Prof Michael J.C. Walker B.A. (Oxford), M.Sc. (Calgary), PH.D. (Edinburgh)

Emeritus Professor of Quaternary Science


Tel: +44 (0) 1570 422822

Mike Walker

Emeritus Professor of Quaternary Science

Mike’s main research interests are in the Late Quaternary, and especially in the Lateglacial (15-10 k cal yrs BP), a period on which he has been working for more than 40 years. He is particularly interested in short-term climate change, its impact on landscape, and its manifestation in proxy records. His research has also been concerned with aspects of stratigraphy and chronology, especially radiocarbon dating, during the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition. He has published more than 150 scientific papers and other contributions, is author of Quaternary Dating Methods (John Wiley, Chichester & New York, 2005), and co-author of two major Quaternary textbooks: Reconstructing Quaternary Environments (with John Lowe), (1st edition, Longman, 1984; 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley-Longman, 1997; 3rd edition, Routledge, 2014), and Late Quaternary Environmental Change: Physical and Human Perspectives (with Martin Bell), (1st edition, Longman, 1992; 2nd edition, Pearson International, 2005).

Mike has chaired the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Radiocarbon Facilities Steering Committee (1995-1999), the NERC Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Strategy Group (2000-2004), and the NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility Steering Committee (2005-2007). He was a member of the NERC Earth Sciences Peer Review Committee (1999-2002), of the Services Review Group (2001), and of the EFCHED (Environmental Factors in the Chronology of Human Evolution and Dispersal) Steering Committee (2001-2006). He has been President of the Quaternary Research Association of Great Britain (1999-2002), and Editor of Journal of Quaternary Science (1995-1999). He continues to serve on the Editorial Board of Journal of Quaternary Science (John Wiley) and is a former member of the Editorial Board of Quaternary Science Reviews (Elsevier: 2000-2005).

He was the European co-ordinator for the IGCP-253 Termination of the Pleistocene ‘North Atlantic Seaboard Program’ (1990-1994), and co-founder, in 1995 of INTIMATE (Integration of Ice core, Marine and Terrestrial Records), now a core program of the INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Palaeoclimate Commission. He served as Secretary of the Palaeoclimate Commission from 1999-2003, and is currently a Member of the INQUA Commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology, and of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). He led a Joint Working Group of INTIMATE and the SQS to define the base of the Holocene (2008), and is currently chairing a second Joint INTIMATE/SQS Working Group to consider a formal subdivision of the Holocene.

Mike is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and an Honorary Professor in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Aberystwyth. In 2013 he was awarded the James Croll Medal by the Quaternary Research Association of Great Britain.

Selected Publications (post 2004)

Google Scholar H-index: 34

Lowe, J. & Walker, M. (2014); Reconstructing Quaternary Environments. 3rd edition. Routledge, London.

Walker, M.J.C. & Lowe, J.J. (2014): The Lateglacial period in Britain. In The History of the Quaternary Research Association. (edited by J.A. Catt & I. Candy), Quaternary Research Association, London, 357-376.

Gibbard, P.L. & Walker, M.J.C.. (2013): The term ‘Anthropocene’ in the context of formal geological classification. Geological Society of London, Special Publications: doi 10.1144/SP395.1

Walker, M.J.C., Berkelhammer, M.,  Björck, S., Cwynar, L.C., Fisher, D.A., Long, A.J., Lowe, J.J., Newnham, R.M.,  Rasmussen, S.O.  & Weiss, H. (2012): Formal subdivision of the Holocene Series/ Epoch: a Discussion Paper by a Working Group of INTIMATE (Integration of ice-core marine and terrestrial records) and the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (International Commission on Stratigraphy). Journal of Quaternary Science, 27, 649-659.

Walker, M. (2012): Dating environmental change and constructing chronologies. In Handbook of Environmental Change (edited by J.A. Matthews), Sage Publications, London, 92-115.

Walker, M., Lowe, J., Blockley, S.P.E., Bryant, C., Coombes, P., Hardiman, M., Turney, C.S.M. & Watson, J. (2012):  Lateglacial and Early Holocene palaeoenvironmental ‘events’ in Sluggan Bog, Northern Ireland: comparisons with the Greenland NGRIP GICC05 event stratigraphy. Quaternary Science Reviews, 36, 124-138.

Gibbard, P.L., Head, M.J., Walker, M.J.C. & The Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy. (2010):  Formal ratification of the Quaternary System/Period and the Pleistocene Series/Epoch with a base at 2.58 Ma. Journal of Quaternary Science, 25, 96-102.

Walker, M., Jones, S., Hall, J. & Sambrook, P. (2009): A preliminary palaeoecological record from Llyn Llech Owain, near Gorslas, Carmarthenshire. Archaeology in Wales, 49, 53-58.

Walker, M.,  Johnsen, S., Rasmussen, S.O., Popp, T., Steffensen, J-P., Gibbard, P., Hoek, W., Lowe, J., Andrews, J., Björck, S., Cwynar, L.C. Hughen, K., Kershaw, P., Kromer, B., Litt, T., Lowe, D.J., Nakagawa, T., Newnham,. R. & Schwander, J. (2009): Formal definition and dating of the GSSP (Global Stratotype Section and Point) for the base of the Holocene using the Greenland NGRIP ice core, and selected auxiliary records. Journal of Quaternary Science, 24, 3-17.

Palmer, A., Rose,  J, Lowe,  J.J. & Walker, M.J.C.  (2008): Annually-laminated Late Pleistocene sediments from Llangorse Lake, South Wales, UK: a chronology for the pattern of ice wastage. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 119, 245-258

Bates, M.R., Barham, A.J., Jones, S., Parfitt, K., Parfitt, S., Pedley, M.,  Preece, R.C., Walker, M.J.C. & Whittaker, J.E. (2008): Holocene sequences and archaeology from the Crabble Mill site, Dover, UK, and their regional significance. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 119, 299-327.

Walker, M., Johnsen, S., Rasmussen, S.O., Steffensen, J.-P., Popp, T., Gibbard, P., Hoek, W., Lowe, J., Andrews, J., Björck, S., Cwynar, L., Hughen, K., Kreshaw, P., Kromer, B., Litt, T., Low, D.J., Nakagawa, T., Newnham, R. & Schwander, J. (2008): A proposal for the  Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Holocene Series/Epoch (Quaternary System/Period) in the NGRIP ice core. Episodes, 31, 264-267.

Lowe, J.J., Rasmussen, S.O., Björck, S., Hoek, W.Z., Steffensen, J.P., Walker, M.J.C. Yu, Z. and the INTIMATE group (2008): Synchronisation of palaeoenvironmental events in the North Atlantic region during the Last Termination: a revised protocol recommended by the INTIMATE group. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, 6-17.

Lowe, J.J., Walker, M.J.C. & Porter S.A.  (2007): Introduction: Understanding Quaternary climatic change. In Encyclopaedia of Quaternary Science vol. 1, (edited by S.A. Elias), Elsevier,  28-39.

Walker, M.J.C. & Lowe J.J. (2007: Quaternary Science 2007: a Fifty-Year Retrospective. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 164, 1073-1092.

Catt, J.A.,  Gibbard, P.L.,  Lowe, J.J., McCarroll,  D., Scourse, J. D., Walker, M.J.C. & Wymer J.J. (2006):  Quaternary: ice sheets and their legacy.  In The Geology of England and Wales (edited by P.J. Brenchley & P.F. Rawson), The Geological Society,  London, 430-467.

Walker, M., Jones, S., Hussey, R. & Buckley, S. (2006): Mesolithic burning in the uplands of Wales: evidence from Esgair Ffraith, near Lampeter, west Wales. Archaeology in Wales, 46, 3-10.

Walker, M. (2005):  Quaternary Dating Methods. John Wiley, Chichester & New York, 286 pp.

Bell, M.  & Walker, M.J.C.  (2005): Late Quaternary Environmental Change: Physical and Human Perspectives. 2nd edition, Pearson International, London, 348 pp.

Lowe, J.J., Walker, M.J.C., Scott, E.M., Harkness, D.D., Bryant, C.L. & Davies, S. A (2004): coherent high precision chronology for the Lateglacial sequence at Sluggan Bog, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science, 19, 147-158.

Blockley, S.P.E., Lowe, J.J., Walker, M.J.C., Asioli, A., Trincardi, F., Coope, G.R., Donahue, R.E. & Pollard, A.M. (2004): Bayesian recalibration of radiocarbon chronologies: examples from the European Lateglacial. Journal of Quaternary Science, 19, 159-175.

Walker, M.J.C. (2004): A Lateglacial pollen record from Hallsenna Moor, near Seascale, Cumbria, with evidence for increased aridity during the later Loch Lomond Stadial and early Holocene. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 55, 33-42.