Live Grid Data

Latest data from the National Grid.

Principles of fair assessment guidance for academic staff

Addressing student workload inconsistencies: design and implementation of a principles of fair assessment guide for academic staff

Let’s talk guitars with Don McLean

An exhaustive interview from 2003 with Don McLean about all things guitars. Conducted by me and Ron Buck.

Interview for “Classic Albums”

I was interviewed by award-winning director George Scott for the BBC 2 Classic Albums episode about Don McLean’s “American Pie” album. The interview took place at the Sleeper…

The Rise and Fall of British Coal

Coal mining has been one of the most important industries of industrial Britain, peaking in 1913 with production of 280 million tonnes from an industry employing over 1 million workers at a time when coal provided nearly 100% of primary energy consumption.

Hyde Park 1975

McLean returned to London to perform a free concert in Hyde Park on May 31st 1975. Before the concert, British actress Vanessa Redgrave insisted on meeting him at his hotel….

China field class 2019

I was pleased to participate on the first University of Reading Environmental Science undergraduate field class to Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), organised by my…

Essay on American Pie added to Library of Congress

In 2018, the Library of Congress National Preservation Board invited me to contribute an essay on “American Pie” as part of their recognition of the importance of this…

Crete field class 2016

Based in Chora Sfakion on the SW coast of Crete the field trip provides a valuable learning experience for second year Human and Physical Geography students. “Observation and…

Energy subsidies – fossil fuels versus renewables

The costs and benefits of different energy sources for electricity generation is a popular choice for student projects but specific data can be difficult to come by. Following…


A random collection of posts reflecting my life as a geographer, biographer and UK higher education academic.

New Paper

2019 Zhou L, Xu D, Li Y, Pan Q, Wang J, Xue L, Howard A. Phosphorus and Nitrogen Adsorption Capacities of Biochars Derived from Feedstocks at Different Pyrolysis Temperatures. Water. 2019; 11(8):1559.