Academic Profile

Richard Bailey is an Associate Professor in Geochronology, Director of the School of Geography and the Environment Luminescence Dating Laboratory and Tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College. Prior to September 2006, he held positions including a Lecturership in Physical Geography (Royal Holloway, University of London), NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (University of Oxford), Research Fellowships at St John's College and the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art (University of Oxford); and a Stipendiary Lectureship in Physical Geography, St Catherine's College (Oxford).

He is a member of the Editorial Board of Quaternary Geochronology and of the Review Panel for the luminescence research journal Ancient TL. He also acts as a reviewer for several other international journals in the fields of geography, environmental change and applied physics (including Quaternary Science Reviews, Holocene, Palaeogeography-Palaeoclimatology-Palaeoecology, Radiation Measurements, Journal of Applied Physics) and has reviewed grants for NERC and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Invited contributions include journal articles for Quaternary Science Reviews and Radiation Protection Dosimetry, and oral conference presentations for the International Conference on Solid State Dosimetry and the International Quaternary Research Association (INQUA). He is a member of several learned societies including St John's College, Oxford, the American Geophysical Union, Quaternary Research Association and the Royal Geographical Society. He is also the creator of WikiLum, a 'wiki' for the luminescence community which acts as an internationally-fed database, message board and file-swapping point for those involved in luminescence dating.

Current Research

Dr Bailey's research is focused primarily on the development of Luminescence Dating techniques and their application to research topics in Quaternary science, including climate/environmental change, geomorphology and human evolution/dispersion. His work on the development of luminescence methods involves laboratory-based experimental work, the development of numerical models (of quartz electron population dynamics) and of statistical models of dating results. He also has a more general interest in quantitative methods and their application in physical geography.

Aspects of this work have been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, Australian Research Council, private commercial contracts and internal University grants.

Selected Research Projects

Environmental applications
  • Chronology of glacial deposits from the UK
    In collaboration with Prof. Jim Rose, Dr Steve Pawley, Dr Simon Armitage (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Phil Toms (University of Gloucestershire); Financial support from Leverhulme Trust; (2007-2009)
  • African palaeoclimate: the dating of palaeo-shoreline deposits and other geomorphic features, in Southern Africa, associated with past changes in surface hydrology
    In collaboration with Professor David S.G. Thomas; Financial support from NERC; D.Phil. Students: Sallie Burrough; Abigail Stone; (2005-2008)
  • Chronology of Chinese loess deposits and development of long time-range dating methods
    In collaboration with Dr Wang Xulong (Xi'An, China) and Prof. Ann Wintle (Aberystwyth); Financial support from Royal Society; (2005-2006)
Applications to Human evolution and dispersion
  • The dating of fossil human remains using incorporated sand
    In collaboration with Prof. Fred Grine (Stony Brook, New York); (2004-2007)
  • The dating of frozen sediments from Beringia containing preserved DNA
    In collaboration with Prof. R. Roberts (University of Wollongong, Australia); Financial support from Australian Research Council; (2003-2007)
Development of luminescence methods
  • Development and understanding of new approaches to longer-term dating methods
    In collaboration with Prof. A. Wintle (Aberystwyth, UK), Dr G. Adamiec (Silesian University of Technology, Poland), Wang Xulong (Xi'An, China); Financial support from Royal Society; (2005-2006)
  • Extending the Scope and Range of Accurate, High Precision Optical Dating of Terrestrial Sediments
    Financial support from NERC; (2002-2005)
  • Theoretical modelling of electron population dynamics in quartz in relation to general quartz luminescence phenomena.
  • Luminescence signal analysis and methodological developments
    Financial support from NERC; DPhil Student: D. Bailey (RLAHA, Oxford)


Undergraduate teaching

Dr Bailey contributes to the core 'Geographical Techniques (Statistical Analysis)' course for the Preliminary Examination. He also shares teaching of the Final Honour School Option course 'Quaternary Period', for which he is course director.

Postgraduate teaching

He lectures on the core course on 'Statistics and Quantitative Methods' spanning the MSc courses Biodiversity, Conservation and Management; Environmental Change and Management; and Water Science, Policy and Management. He is also a contributor and course director for the 'Modelling Environmental Systems' core course of the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management.

Current Graduate Research Students

Megan Cole

Developing a framework for social and environmental boundaries in small island developing states

Jerome Mayaud

Development and testing of a coupled vegetation / sediment-transport model for dryland environments

Alexandra Rowell

Enhancing regional palaeoenvironmental records through analysis of Late Quaternary sand ramp accumulation

Diana Bailey(RLAHA, Oxford)

Recent Graduate Research Students (since 2006)

S. Pawley(2007; Univ. of London)
J. Singarayer(2004)

Selected Publications

Publications are those that were listed on the old website. Publications database integration forthcoming.