Dr. Jason Kirby

Dr Jason Kirby Kirby in Bosnia
Job Title Subject Head – Geography and Environmental Science
Telephone +44 (0)151 231 2410
Email Address @ljmu.ac.uk


Contact Address Room 240C, James Parsons Building
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology
Liverpool John Moores University
Byrom Street
L3 3AF

Research interests:

  • Holocene sea-level changes and coastal evolution
  • Contemporary coastal change and management
  • Quaternary micropalaeontology (pollen, diatoms and foraminifera)
  • Vegetation history and palaeoecology
  • Peatlands and climate change


View Publications List

Grants Obtained:

Title, Awarding Body and Year Role Amount
Designing site specific mitigation measures for Dungeness SSSI, Natural England, 2014 PI £7,500
St Mary’s Bay Geomorphological Survey, Rugby Portobello Trust, 2013 PI £9,400
Holocene palaeoclimate and vegetation history of NW England, NERC RCF, 2012 PI £4,640
Geomorphological research strategy for Lydd Ranges, MOD/Landmarc, 2012 PI £6,500


Module Leader: 6103NATSCI Environmental Change


  • 4104NATSCI Natural Resources and Hazards
  • 4108NATSCI Methods in Geography)
  • 4109NATSCI Landforms, Landscapes & People)
  • 5111NATSCI Geomorphology & GIS)
  • 5107NATSCI Overseas Field Project
  • 5114NATSCI Climate Change: Science and Society
  • 6000NATSCI Research Project
  • 6103NATSCI Environmental Change
  • 6111NATSCI Environmental Management and Consultancy
  • 6112NATSCI Catchment to Ocean

Research interests

My main interests are in reconstructing past environmental change and this falls within three main strands:

Holocene sea-level change and coastal evolution.
My main aims are to investigate the causes and effects of sea-level changes on a variety of temporal and spatial scales, utilising intertidal sediment records. I have recently been using saltmarsh sediment as a means to explore past relative sea-level changes in the last few thousand years. This involves the analysis of diatoms and foraminifera preserved in the sediment that can be quantitatively related to a former sea level. When combined with a good chronology (typically derived from radiocarbon analyses and other geochemical markers) a high-resolution sea-level record can be derived for the past few thousand years or so. I am also interested in longer-term relative sea-level records, and the influence of former ice sheets on sea-level rise and vertical land movement (induced by former ice and ocean loading on the Earth’s surface). I have also worked on coastal evolution and floodplain development using litho- and biostratigraphic techniques in back barrier coastal environments (e.g. Dungeness and Romney Marsh) and inner estuary perimarine settings (e.g. Humber estuary). < /p>

Vegetation history and palaeoecology.
My interests here broadly involve using pollen to investigate how groundwater level changes are expressed in vegetation successional pathways, and how these relate to sea-level changes. I have studied fen carr peat as a means to reconstruct Holocene vegetation history, non-analogue habitats and human impact.

Peatlands and palaeoclimate.
This research area seeks to reconstruct a bog-surface wetness history for sites in Cheshire and Merseyside to establish a climate record for the past 4000 years in NW England. Sites with uncut peat records are rare, particularly in the UK where there is a long history of intensive land-use, human occupation and urbanisation. This project provides an opportunity to investigate climate change and historical landscape change in an area with a well-known industrial past.

I am also interested in the functioning of contemporary coastal systems, particularly the response of intertidal foreshores to waves, tides and storm events, and the management of coastal environments.

Professional Qualifications:

  • 1999 PhD, Department of Geography, University of Hull Thesis title: ‘Holocene floodplain vegetation dynamics and sea-level change in the lower Aire valley, Yorkshire’.
  • 1994 BSc (Hons) Geography, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool
Current Post:
  • Subject Head – Geography and Environmental Science
Previous Posts:
  • 2007-2013 - Programme Leader - Geography, Liverpool JMU
  • 2004-2007 Lecturer in Geography, Liverpool JMU
  • 2002-2004 Environmental Consultant, Atkins Consultants Ltd.
  • 2000-2002 Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Department of Geography, University Of Plymouth
  • 1999-2000 Teaching Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Hull
  • 1994-1995 Research Assistant, Sea-Level Research Unit, Department of Geography, University of Durham
Professional Memberships:
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Chair – Liverpool Geographical Association
Institutional Responsibilities:
  • Subject Leader for Geography and Environmental Science Group

Page last modified 02 September 2014.

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