Skip to main content Skip to footer

Kevin Edwards

College positions:
Colloquium Convenor, Fellow Commoner
Archaeology, Geography, History of Science
Departments of Geography and Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Scott Polar Research Institute

Professor Kevin J Edwards

Kevin Edwards holds degrees from the Universities of St Andrews (MA, DSc) and Aberdeen (PhD). He is Emeritus Professor in Physical Geography and Adjunct Chair in Archaeology in the University of Aberdeen, and Adjunct Professor in Anthropology in the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

At the University of Cambridge he is Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Emeritus Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute. He has held additional academic and visiting research positions at a number of universities, including Queen’s Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield, Minnesota, Copenhagen and Oxford.

A palynologist with a strong involvement in multidisciplinary Quaternary science, his interests include human-environment interactions during Late- and Post- glacial times in Britain and Ireland, Norse impacts upon the landscapes of the North Atlantic region, and the history of science. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. Recent publications include a (very small) book on the Vikings and papers on the palaeoecology of Scotland, Greenland and Sweden. He is currently conducting archive-based research into the history of pollen analysis in Britain and Scandinavia, and the life of the Victorian climate change pioneer and autodidact, James Croll. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of the Academia Europaea.

Select publications

  • How palynology could have been paepalology: the naming of a discipline, K.J. Edwards and H.S. Pardoe, Palynology 42, 4-19 (2018).
  • Pollen, women, war and other things: reflections on the history of palynology, K.J. Edwards, Veg. Hist. Archaeobot. 27, 319-335 (2018).
  • The Vikings, S.W. Nordeide and K.J. Edwards, Leeds: Arc Humanities Press; Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (2019).
  • William Su Ting–China’s forgotten palynologist, K.J. Edwards and L. Mao, Palynology 45, 391-419 (2021).
  • Landnám and the North Atlantic flora, K.J. Edwards, E. Erlendsson, E. and J.E. Schofield in E. Panagiotakopulu and J.P. Sadler (eds), Biogeography in the Sub-Arctic: the past and future of North Atlantic Biota. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 187-214 (2021).
  • Marginalia in the ‘bible’ of pollen analysis: Gunnar Erdtman and the annotations of a displeased ‘evangelist’, K.J. Edwards, Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 295, (2021)
  • James Croll – from janitor to genius, K.J. Edwards (ed.), Earth Environm. Trans. R. Soc. Edinb. 112, 159-328 (2021).
  • ‘The most remarkable man’: James Croll, Quaternary scientist, K.J. Edwards, J. Quat. Sci. 37, 400-419 (2022).

Select awards

  • 133rd Rhind Lecturer, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2012 (‘On the windy edge of nothing: Vikings in the North Atlantic world – ecological and social journeys’)
  • Coppock Research Medal and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 2018
  • Honorary Life Member, Quaternary Research Association, 2022

Further links