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Dr Wesley Fraser

Profile summary

  • Visiting Informal Academic
  • Visiting Fellow
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences

Professional biography

I am an organic geochemist who works on inter-disciplinary problems within Earth and environmental science. I am currently Principal Investigator on a NERC funded project entitled " 500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation change". Previously I have been Principle Investigator of a project funded by the the Royal Society investigating "intra- and inter-species relationships of sporopollenin".

Research interests

My research interests are broadly unified by a link withultraviolet (UV) radiation, including the development of a biogeochemical proxy for UV radiation through time and space, UV-stimulated methane emissions from vegetation, and the potential atmospheric impact of degrading plastics in the environment.

I also have a keen interest in understanding the long-term chemical stability of biopolymers in the geological record, and the development, evolutionary preservation and structural commonality of the biopolymer sporopollenin in terrestrial plants.

Latest research developments have seen me start to explore fast analytical methods for accessing geochemical locked within sedimentary cores, and the application of geochemical analyses to address archaeological questions.

Teaching interests

My teaching interests span a broad range covering atmospheric and climate science, the use of biogeochemical indicators of past environmental change, and the hydrology of ephemeral channels in arid and semi-arid regions.


Variability in modern pollen rain from moist and wet tropical forest plots in Ghana, West Africa (2019-01)
Julier, Adele C. M.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Coe, Angela L.; Fraser, Wesley T.; Lomax, Barry H.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Moore, Sam and Gosling, William D.
Grana, 58(1) (pp. 45-62)
Chemotaxonomy of domesticated grasses: a pathway to understanding the origins of agriculture (2019)
Jardine, Phillip E.; Gosling, William D.; Lomax, Barry H.; Julier, Adele C. M. and Fraser, Wesley T.
Journal of Micropalaeontology, 38(1) (pp. 83-95)
The modern pollen-vegetation relationship of a tropical forest-savannah mosaic landscape, Ghana, West Africa (2018-07-03)
Julier, Adele C. M.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Coe, Angela L.; Duah-Gyamfi, Akwasi; Fraser, Wesley T.; Lomax, Barry H.; Malhi, Yavinder; Moore, Sam; Owusu-Afriyie, Kennedy and Gosling, William D.
Palynology, 42(3) (pp. 324-338)
Pollen-vegetation richness and diversity relationships in the tropics (2018-03)
Gosling, William D.; Julier, Adele C. M.; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Djagbletey, Gloria D.; Fraser, Wesley T.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Lomax, Barry H.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Manu, Emmanuel A.; Mayle, Francis E. and Moore, Sam
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 27(2) (pp. 411-418)
Chemotaxonomy as a tool for interpreting the cryptic diversity of Poaceae pollen (2016-12)
Julier, Adele C. M.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Coe, Angela L.; Gosling, William D.; Lomax, Barry H. and Fraser, Wesley T.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 235 (pp. 140-147)
The impact of oxidation on spore and pollen chemistry (2015-07)
Jardine, Phillip E.; Fraser, Wesley T.; Lomax, Barry H. and Gosling, William D.
Journal of Micropalaeontology, 34(2) (pp. 139-149)
Pollen and spores as a passive monitor of ultraviolet radiation (2014-04-22)
Fraser, Wesley; Lomax, Barry H.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Gosling, William D. and Sephton, Mark A.
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: Paleoecology, 2, Article 12 (pp. 1-3)
A novel palaeoaltimetry proxy based on spore and pollen wall chemistry (2012)
Lomax, Barry H.; Fraser, Wesley T.; Harrington, Guy; Blackmore, Stephen; Sephton, Mark A. and Harris, Nigel B. W.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 353 (pp. 22-28)
UV-B absorbing pigments in spores: biochemical responses to shade in a high-latitude birch forest and implications for sporopollenin-based proxies of past environmental change (2011)
Fraser, Wesley T.; Sephton, Mark A.; Watson, Jonathan S.; Self, Stephen; Lomax, Barry H.; James, David I.; Wellman, Charles H.; Callaghan, Terry V. and Beerling, David J.
Polar Research, 30 (p 8312)
Plant spore walls as a record of long-term changes in ultraviolet-B radiation (2008-09)
Lomax, Barry H.; Fraser, Wesley T.; Sephton, Mark A.; Callaghan, Terry V.; Self, Stephen; Harfoot, Michael; Pyle, John A.; Wellman, Charles H. and Beerling, David J.
Nature Geoscience, 1(9) (pp. 592-596)
Rapid determination of spore chemistry using thermochemolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (2007)
Watson, Jonathan S.; Sephton, Mark A.; Sephton, Sarah V.; Self, Stephen; Fraser, Wesley T.; Lomax, Barry H.; Gilmour, Iain; Wellman, Charles H. and Beerling, David J.
Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 6 (pp. 689-694)
Formation of an aliphatic polymer during heating experiments with Lycopodium spores (2007)
Watson, Jonathan; Fraser, Wesley; Self, Stephen and Sephton, Mark
In : The 23rd International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (9-14 Sep 2007, Torquay, UK)

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