School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Jemma Finch

Senior Lecturer

Dr Jemma Finch holds a PhD in palaeoecology from the University of York (UK). Her research uses plant and animal remains preserved in sediments as indicators of climate and environmental change. Jemma is an NRF C2 rated scientist, and recipient of the 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Research Award. She is an Associate Editor for the South African Journal of Science for the Archaeology, Anthropology and Palaeontology portfolio. She lectures physical geography at UKZN where she teaches biogeography and environmental change and coordinates the Honours programme.

Research interests

Jemma is interested in past climate-human-environment interactions in southern Africa during the geologically recent past (late Quaternary). She uses a range of proxy techniques (fossil pollen, charcoal, geochemistry, foraminifera, tree rings) to understand past environmental processes e.g. climate, fire, sea level, and vegetation dynamics.

Research profiles