Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab

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

Current Research

William’s research is primarily focused upon the collection, use, and application of proxy datasets (pollen, diatoms, charcoal, dung-fungal spores) to reconstruct environmental variables relating to ecology, forestry, biodiversity, climate, and archaeology across Mesoamerica. William’s research also covers the development and application of systematic evidence evaluation techniques for environmental science and archaeology.


Academic Profile

William is an associate researcher of the Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab., University of Oxford. He obtained his first degree (BSc) in Physical Geography (1st Class Hons) from Aberystwyth University, University of Wales, his second degree (MSc) in Quaternary Science from Royal Holloway, University of London, and his third degree (DPhil) in Zoology from the University of Oxford.

William is also a research associate at (i) the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford; and, (ii) Oxford Brookes University. He has lectured at both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University on techniques in environmental sampling, palaeoecological techniques (palynology, diatoms, macroscopic/microscopic charcoal, Sporormiella), animal dissections (mammals, birds, and fish), multivariant statistical methods (e.g. Principal Component Analysis, Canonical Correspondence Analysis, etc.), and systematic evidence evaluation techniques. He has supervised both undergraduate dissertations and DPhil projects at the University of Oxford from the departments of Zoology and Archeology.


William successfully defended his D.Phil. thesis in 2019:


Selected Publications

  • Harvey, W.J., Petrokofsky, G., Stansell, N., Nogué, S., Petrokofsky, L. and Willis, K.J., 2021. Forests, Water, and Land Use Change across the Central American Isthmus: Mapping the Evidence Base for Terrestrial Holocene Palaeoenvironmental Proxies. Forests12(8), p.1057. doi.org/10.3390/f12081057
  • Petrokofsky, G., Harvey, W.J., Petrokofsky, L. and Ochieng, C.A., 2021. The Importance of Time-Saving as a Factor in Transitioning from Woodfuel to Modern Cooking Energy Services: A Systematic Map. Forests12(9), p.1149. doi.org/10.3390/f12091149 
  • Harvey, W.J., Nogué, S., Stansell, N., Adolf, C., Long, P.R., and Willis, K.J., 2021. A Palynological Perspective on the Impacts of European Contact: Historic Deforestation, Ranching and Agriculture Surrounding the Cuchumatanes Highlands, Guatemala. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 30, p.395–408. doi: 10.1007/s00334-020-00790-2
  • Petrokofsky, G., Hooper, O., Petrokofsky, L., Gant, A.E., Harvey, W.J. and Willis, K.J., 2020. What are the impacts of the wood pellet industry on biodiversity in Southeastern USA? A systematic evidence synthesis. Forest Ecology and Management, p.118773. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118773
  • Jordon, M.W., Willis, K.J., Harvey, W.J., Petrokofsky, L. and Petrokofsky, G., 2020. Implications of Temperate Agroforestry on Sheep and Cattle Productivity, Environmental Impacts and Enterprise Economics. A Systematic Evidence Map. Forests, 11(12), p.1321. doi: 10.3390/f11121321
  • Stansell, N., Steinman, B.A., Lachniet, M.S., Harvey, W.J., Feller, J.R., Fernandez, A., Price, B., Boes, M., Willis, K.J. and Bosch, S.N., 2020. Stable Isotope, Pollen and Charcoal Records of Middle-to-Late Holocene Hydroclimate Variability from Lake Kail in the Western Guatemala Highlands. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 542, p.116327. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116327
  • Harvey W.J., Stansell N, Nogué S, and Willis KJ (2019) The Apparent Resilience of the Dry Tropical Forests of the Nicaraguan Region of the Central American Dry Corridor to Variations in Climate Over the Last C. 1200 Years. Quaternary. 2(3), 25. doi: 10.3390/quat2030025
  • Harvey W.J., Nogué S, Stansell N, Petrokofsky G, Steinman B and Willis KJ (2019) The Legacy of Pre–columbian Fire on the Pine–Oak Forests of Upland Guatemala. Front. For. Glob. Change 2:34. doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2019.00034
  • Martin, A. C. and Harvey, W. J. (2017), The Global Pollen Project: A New Tool for Pollen Identification and the Dissemination of Physical Reference Collections. Methods Ecol Evol. 8(7), pp.892-897. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12752