Dr Tom Hill

Tom Hill
  • Museum Scientist Micropalaeontology
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Economic and Environmental Earth Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

2011 - present:     Museum Scientist (Level 3), The Natural History Museum

2008 - 2011:         Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, Bath Spa University

2006 - 2008:         Research Fellow, Institute of Archaeology & Antiquity, 
                               University of Birmingham            


2011:    CPLHE Certificate in Professional Learning in Higher Education, Bath Spa University

2005:    PhD University of the West of England, Bristol

2001:    BSc University of Liverpool

Professional Roles

Museum Scientist at NHM

Based in Micropalaeontology, my role at NHM comprises a number of duties, which include the development and delivery of education and training, research, stakeholder engagement, advising on collections development and income-generation. With my colleague Stephen Stukins, we work with external stakeholders to explore potential ways in which the NHM micropalaeontology collections, and the expertise of NHM staff, can be of use to the wider micropalaeontological community in terms of research, education and commercial contexts. 


2008-2011 Senior Lecture in Physical Geography at Bath Spa University, Bath, covering Level 4, 5 and 6 undergraduate teaching. Specialist modules included L6 Quaternary Environments. L5 Coastal Systems and Management Issues, L5 Geographic Research Methods, L4 Introducing Physical Landscapes.


2011    Diatom analysis of ancient sediments from the coastline of Wadi Debayan, NE Qatar, to investigate proxy preservation and quantify sea-level change during the prehistoric period.

2006-2008 Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, working within Birmingham Archaeo-Environmental (Institute of Archaeology & Antiquity). Responsible for the planning, development and execution of geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations for a variety of clients, with specific focus on development/planning applications (to adhere to PPG16/PPS5 guidelines) 

Fellowships and Memberships

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Quaternary Research Association

The Micropalaeontological Society (Publicity Officer)

The Palaeontological Association

AASP - The Palynological Society

Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee



My main research interests lie in the reconstruction of Quaternary palaeoenvironments. I have specific expertise in late Quaternary climate change, with focus on the transition from the Devensian Late-glacial to the Holocene period. I have experience in the application of pollen, diatom and particle size analyses to palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.

I also have interests in contemporary and ancient coastal lowland systems and the use of microfossils, including diatoms and foraminifera preserved in coastal sedimentary archives as a quantitative tool for reconstructing sea-level change during the Holocene. My most recent work builds on a strong interest in geoarchaeology and the use of palynology and stratigraphy to study the impact of human activity on the landscape change during the prehistoric period.


  • Bridle, A, Hill, T.C.B., Spencer, C. and Woodland, W.W. ( 2013 ) Excursion 2: Pleistocene glaciation and Holocene sea-level rise, the Gordano Valley, In: Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of the Bristol District . Geologists' Association : London , 25-51 . Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of the Bristol District
  • Gearey B.R., Chapman, H, Howard, A., Krawiec, K, Bamforth, M, Fletcher, W, Hill, T.C.B., Marshall, P., Teltlow, E. and Tyres, I. ( 2011 ) Beccles Triple Post Alignment, Beccles Marshes, Suffolk: Excavation and Palaeoenvironmental Analyses of an Iron Age Wetland Site Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 77 : 231-250 .
  • Hill, T.C.B. and Cairns, F. ( 2011 ) Palynological investigation of intercalated Holocene coastal deposits at Walpole, Somerset Quaternary Newsletter 125 : 29-31 .
  • Krawiec, K., Gearey, B, Chapman, H., Hopla, E., Bamforth, M., Griffiths, C., Hill, T.C.B., and Tetlow, E. ( 2011 ) A Late Prehistoric Timber alignment in the Waveney Valley, Suffolk: Excavations at Barsham Marshes Journal of Wetland Archaeology 10 : 46-71 .
  • Howard, A., Gearey, B., Hill, T.C.B., Fletcher, W. and Marshall, P ( 2009 ) Fluvial sediments, correlations and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction: The development of robust radiocarbon chronologies Journal of Archaeological Science 36 : 2680-2688 .
  • Hill, T.C.B., Woodland, W.A., Spencer, C.S. & Marriott, S., Case, D. & Catt, J. ( 2008 ) Devensian Late-glacial Environmental Change in the Gordano Valley, North Somerset, UK: a rare archive for southwest England Journal of Paleolimnology 40 : 431-444 .
  • Hill, T.C.B., Woodland, W.A., Spencer, C.S. & Marriott, S. ( 2007 ) Holocene sea-level change in the Severn Estuary, southwest England: the development and application of a diatom-based sea-level transfer function for macrotidal settings. The Holocene 17 : 639-648 .
  • Smith D., Hill T.C.B., Geary B., Fitch S., Holford S., Howard A., and Jolliffe C. ( 2007 ) The Potential of the Organic Archive for Environmental Reconstruction: An Assessment of Selected Borehole Sediments from the North Sea, In: Mapping Doggerland: The Mesolithic Landscapes of the Southern North Sea. . Archaeopress : Oxford , 93-103 .
  • Hill, T.C.B., Woodland, W.W., Spencer, C.S., Case, D., Marriott, S., Bridle, A. & Brown, H. ( 2006 ) Late Quaternary Environmental Change in the Gordano Valley., In: Southwest England. Quaternary Research Association Field Guide . 115-143 .