School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Jemma Finch

Senior Lecturer

I completed my undergraduate (Geography, Zoology) and Honours degrees at the former University of Natal, subsequently going on to read for a Masters in pollen analysis at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). I continued my training as a palynologist with Dr Rob Marchant at the University of York (UK), where I was employed as an Early Career Researcher on a Marie Curie Excellence Grant. In 2009, I returned to South Africa to take up a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cape Town with Prof. Mike Meadows, before going on to take up a lectureship in Geography at UKZN in 2011.  

Research interests

I am interested in working towards an improved understanding of past climate-human-environment interactions in East and southern Africa during the geologically recent past (late Quaternary). More specifically, I have worked to apply a range of proxy techniques to understand past environmental processes e.g. climate, fire, sea level, and vegetation dynamics. Such proxies include fossil pollen, charcoal, geochemistry, foraminifera and tree rings. 

Research profiles