Dr Joseph Williams

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 in Physical / Environmental Geography. 

His 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. 

Since 2020, Joe has been the Subject Co-oridnator for Geography, and also held an interin role as Programme Lead during 21/22.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

Joe has a wide range of teaching experience across both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

He currently contributes to the following modules:

  • U21104: Introduction to Environmental Geography
  • U21106: Concepts in Geography
  • U21126: Geographical Enquiry and Field Research
  • U21148: Independent Study:Work and Community Related Learning
  • U21173: Expedition
  • U21180: Geographical Research & Practice
  • U21198: Geography Dissertation




  • 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.