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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Phill Teasdale is a Senior Lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciences. He teaches on a wide range of undergraduate modules within the Division of Geography and Geology with specialisms in oceanography, coastal geomorphology and environmental geochemistry.

His research interests are focused on the study of estuarine sediments and the biogeochemistry of inter-tidal coastal wetlands (saltmarshes). He is particularly interested in how these coastal systems are responding to rising sea-levels driven by current climate change and he has additional interest in how estuarine sediments can be used as effective archives of anthropogenic pollution (e.g. heavy metals) and their effectiveness at storing carbon. He is also a trained radiochemist and has additional research interests in studying the behaviour and fate of natural and artificial radioisotopes present in our oceans and coasts resulting from discharges to the marine environment due to human activities and nuclear accidents.

Phill has authored a number of publications in refereed journal papers along with more than twenty-five reports focussed upon environmental and ecological consultancy work for various stakeholders in the nuclear industry and Natural England.  



Approach to teaching

My teaching is strongly focused upon encouraging student engagement to promote deeper learning outcomes. To achieve this, I utilise a variety of different teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, student presentations, seminars, laboratory sessions, and practical fieldwork. These provide an effective blend of approaches which are enhanced by including active participation and discussion of relevant published literature and case studies during lectures and tutorial meetings. Students are thereby able to develop the confidence and ability to question and challenge leading theories which is key to many aspects of assessed work. This is exemplified in my level 6 Oceanography module where students explore ideas concerning the onset of global cooling which led to the current period of Ice Ages over the past 2.4 Ma and the functioning of global-scale systems such as the Thermohaline Circulation (THC) of the world ocean and how this might be impacted by modern global warming. Involving students in scientific debates such as these along with the practical skills taught in lab classes and during fieldwork, plays a significant role in developing critical thinking and the emergence of students as confident trained scientists.

Research interests

My research interests link the disciplines of sedimentology, geomorphology and geochemistry with specific focus in estuarine environments where I am interested in the response of inter-tidal marsh environments to recent sea-level rise. Within the central southern UK, marsh habitat is being lost as these landforms become increasing ‘squeezed-out’ due to a combination of recent sea-level rise, land subsidence and past reclamation activity. Understanding the key drivers of marsh deterioration is vitally important in terms of predicting future rates of habitat loss as these systems also serve as valuable storage areas for so-called Coastal Blue Carbon which becomes sequestered into the developing marsh sediments through time.

I am also interested in using marsh sediment systems as records for past/recent anthropogenic contamination with particular focus on heavy metals and artificial radioactivity, now present within many coastal regions due to authorised releases from nuclear facilities and nuclear accidents.

Marsh sediments also provide important records of past storm and tsunami impacts and I am currently investigating records of storms (and possible meteo-tsunamis) that may have impacted southern England over the past five hundred years. Records of such storm may serve as a valuable indicator of likely coastal response in a warming world.

A longer-term project is focusing effort investigating sedimentary evidence for catastrophic flooding associated with the documented 1016AD mega-flood recorded in historical archives from around NW Europe. In conjunction with research colleagues from other UK institutions, we are seeking to try and identify the extent and nature of this event.

Current Research Projects:


  • Geochemical records of historical mining and recent radionuclide contamination in marsh sediments in the central Irish Sea.
  • Response of marsh sediments to recent sea-level rise in southern UK.
  • Sedimentary records and geomorphological response of large storm events in central southern UK.
  • Geochemical records of recent anthropogenic pollution in coastal marshes from NE Scotland.
  • Sedimentary evidence for catastrophic coastal flooding associated with the 1016AD event in NW Europe and the 1606AD event in SW England.


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Brunel University



External positions

Member QRA Sea-Level and Coastal Change Research Group (SLaCC).

2015 → …

Member INQUA Commission on Shorelines and Coastal Evolution

1999 → …

Member Fleet Lagoon Study Group, West Dorset.

1997 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 5 Similar Profiles
coastal wetland Earth & Environmental Sciences
marsh Earth & Environmental Sciences
sea level Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences
saltmarsh Earth & Environmental Sciences
sedimentation Earth & Environmental Sciences
sedimentation rate Earth & Environmental Sciences
palynology Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2007 2015

Improved modelling of the impacts of sea level rise on coastal wetland plant communities

Ward, R., Burnside, N., Joyce, C., Sepp, K. & Teasdale, P., 31 Jul 2015, In : Hydrobiologia. 774, 1, p. 203-216 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
coastal wetland
plant community

Recent rates of sedimentation on irregularly flooded Boreal Baltic coastal wetlands: responses to recent changes in sea level

Ward, R., Teasdale, P., Burnside, N., Joyce, C. & Sepp, K., 15 Jul 2014, In : Geomorphology. 217, p. 61-72 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
coastal wetland
sea level

Palynology: a tool to identify abrupt events? An example from Chabahar Bay, southern Iran

Miller, C. S., Leroy, S. A. G., Izon, G., Lahijani, H. A. K., Marret, F., Cundy, A. & Teasdale, P., 1 Jan 2013, In : Marine Geology. 337, p. 195-201 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
historical record

Recent estuarine sedimentation rates from shallow inter-tidal environments in western Scotland: implications for future sea level trends and coastal wetland development

Teasdale, P., Collins, P. E. F., Firth, C. & Cundy, A., Jan 2011, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 30, 1-2, p. 109-129 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

coastal wetland
intertidal environment
sedimentation rate
sea level