Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab

Long-Term Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Technologies

Academic Profile

I gained a BA and a D.Phil from the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, where my research conducted in the Long-Term Ecology Laboratory focused on reconstructing the vegetation dynamics, landscape processes, palaeoclimate and fire history during the last glacial period for the Southern Beqaa Valley and Lebabnon Mountains, Lebanon from fossil pollen,sediment geochemistry, stable isotopes and charcoal.

Current Research

 My current research projects are as follows:

1) The Utility of Museum Specimens as Depositories of Behavioural Ecological Data

Over the last two hundred years natural history collections held by museums, universities and research institutions have grown in size and importance. The specimens they contain can provide valuable insights into the ecology of species that have gone extinct, are rare or geographically isolated and thus difficult to observe. This research is using pollen removed from specimens of bumblebee species that are extinct from the British Isles to reconstruct their foraging behaviour about which very little is known.

2) How will climate change affect British wildflowers?

This research aims to determine how British wildflowers will be affected by changes in temperatures, precipitation and carbon dioxide levels forecast for 2100 and how this will affect the relationship with and survival of their primary pollinator the bumblebee.


email: darren.jeffers@stcatz.ox.ac.uk

Selected Publications

 Jeffers, D., & Willis, K. J. (2014). Vegetation response to climate change during the Last Interglacial–Last Glacial transition in the southern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Palynology, 38(2), 195-206.

Jeffers, D and Willis, K.J. (in review). Landscape activity, karstic activity and the development of a wetland in the Southern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon during the last glacial period.

Jeffers, D (in review) The foraging behaviour of bombus pomorum that went extinct from the British Isles in the nineteenth century.

Selected Presentations

Jeffers D “Museum collections as valuable depositories of ecological data: The case of the foraging behaviour of two extinct species of British bumblebee Bombus pomorum and Bombus cullumanus”, Ecological Society of America centennial meeting, Baltimore, USA. (2015)

Invited talk-Palaeolithic and Quaternary Seminar Series. “Climate Change and the Forests of the Kings”, Archaeology Institute, University of Oxford. (2015)

“Reconstruction of tree growth & nitrogen dynamics in Wytham Wood” European Dendroecological Fieldweek, Oviedo, Spain. (2014)

Orbital forcing of fire activity during the last glacial period in Lebanon. Biotic responses to climate change in cold climates (BioCold) meeting. Tovertorp, Sweden. Jeffers, D. (2013)

Palaeoclimate and vegetation dynamics during the last interglacial of the southern Bekaa valley, Lebanon. Quaternary Research Association Annual Discussion Meeting. New Forest, England. (2012)

Glacial to interglacial palaeoclimate and vegetation dynamics of the southern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. International Union for Quaternary Research Meeting. Bern, Switzerland. (2011)