Prof Helen Roberts

PhD (University of Liverpool)

Prof Helen Roberts


Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Director of Research Excellence & Impact

Vice-Chancellor's Office

Contact Details


Helen Roberts joined the Department in 1998 as a post-doctoral research associate in the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory (ALRL), and was appointed to a lectureship in Physical Geography in 2005. Prior to coming to Aberystwyth, Helen worked in the Luminescence Laboratory at the University of Durham, and also taught in the Department of Geography at the University of Exeter.

2015 - present            Professor: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University.

2013 - 2015                Reader: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University.

2009 - 2013                Senior Lecturer: Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University.

2005 - 2009                Lecturer: Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

1998 – 2004               Post-doctoral research associate: Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

1997 - 1998                Tutor in Geography: Department of Geography, University of Exeter.

1996 - 1997                NERC-funded Research Technician: Luminescence Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham.


Professor Helen M. Roberts is Co-Director of the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory (ALRL), where she has been based for over 20 years. During this time she has helped to develop the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory’s international reputation for excellence in luminescence research through the development of both pure and applied research strands. Her research focuses on the development and application of luminescence methods for dating Quaternary sediments, with particular interest in rates of geomorphic change, coastal change, and long terrestrial records of climatic and environmental change. Helen’s current research includes deciphering the record of past environmental change preserved in lake sediments in Africa, and the links to human evolution, innovation, and dispersal of our human ancestors. She is also interested in the wind-blown dust deposits known as ‘loess’; these deposits contain important information about past levels of dust in the atmosphere, which can be used in climate models to study the impact of dust on the climate system, and to improve our understanding of the role of dust in past and future climate change.

She is Vice President of the Stratigraphy and Geochronology Commission (SACCOM) of INQUA, the International Union for Quaternary Research (2019 – present).


Duller, GAT, Roberts, HM & Chapot, MS 2023, 'Characterising and correcting for a previously unconsidered source of scatter in measurements of equivalent dose', Radiation Measurements, vol. 167, 106985. 10.1016/j.radmeas.2023.106985
Kreutzer, S, Grehl, S, Höhne, M, Simmank, O, Dornich, K, Adamiec, G, Burow, C, Roberts, HM & Duller, GAT 2023, 'XLUM: An open data format for exchange and long-term preservation of luminescence data', Geochronology, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 271-284. 10.5194/gchron-5-271-2023
Penkman, KEH, Duller, GAT, Roberts, HM, Colarossi, D, Dickinson, MR & White, D 2022, 'Dating the Paleolithic: Trapped charge methods and amino acid geochronology', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 119, no. 43, e2109324119. 10.1073/pnas.2109324119
Ataee, N, Roberts, HM & Duller, GAT 2022, 'Isolating a violet stimulated luminescence (VSL) signal in quartz suitable for dating: Investigating different thermal treatments and signal integration limits', Radiation Measurements, vol. 156, 106810. 10.1016/j.radmeas.2022.106810
Lupien, RL, Russell, JM, Pearson, EJ, Castañeda, IS, Asrat, A, Foerster, V, Lamb, HF, Roberts, HM, Schäbitz, F, Trauth, MH, Beck, CC, Feibel, CS & Cohen, AS 2022, 'Orbital controls on eastern African hydroclimate in the Pleistocene', Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, 3170. 10.1038/s41598-022-06826-z
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