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Harriet Allen

Harriet Allen Ph.D.

Department of Geography,
Downing Place,
England, UK

Phone +44 1223 766576
Fax +44 1223 333392


Research Interests

1) Environmental change in the Mediterranean region: sources of evidence.

2) Understanding contemporary vegetation communities in the light of environmental changes resulting from climatic and anthropogenic impacts and the variety of physical landscapes.

3) Biogeography of Mediterranean ecosystems.

Current Projects

Changing ecological status of wetlands in the Algarve, southern Portugal through the Holocene. This focuses on the record of changing local pollen zones and analysis of the sediments and of catchment sites.

Recent Publications

Mediterranean Ecogeography

Biological diversity in the Mediterranean region is amongst the highest of any region on earth, both in terms of total species numbers and endemism. The high levels of diversity contribute to, and are a reflection of, the considerable variability of the landscape. This results from a combination of factors including geological and tectonic history, relief and physiography, climate, geomorphological processes, hydrology, soils, the incidence of fires and impact of human activities. The landscapes of the Mediterranean are thus varied and fragmented: a mosaic of ecosystems and communities.

Mediterranean Ecogeography examines and explains this heterogeneity. Analysing the factors which account for the present distribution of plants and animals and the functioning of ecosystems within the region can help in the understanding of the relationship between people and ecosystem processes. A key to the conservation of different Mediterranean ecosystems is the wise use of resources, both physical and biological. In the last twenty years there has been a growing interest in the understanding and functioning of mediterranean-type ecosystems and this volume draws upon the results of many international projects to present a comprehensive text on the ecogeography of the Mediterranean region, including the problems and prospects of its environmental exploitation. The chapter titles are: The Mediterranean ? an introduction; Climate; Topography and drainage; Soils; Plants and animals; Communities; Ecosystems; Land use; Environmental issues and conservation.