Find out more about who we all are, what our areas of expertise are and where you’ll meet us.
Dr Jon Caplin
Hi, I’m Jon Caplin, course leader and principal lecturer for Geography BSc(Hons). I’ll be teaching you on a number of modules, including environmental hazards, water in the environment, environmental microbiology, evolution and fossil record, water and health. I’ll also take you on the first year field trip to Greece. As course leader I provide support for student issues and concerns, and represent the course and students at exam boards and university committees.
One of the innovative ways we teach at Brighton is by integrating a lot of the modules in your first year. This means you can explore lots of options before specialising further into your degree. We aim to help you develop confidence as independent researchers and professionals, capable of succeeding in your chosen vocations.
My background is in clinical and public health microbiology and I now specialise in environmental issues. I’m also very interested in collecting fossils and minerals.
Dr Rebecca Elmhirst
I’m Becky Elmhirst, and I’m principal lecturer in Human Geography and course leader for Geography BA(Hons). As course leader I’m responsible for managing your progress on the course, and for helping you to devise a programme of study that suits your interests and aspirations.
I’m trained as a Human Geographer and have a PhD in the subfield of environment and development studies. My expertise lies in understanding and addressing the impacts of development and environmental degradation on marginalised people in developing countries, particularly in South East Asia. I teach modules on a range of courses around development geography and political ecology, and will guide you in the exploration of key critical issues.
Being an undergraduate on our courses means you learn to navigate competing arguments – ‘facts’ are never straightforward. You will gain skills that you need not only in your future career but in life generally.
When I’m not teaching at Brighton I can often be found in remote corners of Indonesia which has become like a second home to me. This year I organised a conference on Southeast Asian Studies at Brighton involving more than 100 researchers from all over the world.
You’ll meet me on modules including ‘geographies of everyday life’, ‘geographies of disabilities and impairment’ and ‘critical contemporary geography’. I’m also a personal tutor so I’ll be first port of call for some of you if you have any questions about the course.
As a geography student at Brighton you have lots of opportunities to explore different aspects of the discipline and pursue the subject areas you’re really enthusiastic about. What makes studying and working in geography so amazing is the way we approach things from so many different ways, from scientific thinking to creative arts.
I’m also a certified herpetologist and used to catch lizards for a living. Which is a job you can only do on a sunny day!
This course gives students a wide choice of modules across the geography and environment subject areas to choose from. Depending on which you choose to specialise in, you’ll see more of me in your final year as much of my teaching is on third year modules.
My approach to teaching is to look at it like being in an environmental consultancy, involving students in cutting-edge research and real projects where I can.
This is one of the things that makes studying geography at Brighton such an exciting environment. Our staff are involved in lots of research and we are the people doing the teaching and getting students involved.
I love teaching and working in my subject area, but I also love white water kayaking and kite surfing, which is fun when it’s stormy!
I’m responsible for managing the course programme. The course spans a diverse range of disciplines from geography and geology to ecology and chemistry so we’ll talk about your module options and I can help to guide and support you in your choices.
My principal area of expertise is remote sensing, which is new to a lot of our students. My aim is to make it accessible and I teach it from an environmental perspective, looking at what you can understand about the Earth using satellite images taken from space. This is incredibly versatile and has even been used to help identify where and when Ebola outbreaks are likely to occur!
We’ll also meet on the Sicily fieldtrip in the second year as I’m Module Leader. It’s a great opportunity to apply your skills in a new environment. One year we witnessed an eruption of Mount Etna and as we listened to our expert volcanologist guide we had fine particles of the newest rock on earth falling on our skin – it was an incredible feeling!
You’ll meet me right at the start in Welcome Week when I give an overview of the course and we can talk about your module choices. I’m also first port of call if you’re interested in applying to the course. If you aren’t able to make one of our open days I’m happy to talk to you about it.
This is a very applied course, as an undergraduate you’ll learn practical skills from the start. All first years go on a field trip to Pembrokeshire in the first semester. You’ll learn a range of field skills and examine and observe evidence – it’s a bit like a geological version of CSI.
In the second and final year there is lots of choice, including cross- overs with environmental and biological sciences, as well as geography, geology and oceanography. I will see many of you in the first year as you learn your core earth science skills.
I may have first met you when you visited on an Open Day. Otherwise we first meet in Welcome Week when I give you an overview of our courses and facilities. My main contact with new students is in late October during the geology field course in Pembrokeshire. I teach a number of modules across all years including modules aimed at preparing students for employment, such as research and career skills and environmental geology / professional practice. I also lead the final year field course in Cyprus.
My academic background is in mineralogy. After gaining my PhD I worked in the mineral industry prospecting for gold.
I’m passionate about my work. Students have the opportunity to join me on research trips and train in techniques they can use in their final year projects. On Mantell Society trips I take students to Ashdown Forest to gain skills in panning for gold.
My personal research areas vary spatially and temporally, including Archaeometallurgy, utilising geochemical, isotopic and geophysical approaches to understand past metalworking. Brighton has an almost unique position for this work, as we have a school incorporating the three disciplines of Geography, Geology and Archaeology.
I am currently engaged with work in partnership with UCL Doha, investigating aspects of iron-production at the Royal City of Meroe. Recent ongoing collaborative projects include the Trent palaeochannel projects, Early Holocene landscapes of Exmoor, investigations at the Hill of Ward, Ireland (Tlachtga), geoarchaeology in the Vale of Melksham and the Damerham Archaeology Project. Through these projects come access to significant opportunities for students to participate.
Dr James Cole
Hi, my name is James Cole and I’m a lecturer on the Geography with Archaeology BSc(Hons) course at Brighton. I’m part of a core team dedicated to establishing Archaeology as a discipline here at Brighton.
As a Geography with Archaeology student I’ll be teaching you xxxx. I’ve also taught a number of Human Origins and Evolution modules based at Southampton, Bournemouth, Reading, Royal Holloway and Oxford Universities.
My primary research interests concern hominin cognition, the development of language and the use of material culture within hominin social signalling during the Pleistocene. I’m engaged in fieldwork projects in Britain and East Africa where I am dating Acheulean sites and bringing a range of archaeological surveying techniques (topographic and geophysical) to contextualise and reconstruct hominin behaviour within palaeo-landscapes.
My role is to offer support, guidance, help and advice to students from any course within SET. Students can see myself or my colleague, Cyprian Njue, at any time for a private and confidential one to one chat. We can help with all manner of issues, ranging from personal problems and course concerns, to stress and anxiety, or problems with money or accommodation. We can support students on an on-going basis or just see them for a one off meeting.
Us SSGTs often put on events so that students can get advice and meet fellow students from similar groups or with shared issues (e.g., international or mature students). I often get involved with things such as ‘Employability November’ within the School and I have also put on group sessions at times on different themes – such as ‘What To Do After An Earth Science Degree’ or ‘Enterprise & Entrepreneurship’. I am a regular poster on our Social Media areas, and strive to put useful resources and interesting links on the S.E.T Facebook pages.
An interesting fact about myself ? My dad believes that our family are descendants of Anne Boleyn, as apparently that is the French version of Bullen!
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