Dr Jason Kirby is the Subject Head for Geography and Environmental Sciences.
My research Interests include:
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
My research focuses on 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).
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.
I am module leader for 6103NATSCI Envionmental Change and contribute to a range of other undergraduate modules in the area of physical geography and environmental science.
1999, University of Hull, United Kingdom, PhD 'Holocene floodplain vegetation dynamics and sea-level change in the lower Aire valley, Yorkshire'
1994, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons) Geography
Shaw TA, Kirby JR, Holgate S, Tutman P, Plater AJ. 2016. CONTEMPORARY SALT-MARSH FORAMINIFERAL DISTRIBUTION FROM THE ADRIATIC COAST OF CROATIA AND ITS POTENTIAL FOR SEA-LEVEL STUDIES JOURNAL OF FORAMINIFERAL RESEARCH, 46 :314-332 >DOI >Link
Metcalfe SE, Leng MJ, Kirby JR, Huddart D, Vane CH, Gonzalez S. 2016. Early-Mid Pleistocene environments in the Valsequillo Basin, Central Mexico: a reassessment JOURNAL OF QUATERNARY SCIENCE, 31 :325-336 >DOI >Link
van Asperen EN, Kirby JR, Hunt CO. 2016. The effect of preparation methods on dung fungal spores: Implications for recognition of megafaunal populations REVIEW OF PALAEOBOTANY AND PALYNOLOGY, 229 :1-8 >DOI >Link
Stringer C, Kirby JR, Wilkinson DM. 2014. Combining palaeoecological and historical approaches to investigating post-medieval land use change at Sandford Mire, Cumbria, North West England, UK Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 14 :74-90 >DOI
Mills H, Kirby JR, Holgate, S , Plater AJ. 2013. The distribution of contemporary saltmarsh foraminifera in a macrotidal estuary: an assessment of their viability for sea-level studies Journal of Ecosystem and Ecography, 3 >DOI
Valentine J, Davis SR, Kirby JR, Wilkinson DM. 2013. The Use of Testate Amoebae in Monitoring Peatland Restoration Management: Case Studies from North West England and Ireland ACTA PROTOZOOLOGICA, 52 :129-145 >DOI >Link
Valentine J, Murphy D, Kirby JR, Clare J, Wilkinson DM. 2013. Postglacial environmental history of the West Cumbrian coastal plain: New palaeoecological data from Gutterby. Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archeological Society, 103 :5-15
Edwards KJ, Schofield JE, Kirby JR, Cook GT. 2011. Problematic but promising ponds? Palaeoenvironmental evidence from the Norse Eastern Settlement of Greenland JOURNAL OF QUATERNARY SCIENCE, 26 :854-865 >DOI >Link
Kirby JR, Wilkinson JP. 2011. Sea-level change: from satellites to saltmarshes Teaching Earth Sciences, 35 :41-45
Bennett M, Gonzalez S, Huddart D, Kirby JR, Toole E. 2010. Probable Neolithic footprints preserved in inter-tidal peat at Kenfig, South Wales (UK) Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 121 :66-76 >DOI
Kirby JR, Kirby R. 2008. Medium timescale stability of tidal mudflats in Bridgwater Bay, Bristol Channel, UK: Influence of tides, waves and climate CONTINENTAL SHELF RESEARCH, 28 :2615-2629 >DOI >Link
Plater AJ, Kirby JR. 2006. The potential for perimarine wetlands as an ecohydrological and phytotechnological management tool in the Guadiana Estuary, Portugal. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 70 :98-108 >DOI
Szkornik K, Kirby JR, Gehrels WR. 2006. Salt-marsh distributions in Ho Bugt (western Denmark) and the development of a transfer function for reconstructing Holocene sea-level changes Marine Geology, 235 :137-150
Gehrels WR, Marshall WA, Gehrels MJ, Larsen G, Kirby JR, Eiriksson J, Heinemeier J, Shimmield T. 2006. Rapid sea-level rise in the North Atlantic Ocean since the first half of the nineteenth century HOLOCENE, 16 :949-965 >DOI >Link
Gehrels WR, Szkornik K, Bartholdy J, Kirby JR, Bradley SL, Marshall WA, Heinemeier J, Pedersen JBT. 2006. Late Holocene sea-level changes and isostasy in western Denmark QUATERNARY RESEARCH, 66 :288-302 >DOI >Link
Gehrels WR, Kirby JR, Prokoph A, Newnham RM, Achterberg EP, Evans EH, Black S, Scott DB. 2005. Onset of rapid sea-level rise in the western Atlantic Ocean. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24 :2083-2100
Lillie, M , Page, N , Kirby JR, Grifiths, H . 2003. Neolithic-Bronze Age landscape development at Machynys, Llanelli. Archaeology in Wales, 43 :45-57
Evans JR, Kirby JR, Long AJ. 2001. The litho-and biostratigraphy of a late Holocene tidal channel in Romney Marsh, southern England Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 112 :111-130 >DOI
SHENNAN I, LONG AJ, RUTHERFORD MM, Kirby JR, INNES JB, GREEN FM, WALKER KJ. 1998. TIDAL MARSH STRATIGRAPHY, SEA-LEVEL CHANGE AND LARGE EARTHQUAKES—II: SUBMERGENCE EVENTS DURING THE LAST 3500 YEARS AT NETARTS BAY, OREGON, USA Quaternary Science Reviews, 17 :365-393 >DOI
Long AJ, Innes JB, Kirby JR, Lloyd JM, Rutherford MM, Shennan I, Tooley MJ. 1998. Holocene sea-level change and coastal evolution in the Humber estuary, eastern England: an assessment of rapid coastal change HOLOCENE, 8 :229-247 >DOI >Link
Plater AJ, Kirby JR, Boyle JR, Shaw TA, Mills H. 2015. Loss On Ignition and Organic content Shennan I, Long AJ, Horton BP. Handbook of Sea-Level Research
Plater AJ, Kirby JR. 2012. Sea-Level Change and Coastal Geomorphic Response Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science 3 :39-72 9780080878850 >DOI
Kirby JR, Clarke D, Shaw TA, Toole E. 2010. The Mid-Late Holocene Evolution of Southern Walland Marsh and the Origin of the ‘Midley Sand’ Waller MP, Edwards E, Barber L. Romney Marsh: Persistence and Change in a Coastal Lowland :23-51 Romney Marsh Research Trust. Sevenoaks 978-09566575-0-3
Pratolongo P, Kirby JR, Plater AJ, Brinson MM. 2009. Temperate Coastal Wetlands: Morphology, Sediment Processes and Plant Communities. Perillo GME, Wolanski E, Cahoon DR, Brinson MM. Coastal wetlands, An Integrated Ecosystem Approach. Elsevier Science Ltd 9780444531032
Evans JR, Kirby JR. 2002. Reconstructing Late Holocene intertidal environments and channel networks: a review of the role of benthic foraminifera biostratigraphy on Romney Marsh, Southern England and potential for future research. Long AJ, Hipkin S, Clarke H. Romney Marsh: Coastal and Landscape Change through the Ages Monograph 56 :75-83 Oxford University School of Archaeology
Waller MP, Kirby JR. 2002. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene environmental change in the Romney Marsh Region: New evidence from Tilling Green, Rye. Long AJ, Hipkin S, Clarke H. Romney Marsh: Coastal and Landscape Change through the Ages Monograph 56 :22-39 Oxford University School of Archaeology
Kirby JR. 2001. Regional Late-Quaternary marine and perimarine records Bateman MD, Buckland P, Frederick CD, Whitehouse N. The Quaternary of Eastern Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire: Field Guide :25-34 Quaternary Research Association. London
Kirby JR, Gearey BR. 2001. Pattern and process of Holocene vegetation and wetland development in the Humber lowlands. Atherden M. Wetlands in the Landscape: Archaeology, Conservation, Heritage :41-67 PLACE Research Centre. York
Van de Noort R, Lillie M, Taylor DM, Kirby JR. 1998. The Roman Period landscape at Scaftworth Van de Noort R, Ellis S. Wetland Heritage of the Humberhead Levels :409-428 Humber Wetlands Project. Hull
Pratolongo P, Leonardi N, Kirby JR, Plater AJ. Temperate Coastal Wetlands: Morphology, Sediment Processes and Plant Communities. Perillo GME, Wolanski E, Cahoon D. Coastal Wetlands, An Integrated Ecosystem Approach. Second Edition. Elsevier
Engagement & Impact
External PGR examinations performed:
Name of University: Durham University, Award student examined for: MPhil
Name of University: University of West England, Award student examined for: PhD
External PGR Supervision - completed students:
Name of University: University of Liverpool, Award gained by the student: PhD
Name of University: University of Liverpool, Award gained by the student: PhD
Membership of professional bodies:
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Geographical Society
Member, Quaternary Research Association
Research Grants Awarded:
Natural England, Designing site specific mitigation measures for Dungeness SSSI, Grant value (£): 7,500, Duration of research project: 6 months
Rugby Portobello Trust, St Marys Bay Geomorphological Survey, Grant value (£): 9,400
NERC, Holocene palaeoclimate and vegetation history of north-west England, Professor Richard Chiverrell, Univeristy of Liverpool, Grant value (£): 4,640, Duration of research project: 3 years
MOD/Landmarc Services, Geomorphological research strategy for Lydd Ranges, Dungeness, Kent., Grant value (£): 6,500, Duration of research project: 6 months
Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Use of buffer strips for reducing water pollution in the Meres and Mosses, with Jane Fisher, Jason Kirby, Kostas Kiriakoulakis, (Liverpool John Moores University); David Atkinson (University of Liverpool); Donal Mullan (Queens University Belfast), Grant value (£): 63,857
Title of qualification gained: Fellow Higher Education Academy