Dr Stephen Kershaw

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geosciences

Room: Halsbury Building 135
Brunel University
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266094
Fax: +44 (0)1895 269761
Email: stephen.kershaw@brunel.ac.uk
Web: Personal Website

About Stephen

My research is a diverse range of studies that encompass shallow marine, coastal and terrestrial environments in both geologically recent and older settings. The work aims to: a) interpret environmental change in Earth surface environments in areas associated with active change in the Earth’s crust; and b) assess modern geohazards in those areas.

You can read more about my research on my personal website - earthsurfaceprocesses.com.


  • 1975: BSc in Geology and Zoology
  • 1979: PhD in palaeontology


  • 1980-1995: Lecturer at West London Institute, Isleworth, Middlesex
  • 1995-2003: Lecturer at Brunel University
  • 2003-present: Senior Lecturer at Brunel University


Research Interests

Research Activity

Research Projects

My research began in the 1970s in palaeontology and diversified into sedimentology and environmental geosciences, with a wide base of subdisciplines.
Current research focus is on:

  1. Processes and environmental change in areas of geologically recent (Quaternary Period) evidence in the eastern Mediterranean area (Greece) and in southern China. I supervise research students working in this field in Greece and Mexico.
  2. Palaeoenvironment reconstruction of organic reef deposits in Quaternary of the Mediterranean, and older ages (Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian) in UK, parts of Europe, China and Sweden;
  3. Sedimentology and palaeobiology of the largest mass extinction event in Earth history (Permian-Triassic boundary, in parts of Asia and Europe).
  4. Geohazard research associated with climate change, in Greece and Mexico, including changes in aquifers, flood risk and landslides.

Grants Awarded

Research funding support for field and university visits in recent years from: Chinese Academy of Sciences, CNRS France


1992: Chartered Geologist of the Geological Society of London

Research Supervision

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Yue Li (Nanjing Institute of Palaeontology, China), visited Brunel Aug 2000 - Aug 2001. Funded by Chinese Academy of Sciences. (5 international English papers, 2 Chinese papers).

Dr Xiaoping Yang (Beijing Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development), visited Brunel May-Oct 2002, funded by her Institute.

Dr Anne-Christine Da Silva (University of Liége, Belgium, June 2008 and February – October 2009), funded by Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium.

Postgraduate Researchers

Past students

Dewez, Thomas; Thesis title: Geomorphic markers and elevation models as tools for tectonic geomorphology in central Greece - PhD awarded 2003. Joint first supervisor. Funded by Brunel University.

Teasdale, Phillip: Thesis title: Holocene salt marsh accretion and relative sea-level change in western Scotland. Status: PhD awarded 2005. Second supervisor

Costa, Pedro: Thesis title: Sedimentary signatures of abrupt marine invasions and sudden environmental changes. Status: Mphil awarded October 2006. Second supervisor. Self-funded

Current students

Kalisperi, Despina: Thesis working title: Investigation of uplift patterns, western Crete. Started 2005. First supervisor. Funded by Greek State Scholarship Foundation.

Moisidi, Margarita: Thesis working title: Geophysical signatures of active structural domains in southern Crete. Started 2005. First supervisor. Funded by Greek State Scholarship Foundation.

Al-Maslamani, Mohammed: Thesis title: Assessment of atmospheric emissions due to anthropogenic activities In The State Of Qatar. PhD accepted, to be awarded 2009. First supervisor. Funded by Qatar State funding.

Zuniga De Leon, David: Thesis title: Flood dynamics, hazards and risks in an active alluvial fan system, threatening Ciudad Juárez Chihuahua, México. Started Feb 2008. First supervisor. Funded by PROMEP Mexican government research programme.


My teaching duties include taught courses at undergraduate and MSc level, and research degree supervision of MPhil and PhD projects. In the Institute for the Environment, I coordinate and teach most of the Environmental Management module and teach geosciences in other modules; I also teach geosciences to engineering students in the School of Engineering and Design. My teaching involves a diversity of lectures, practical classes, seminars and field classes.

External Duties

Editorial work

  • 2003 – present: Editorial board member of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology;
  • 2003 – present: Editorial board member of Facies;
  • 2005 - present: Editorial board of the Journal Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai, Seria Geologia, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Reviewing work

  • 1980 – present: peer-review of papers for following journals: Nature, Geology; Quaternary Science Reviews; SEPM; Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology; Marine Geology; Palaios; Sedimentary Geology; Palaeontology; Facies; Journal of the Geological Society of London; Geological Society of London Special Publication; Quaternaria (Italian); Various conference volumes of the International Association of Fossil Cnidaria and Porifera.
  • 1980 - present: Occasional grant reviews for Leverhulme Trust, NERC (UK), NSERC (Canada) and NSF (USA);



Journal Papers

(2011) Kershaw, S., Crasquin, S., Forel, M-B., Randon, C., Collin, P-Y., Kosun, E., Richoz, S. and Baud, A., Earliest Triassic microbialites in Çürük Dag, southern Turkey: Composition, sequences and controls on formation, Sedimentology 58 (3) : 739- 755

(2009) Wignall, PB., Kershaw, S., Collin, P-Y. and Crasquin-Soleau, S., Erosional truncation of uppermost Permian shallow-marine carbonates and implications for Permian-Triassic boundary events: Comment, Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 121 (5-6) : 954- 956

(2009) Collin, P-Y., Kershaw, S., Crasquin-Soleau, S. and Feng, Q., Facies changes and diagenetic processes across the Permian-Triassic boundary event horizon, Great Bank of Guizhou, South China: a controversy of erosion and dissolution, Sedimentology 56 (3) : 677- 693

(2009) Mu, X., Kershaw, S., Li, Y., Guo, L., Qi, Y. and Reynolds, A., High-resolution carbon isotope changes in the Permian–Triassic boundary interval, Chongqing, South China; implications for control and growth of earliest Triassic microbialites, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 36 (6) : 434- 441 Download publication

(2008) Pedoja, K., Shen, J-W., Kershaw, S. and Tang, C., Coastal quarternary morphologies on the northern coast of the South China Sea, China, and their implications for current tectonic models: a review and preliminary study, Marine Geology 255 (3-4) : 103- 117

(2008) Wignall, P., Kershaw, S., Collin, P-Y. and Crasquin, S., Comment on: Payne, J.L., Lehrmann, D.J., Follet, D., Seibel, M., Kump, L.R., Riccardi, A., Altiner, D., Sano, H., and Wei, J-Y. 2007. Erosional truncation of uppermost Permian shallow-marine carbonates and implications for Permian-Triassic boundary events, Geological Society of America Bulletin 119 771- 784

(2007) Andrews, JE., Leeder, MR., Portman, C., Rowe, PJ., Smith, J., Kershaw, S. and Guo, L., Discussion on Pleistocene calcified cyanobacterial mounds, Perachora peninsula, Central Greece: A controversy of growth and history, Journal of the Geological Society 164 (5) : 1065- 1072

(2007) Kershaw, S., Li, Y., Crasquin-Soleau, S., Feng, Q., Mu, X., Collin, P-V., Reynolds, A. and Guo, L., Earliest Triassic microbialites in the South China block and other areas: Controls on their growth and distribution, Facies: international journal of paleontology, sedimentology and geology 53 (3) : 409- 425

(2006) Antonioli, F., Ferranti, L. and Kershaw, S., A glacial isostatic adjustment origin for double MIS 5.5 and Holocene marine notches in the coastline of Italy, Quaternary International 145-146 19- 29

(2006) Antonioli, F., Kershaw, S., Renda, P. and Rust, D., Elevation of the last interglacial highstand in Sicily(Italy): A benchmark of coastal tectonics, Quaternary International 145-146 3- 18

(2006) Königshof, P. and Kershaw, S., Growth forms and palaeoenvironmental interpretation of stromatoporoids in a Middle Devonian reef, southern Morocco (west Sahara), Facies 52 (2) : 299- 306 Download publication

(2005) Kershaw, S., Braga, JC. and Guo, L., A Holocene coral-algal reef at Mavra Litharia, Gulf of Corinth, Greece: Structure, history and applications in relative sea-level change, Marine Geology 215 (3-4) : 171- 192

(2005) Young, GA. and Kershaw, S., Classification and controls of internal banding in palaeozoic stromatoporoids and colonial corals, Palaeontology 48 (3) : 623- 651

(2004) Kershaw, S., Comment-earliest Triassic microbialite micro- to megastructures in the Huaying area of Sichuan province, South China: Implications for the nature of oceanic conditions after the end-Permian extinction (Ezaki et al., 2003), Palaios 19 (4) : 414- 416

(2004) Li, Y., Kershaw, S. and Xu, C., Control of carbonate sedimentation and reef growth in Llandovery sequences on the Northwestern margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China, Gondwana Research 7 (4) : 937- 949

(2003) Antonioli, F., Kershaw, S., Rust, D. and Verrubbi, V., Holocene sea-level change in Sicily and its implications for tectonic models: New data from the Taormina area, northeast Sicily, Marine Geology 196 (1-2) : 53- 71

(2002) Kershaw, S., Guo, L., Swift, A. and Fan, J., Microbialites in the Permian-Triassic boundary interval in central China: Structure, age and distribution, Facies 47 (1) : 83- 89 Download publication

(2002) Li, Y., Kershaw, S. and Chen, X., Biotic structure and morphology of patch reefs from South China (Ningquang Formation, Telychian, Llandovery, Siluarin), FACIES 46 133- 148 Download publication

(2002) Kershaw, S. and Guo, L., Erratum: Marine notches in coastal cliffs: Indicators of relative sea-level change, Perachora Peninsula, central Greece (Marine Geology (2001) 179 (213-228) pii: S0025322701002183), Marine Geology 185 (3-4) : 471- 471

(2000) Zhang, T., Kershaw, S., Wan, Y. and Lan, G., Geochemical and facies evidence for palaeoenvironmental change during the Late Ordovician Hirnantian glaciation in South Sichuan Province, China, Global and Planetary Change 24 (2) : 133- 152

(1999) Kershaw, S., Zhang, T. and Lan, G., A ?microbialite carbonate crust at the Permian-triassic boundary in South China, and its palaeoenvironmental significance, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 146 (1-4) : 1- 18

(1997) Stewart, IS., Cundy, A., Kershaw, S. and Firth, C., Holocene coastal uplift in the Taormina area, northeastern Sicily: Implications for the southern prolongation of the Calabrian seismogenic belt, Journal of Geodynamics 24 (1-4) : 37- 50

(1996) Firth, C., Stewart, I., Mcguire, WJ., Kershaw, S. and Vita-Finzi, C., Coastal elevation changes in eastern Sicily: Implications for volcano instability at Mount Etna, Geological Society, London, Special Publications 110 (1) : 153- 167

Conference Papers

(2009) Kalisperi, D., Soupios, P., Kouli, M., Barsukov, P., Kershaw, S., Collins, P. and Vallainatos, F., Coastal aquifer assessment using geophysical methods (TEM, VES), case study: Northern Crete, Greece, WSEAS Conferences

Page last updated: Friday 29 August 2014