Dr Joseph Williams


Interim Programme Lead in Anthropology and Geography. Senior Lecturer in Physical/Environmental Geography

School of Law and Social Sciences

Joseph Williams


Joe joined Oxford Brookes University in July 2017 as a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in Physical / Environmental Geography. He was the Subject Coordinator for Geography 2020-23, becoming Programme Lead for Anthropology and Geography in 2023.


Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

Introduction to Physical Geography
Investigating Geography
Introduction to Geographical Skills & Techniques
Advanced Research Skills for Geographers
Earth Systems
Climate Change: The Physical Basis
Sustainable Futures
Geography Dissertation
Independent Study




Joe's research focus is on montane and tropical palaeoecosystem ecology, investigating long-term biogeochemical cycling, human impacts, and specific linkages/feedbacks across terrestrial-freshwater systems.

He is an expert in a range of field and laboratory based sediment core analyses, including; ecological surveys, core retrieval, processing and description, chronological establishment, fossil pollen/spore, charcoal and macroinvertebrate identification, geochemical determination, and the associated ecological interpretations of palaeolimnological records.

He has specific fieldwork experience with sediment coring and landscape ecological assessment in remote locations. His areas of interest include the Andes (Bolivia / Ecuador), lake systems in North America, New Zealand, and the Scottish and Welsh mountain ranges in the UK.



  • Chironomid Assemblage of Devils Lake, Wisconsin, USA
  • Long-Term Environmental Change in the Ecuadorian Tropical Andes - Volcán Cayambe


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Further details

Other experience

Joe graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc degree in Geography (2006), with interests in Quaternary environmental change and montane ecosystems. He obtained a PhD from the Open University (2011), in partnership with the Natural History Museum, London, with doctoral research involving travel to the Bolivian and Ecuadorian Tropical Andes, and work on high elevation lake cores.

Joe undertook postdoctoral research at Kansas State University, investigating the long-term dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in response to climatic and anthropogenic disturbances via the use of biological and biogeochemical sedimentary markers.

Between 2012-2017 he held a lectureship positon in Physical Geography and Environmental Science at Aberystwyth University.