Ecocities project ) and the public sector in the development of climate policy and practise to support the management of climate change adaptation (please click here for info on business conference address)
The best way to keep up to date with developments in this research agenda is through our facebook page:
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
PhD student completions:
Steffie Haynes (2011, MSc Applied Marine Science)
Thomas Lawrence (2011, MRes, Marine Geosciences)
Paul Shaw (2012, MSc Sustainable Environmental Management; Merit)
Grants & contracts
NERC RCL award 1903.0415: ""Testing the late Holocene hydroclimatic and stable isotopic signal from ombrotrophic bogs in southernmost Chile and the Falkland Islands" £5120 - to TJD (June 2015)
NERC radiocarbon award 1740.1013: "Testing the late Holocene hydroclimatic and stable isotopic signal from ombrotrophic bogs in southernmost Chile and the Falkland Islands" £4640 - to TJD to progress the doctoral research of PhD grad student Emma Rice (December 2013)
Exmoor National Park (MIRES project): "The context of prehistoric landscapes: preliminary analysis of sites on Exmoor" £10,700 - to Ralph Fyfe (PI, Plymouth) and TJD (Co-I) (July 2013- December 2013)
NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BESS) programme grant: “Quantifying the biodiversity threshold for peatland carbon service delivery” £20,084 - to TJD, PI (July 2013 – June 2014)
This project seeks to use a novel molecular biomarker approach to test the relationship between microbial biodiversity and carbon sequestration in temperate peatlands. I am working with Dr Ralph Fyfe as Co-I and Dr Paola Garcia-Meneses as Post-Doctoral Technician.
Exmoor National Park: "Vegetation and climate change on Exmoor over the last millennium - Phase II" £22,795 - to Ralph Fyfe (PI, Plymouth) and TJD (Co-I) (March 2013 - December 2013)
NERC algorithm PhD studentship to Emma Rice £85,627 - TJD DoS (October 2012 - September 2016)
Tracking Holocene changes in the southern hemisphere westerly wind belt from lakes and bogs in Tierra del Fuego.
Exmoor National Park: "Vegetation and climate change on Exmoor over the last millennium" £18,018 - to Ralph Fyfe (PI, Plymouth) and TJD (Co-I) (Awarded July 2012)
Assessing ability to reconstruct climate and environmental change in the last millennium for peat conservation / restoration and archaeological stakeholders.
Royal Society Grant : Quantifying carbon cycling in peatlands under different hydrological conditions - £10,040 - to TJD - PI (December 2011 - November 2012)
Awarded October 2011
Peatlands sequester carbon, but it is unclear how much of this is drawn from atmospheric carbon dioxide or recycled from methane. Peatland re-wetting has become a widespread land management practise in response, in part, to the potential for carbon sequestration. This project will test how past bog hydrology influenced this sourcing of carbon for the growth of Sphagnum mosses. The project will have implications for the efficacy of peatland restoration as a tool for mitigating atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and therefore have implications for global carbon farming and carbon credit trading. Outputs from the work will be exchanged directly with stakeholders through the University's new Institute, the ISSR.
NERC Standard Grant: PATAGON (Palaeoclimate reconstructions from Tierra DelFuego to detect Land-Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions) - £796,000 (£45,000 to TJD - Co-I) (October 2011 - September 2014) (click here for project website)
Awarded August 2011
This grant brings together partners from the Universities of Aberdeen, Southampton and Swansea with Plymouth University to investigate variations in climate in Tierra del Fuego over the last 2000 years. The team will be looking to track past variations in the latitudinal position and intensity of the Southern Hemisphere Westerly wind belt over this time period from its hydroclimatic and stable isotopic footprint recorded in the sub-fossil remains of plants and amoebae in peatland sediments. Through comparison with data from an ongoing NERC grant (PRECIP) based in NE North America and involving the same team members, we aim to test for interhemispheric climate linkages. We want to see if climate at the southern end of South America varied in phase, out of phase, or was irregularly related to changes in the mid-latitude North Atlantic region.
MAPVAR (Mapping Regional Variability in Precipitation Stable Isotopes) University of Plymouth PUP fund - £1250Awarded March 2011
Testing whether regional-scale spatial variations in δP throughout a 6 month growing season 1) reflect trajectory patterns and 2) are preserved in the modern surface mosses growing in that study area
Quaternary Research Association (QCF) - £325 Awarded February 2011
Conference funding to cover invited attendance of EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 3rd 2011
NERC PRECIP Standard research grant - £800,000 - Project partner - April 2010 - March 2013
Investigating the causes of past climate changes in the last 10,000 years in the region around Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Maine. See first papers from the project under "publications" next tab : Amesbury et al (2012) & Pyne O'Donnell et al., (2012)
Quaternary Research Association (QCF) - £4200 Awarded December 2008
Conference funding to cover invited attendance of UK peatland palaeoclimate consortium at INQUA/PAGES sponsored Peatland Palaeoclimate workshop, Estonia, 17th-19th May 2009
Roberts Training Fund - £1000 Awarded to TJD, May 2007
Travel grant funding for the forging of US/UK international collaboration on stable isotopic analysis of water isotopes from ice cores and organics with INSTAAR, Boulder, Colorado.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Daley, T.J., Thomas, E.R., Holmes, J.A., Street-Perrott, F.A., Chapman, M.R., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J., Loader, N.J., Marshall, J.D., Wolff, E.W., Hopley, P.J., Atkinson, T., Barber, K.E., Fisher, E.H., Robertson, I., Hughes, P.D.M., Roberts, C.N., (2011) The 8200 yr BP cold event in stable isotope records from the North Atlantic region, Global and Planetary Change, 79, pp. 288-302 (click here for online access)
Daley, T.J., Barber, K.E., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Marshall, J.D., Crowley, S.F., Fisher, E.H., (2010) Holocene climate variability revealed by Sphagnum cellulose oxygen isotope analyses from Walton Moss, northern England, Quaternary ScienceReviews, 29 (13-14), pp. 1590-1601 ( click here for online access )
Daley, T.J., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Barber, K.E., Hughes, P.D.M., Fisher, E.H., Marshall, J.D., (2009) Terrestrial climate signal of the "8200-yr cold event" in the Labrador Sea region, Geology, 37, 9, pp. 831-834 ( click here for online access )
with impact in National Geographic and affiliates and Planet Earth Online
Charman D.J., Barber K.E., Blaauw M., Langdon P.G., Mauquoy D., Daley T.J., Hughes P.D.M., Karofeld E., (2009) Climate drivers for peatland palaeoclimate records, Quaternary Science Reviews, 28 (19-20), pp. 1811-1819 ( click here for online access )
Reports & invited lectures
Newton, T., Gehrels, W.R., Daley, T.J., Long, A.J., Bentley, M.J., (2014) Holocene sea-level changes in the Falkland Islands, EGU General Assembly 2014, Vienna. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-PREVIEW, 2014
Roland, T., Hughes, P.D.M., Mauquoy, D., van Bellen S., Daley, T.J., Loader, N.J., Street-Perrott, F.A., (2014) Multi-proxy palaeoclimate reconstructions from peatlands in southern South America, EGU General Assembly 2014, Vienna. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-PREVIEW, 2014
Daley, T.J., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Hughes, P.D.M., Charman, D.J., Mauquoy, D., Amesbury, M.J., Mallon, G., (2013) “Providing a challenge for isotope-enabled models: stable isotopic analysis of Sphagnum alpha-cellulose from raised peat bogs” Eos Trans. AGU, Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract PP23C-2001.
Daley, T.J., (2013) “To wet or not to wet? Climate-carbon interactions in peatlands” Invited seminar, York, November 2013.
Daley, T.J., (2012) “Hasta del fin del mundo por el amor de la cientia” Invited seminar, CNRS – ECOLAB, Toulouse, France, May 2012.
Daley, T.J., (2012) “Abrupt Climate Change 8200 years ago: how well do models simulate the data?” Invited Keynote, Annual GEOTOP research conference, Montreal, Quebec, January 2012.
Daley, T.J., (2011) “Improved understanding of Holocene climate change using peat bog stable isotopes” EGU General Assembly 2011, Vienna. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 13, EGU2011-12961EGU
Daley, T.J., (2010) Late Holocene Patagonian Palaeoclimate Variability from Raised Peat Bog Sediments, PAGES-LOTRED 2nd International Symposium “Reconstructing Climate Variations in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 2000 years”, 27th – 30th October 2010, Valdivia, Chile
Street-Perrott, F. A., Daley, T. J., Fraser, R., (2009) Global maps of reconstructed d13C values of terrestrial biomass from 30ka BP to present. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 6, 072061
Daley, T.J., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Hughes, P.D.M., Barber, K.E., Fisher, E.H., Marshall, J.D., (2008) “Tracking Holocene Climate Change Using Peat Bog Stable Isotopes”, Invited Keynote, 33rd International Geological Congress, Oslo, Abstract EGC06201L
Daley, T.J., Street-Perrott, F.A., Fraser, R. (2008) “New Global Maps of δ13C values of terrestrial biomass from 21ka BP to Present, 33rd International Geological Congress, Oslo, Abstract EGC06206L
Daley, T.J., Hughes P.D.M., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Barber, K.E., (2006) “Evidence for the severity of the 8.2ka cold event from a peat bog in Newfoundland”, NERC RAPID International Science Meeting, Birmingham
Daley, T.J., Hughes P.D.M., Street-Perrott, F.A., Loader, N.J., Barber, K.E., (2005) “Oxygen-Isotopic Variability Across the 8.2 ka Cold Event From an Ombrotrophic Peat bog on the Bonavista Peninsula, Newfoundland” Eos Trans. AGU, 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract PP13A-1482
Other academic activities
PhD theses examined
2013 - Dr Samantha Allcock,
"Living with a changing landscape: Holocene climate variability and socio-evolutionary trajectories, central Turkey"
Director for the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research (ISSR) ( click here for website )
The Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research (ISSR) is the single point of contact for organisations wanting to collaborate with the University on sustainability. We provide an incubator for developing multidisciplinary research projects, helping to find solutions to the world's most pressing environmental, economic and social challenges. In so doing, the ISSR helps researchers develop impact from their knowledge discovery.
2012: Interview given to BBC spotlight on Climate-Carbon cycle research and economic applications during official launch of the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research by Minister of State Greg Barker MP (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gy918/Spotlight_30_04_2012/)
2009: Interview given to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation "Leanne Power Show" on ocean circulation driven climate change 8200 years ago
2009: Interview given to CHML900 radio for the Matt Holmes current affairs show - local/regional cooling with global warming.
Twitter: @drtimdaley (https://twitter.com/drtimdaley)