Dr. Alistair Seddon

Position: Post Doctoral Researcher
Email: alistair.seddon@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Academic Profile

I am a palaeoecologist with experience in reconstructing and modelling ecological and evolutionary responses to environmental change on a range of timescales (years to millennia). I am now based at the University of Bergen, but am able to maintain my links with OxLEL. My current research projects include:

PARASOL: PAlynological Reconstructions of pAst SOLar radiation

Using fossil pollen to reconstruct past changes in high-energy (UV-B) solar radiation from sediment records.

Resilience and Abrupt Ecological Change

Applying a variety of techniques to understand intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of abrupt ecological change from palaeoecological/observational records. I am using statistical models to better understand palaeo-datasets from the Galapagos Islands, Europe and North America, but have also recently been working on a project analysing vegetation response to climate change from satellite data at a global scale.

Diatom Biogeography/ Ecological Response

Understanding niche breadth and ecological specialism in diatoms, and how biogeographic and environmental processes might interact to govern community assembly and ecological response. Projects in the Galapagos Islands and the Lake District, UK.


Co-coordinator of the Palaeo50 initiative, which identified 50 priority research questions for palaeoecology.

Selected Publications

  • Seddon A.W.R, Froyd C.A., Witkowski A. and Willis K.J. (submitted) Extrinsic forcing of diatom regime shifts in a Galapagos coastal lagoon.
  • Seddon, A.W.R., Froyd, C.A., Witkowski, A, and Willis, K.J (in revision). Diatoms from isolated islands II: Pseudostaurosira diablarum, a new species from a mangrove ecosystem in the Galápagos Islands.
  • Willis K.J., Seddon A.W.R., Long P. Jeffers E.S., Caithness N., Thurston M., Smit M., Hagemann R.,Macias-Fauria, M. (in revision) Remote Assessment of Locally Important Ecological Features across Landscapes: How Representative of Reality?
  • Seddon A.W.R, Mackay A.W., Baker A.G., Birks H.J.B., Breman E., Buck C.E., Ellis E.C., Froyd C.A., Gill J.A., Gillson L., Johnson E.A., Jones V.J., Juggins S, Macias-Fauria M., Mills K., Morris J.L., Nogués-Bravo D., Punyasena S.W., Roland T.P., Tanentzap A.J., Willis K.J., Aberhan M., van Asperen E.N., Austin W.E.N., Battarbee R.W., Bhagwat S., Belanger C.L., Bennett K.D., Birks H.H., Bronk Ramsey C., Brooks S.J., de Bruyn M., Butler P.G., Chambers F.M., Clarke S.J., Davies A.L., Dearing J.A., Ezard T.H.G., Feurdean A., Flower R.J., Gell P., Hausmann S., Hogan E.J., Hopkins M.J., Jeffers E.S., Korhola A.A., Marchant R., Kiefer T., Lamentowicz M., Larocque-Tobler I., López-Merino L., Hsiang Liow L., McGowan S., Miller J.H., Montoya E., Morton O., Nogué S., Onoufriou C., Park Boush L., Rodriguez-Sanchez F., Rose N.L., Sayer C.D., Shaw H.E., Payne R., Simpson G., Sohar K., Whitehouse N.J., Williams J.W. & Witkowski A. (2014) Looking forward through the past: Identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology. Journal of Ecology (in press).
  • Mackay, A.W, Seddon, A.W.R., Baker, A.G. (2013) Palaeo50: The Priority Research Questions in Palaeoecology. PAGES News 21(2):89
  • Seddon, A.W.R (2012) CDF Checklist of Galapagos Diatoms – FCD Lista de especies de Diatomeas de Galápagos. In: Bungartz, F., Herrera, H., Jaramillo, P., Tirado, N., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Ruiz, D., Guézou, A. & Ziemmeck, F. (eds.). Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist – Lista de Especies de Galápagos de la Fundación Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin Foundation / Fundación Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos:http://checklists.datazone.darwinfoundation.org/algae/bacillariophyta/
  • Seddon, A.W.R. (2012) “Paleoecology.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Ecology. Ed. David Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • Seddon, A.W.R, Froyd C.A., Leng M.J., Milne G.A., Willis K.J. (2011) Ecosystem Resilience and Threshold Response in the Galápagos Coastal Zone. PLoS One 6(7): e22376. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022376
  • Seddon, A.W.R., Froyd, C.A. and Witkowski, A. (2011) Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) of isolated islands: New taxa in the genus Navicula sensu stricto from the Galápagos IslandsJournal of Phycology 47: 861–879. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2011.01026.x