UCL Department of Geography


Viv Jones and Neil Rose give farewell Battarbee Lecture

15 June 2023

The retiring professors used this year's talk to present some of their career highlights.

The audience at the Battarbee Lecture 2023, featuring Emeritus Professors Viv Jones and Neil Rose

The Battarbee Lecture Series, which began in 2012, is an annual opportunity to celebrate the Department's contributions to the field of physical geography. This year, the lecture took on special significance as it marked the departures of two members of UCL's Geography community, Professors Viv Jones and Neil Rose, who have dedicated their careers to advancing the field.

The joint lecture, delivered by the pair, offered a reflective overview of their careers and highlighted their groundbreaking work on environmental change. Viv's research has focused on the Holocene climate, particularly in the higher latitudes, and her expertise in diatoms. Neil has devoted his efforts to studying metals in the environment and has been instrumental in managing UCL's short-lived radio-isotope facility. More recently, he has played a pivotal role in defining the concept of the Anthropocene.

The lecture drew a significant audience of over 100 past and present members of the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC), as well as other UCL geographers, friends, and family. The attendees listened to Viv and Neil as they shared their insights and experiences, offering a unique glimpse into their groundbreaking research.

The Battarbee Lecture Series continues to serve as a platform for honouring prominent figures in physical geography and highlighting their outstanding contributions to the field. It showcases the calibre of research conducted within the Department and reinforces our reputation as a hub of excellence in environmental studies.

As the academic community bids farewell to Viv Jones and anticipates Neil Rose's impending departure in July, the lecture was an opportunity to reflect on their groundbreaking research and unwavering commitment to advancing the understanding of environmental change. They have both left an indelible mark on the field of physical geography and will continue to inspire future generations of geographers at UCL and beyond.