Mr Dave Arnold

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Research interests

My research interests are primarily in using mammalian vertebrates from fossil sites to reconstruct past environments from the Quaternary (last 2.6 millions years). Fossil mammals are often found in abundance from fossil sites throughout the Quaternary, and alongside using traditional palaeontological and palaeoecological techniques to reconstruct habitats I am interested in using fossil mammals to quantify environmental variables such as precipitation. I have a keen interest in archaeozoology to aid understanding of hominin societies specifically the evolution and eventual demise of the Neanderthals. I also have broad interests in palaeoenvironmental science, sedimentology, glaciology, periglacial environments and chronology.


Current research

My PhD research is funded by the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership and focuses on developing the use of the height of herbivore teeth as an indicator of rainfall, both past and present. Through my research I aim to provide actual estimates for past rainfall through the Late Pleistocene, a time period known for relatively rapid and abrupt climate change. The overall purpose is to develop our understanding of drier environments and how these may have been driven by climate and affected flora and fauna in the past. This is important to understand as it will give scientists an idea of how ecosystems may respond in future, especially to changes in rainfall as result of anthropogenic climate change.

Educational background

2015-2019 PhD (Quaternary Science), Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

2013-2014 MSc Quaternary Science, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

2010-2013 BA (Hons) Geography, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Southampton


I currently teach small group Physical Geography tutorials on GG1001/2 Physical Geography 1 & 2 and demonstrate in the field and laboratory on GG1011/3: Geographical Techniques and on the international fieldtrip to Spain (GG1032/4).

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