Matthew Robert Bennett

Professor of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Bournemouth University

Matthew’s passion for geography comes from a childhood spent in Snowdonia and he has worked widely throughout the world on a range of projects. In the 1990s he worked on a range of glacial/Quaternary projects in the Arctic, as well as throughout the UK, funded by NERC and the Royal Society of London. He published widely on aspects of glaciology, sedimentology and geomorphology. During this time he also wrote several leading textbooks. In 2002 he joined Bournemouth University and Matthew started to work in Mexico on problems in Quaternary stratigraphy, environmental archaeology and volcanic hazards. His work has featured in a range of TV and radio broadcasts and he is known in particular for his work on the Perfect Sandcastle. During this time Matthew also ran a successful environmental consultancy firm at Bournemouth University. He was Dean of Applied Sciences 2007 to 2010. In 2007 he joined the Koobi Fora Field School and his work on the Ileret footprints was published in Science in 2009. Since then, and working extensively throughout Africa with support from NERC, Matthew has published widely on ancient footprints. In 2010 Matthew became Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation at Bournemouth a post he held until 2014. In 2014 he wrote a research textbook on the study of human footprints. In 2015 he co-launched a research institute at Bournemouth University (Institute for Landscape Studies and Human Evolution) and is currently writing a textbook on human evolution for Springer. Matthew’s current research involves ecological modelling of hominin evolution using a range of landscape and agent based models. In 2015 Matthew was awarded an Innovation Grant by NERC to translate his footprint research in to a practical tool for use by forensic scientist. This project was supported by the UK Home Office and National Crime Agency and led to the launch of DigTrace (www.digtrace.co.uk) in 2016.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Environmental and Geographical Sciences , Bournemouth University