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Jennifer Frances Ellen Campbell

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Previous education

  • MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction (Distinction) – The University of Manchester, 2013
  • BSc Geography (First Class Honours) – The University of Manchester, 2011

Thesis title

A palaeoecological investigation into Mid- to Late- Holocene climate change, and the early anthropogenic impacts on the environment in the Middle and High Atlas Mountains, Morocco.


Research details

Late Quaternary environmental change in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco has been poorly understood until relatively recently. Detailed insights into the nature of Late-glacial and Holocene climate change in the Middle Atlas Mountains have been made, along with in-depth studies of historical anthropogenic impacts on the environment, stretching back to 1500-2000 years BP. There are still wide gaps in our understanding of the nature and timing of millennial and centennial scale climate shifts that have occurred in the Middle Atlas Mountains throughout the Mid- to Late-Holocene; furthermore, the Holocene record in the High-Atlas Mountains is currently untouched. Reconstructing the environmental response to such small-scale changes is vital in order to understand how the same systems may respond to similar climatic shifts in the future. The Mediterranean region is very sensitive to climate change, and it is widely anticipated that it will be greatly affected by future climate changes related to anthropogenic warning.

Understanding the history and extent of anthropogenic land degradation is crucial to improving our understanding of current intense human global modification to the Earth's surface and associated landscape change. The present day landscapes of the Middle and High Atlas, Morocco, are highly degraded by anthropogenic pressure, but the longer-term perspective on the nature, timing and geographical extent of such human exploitation is poorly developed. To date, the main focus of my PhD study has been a pollen- and charcoal- based reconstruction of Holocene environmental change from a deep-lake core from Lake Sidi Ali, in the Middle Atlas, providing insight into regional vegetation and climatic change. A second focus of the project is to explore the patterns of human activity, using records from smaller terrestrial sites, where key local anthropogenic indicators such as macrocharcoal and coprophilous fungal spores are better represented.

This study aims to investigate Mid- to Late-Holocene environmental change in the Middle and High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, in order to determine the nature and timing of small scale climate change during this period, and the timing and impact of early human settlement in these regions. The synchronicity between the two regions will also be investigated. A multi-proxy approach will be adopted, using a range of techniques, including: pollen, charcoal and fungal spore analyses, magnetic susceptibility, loss on ignition and elemental analysis.

Research interests

  • Quaternary environmental change
  • Palaeoecology of terrestrial environments
  • Palynology
  • Human-environment interactions


  • Awarded the Research Scholar Award from the School of Environment, Education and Development at The University of Manchester, in order to fund the PhD project;
  • Awarded the Kathleen Tootle and Elsie Grimshaw Scholarship for outstanding results from undergraduate degree;
  • Awarded a certificate of Commendation by the Head of Geography for an excellent dissertation, entitled: A palaeoecological investigation into the relationship between records of lead pollution and arboreal vegetation at Lindow Moss, Cheshire, during the Roman Period.

Research group


  • Quaternary Research Association (QRA)
  • British Society for Geomorphology (BSC)
  • Royal Geographical Society (RGS)