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).

Research Groups


Riedesel, S, Bell, AMT, Duller, GAT, Finch, AA, Jain, M, King, GE, Pearce, NJ & Roberts, HM 2021, 'Exploring sources of variation in thermoluminescence emissions and anomalous fading in alkali feldspars', Radiation Measurements, vol. 141, 106541.
Schaebitz, F, Asrat, A, Lamb, HF, Cohen, AS, Foerster, V, Duesing, W, Kaboth-Bahr, S, Opitz, S, Viehberg, FA, Vogelsang, R, Dean, J, Leng, MJ, Junginger, A, Ramsey, CB, Chapot, MS, Deino, A, Lane, CS, Roberts, HM, Vidal, C, Tiedemann, R & Trauth, MH 2021, 'Hydroclimate changes in eastern Africa over the past 200,000 years may have influenced early human dispersal', Communications Earth & Environment, vol. 2, no. 1, 123.
Scourse, JD, Chiverrell, RC, Smedley, RK, Small, D, Burke, MJ, Saher, M, Van Landeghem, KJJ, Duller, GAT, Cofaigh, C, Bateman, MD, Benetti, S, Bradley, S, Callard, L, Evans, DJA, Fabel, D, Jenkins, GTH, McCarron, S, Medialdea, A, Moreton, S, Ou, X, Praeg, D, Roberts, DH, Roberts, HM & Clark, CD 2021, 'Maximum extent and readvance dynamics of the Irish Sea Ice Stream and Irish Sea Glacier since the Last Glacial Maximum', Journal of Quaternary Science.
Kaboth-Bahr, S, Gosling, WD, Vogelsang, R, Bahr, A, Scerri, EML, Asrat, A, Cohen, AS, Düsing, W, Foerster, V, Lamb, HF, Maslin, MA, Roberts, HM, Schäbitz, F & Trauth, MH 2021, 'Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 118, no. 23, e2018277118.
Riedesel, S, Kumar, R, Duller, GAT, Roberts, HM, Bell, AMT & Jain, M 2021, 'Site-selective characterisation of electron trapping centres in relation to chemistry, structural state and mineral phases present in single crystal alkali feldspars', Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 54, no. 38, 385107.
More publications on the Research Portal