MSc opportunities

Journal Clubs

Dep. of Biology

Bjerknes Centre

Bergen Museum

Unifob Global

Richard J. Telford

Associate Professor

EECRG, Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Allegaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway (Homepage)
Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allegaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway.

Research Interests

  • Long term ecology
  • Transfer function development

Web sites

  • NORPOL: Norwegian pollen sites.
  • Diatom CD-ROM: Computerised multi-access key and web-based flora for the identification of UK river diatoms.
  • MOLTEN: Monitoring Long-term Trends in Eutrophication and Nutrients in the Coastal Zone. Diatom-based transfer functions and palaeoecological indicators of recent (150 year) ecosystem change in NW European coastal waters.
  • EDDI: European Diatom Database. A web-based system of diatom training sets, ecological and taxonomic information, diatom images and transfer functions for performing environmental reconstructions from fossil assemblages.
  • Teaching: Diatom package and here as a zipped file to download and modify


  • autocorTF R-package containing utilities to diagnose autocorrelation in species-environment transfer functions. [Windows binary] [Source]

Selected papers

Age-depth modelling

Heegaard, E, Birks, HJB & Telford, RJ. 2005. Relationships between calibrated ages and depth in stratigraphical sequences: an estimation procedure by mixed-effect regression. The Holocene 15: 612-618
Telford, RJ, Heegaard, E & Birks, HJB. 2004. All age-depth models are wrong: but how badly? Quaternary Science Reviews 23: 1-5.
Telford, RJ, Heegaard, E & Birks, HJB. 2004. The intercept is a poor estimate of a calibrated radiocarbon age. The Holocene 14: 296-298.

Transfer function development

Telford, RJ & Birks, HJB 2009. Evaluation of transfer functions in spatially structured environments. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 1309-1316. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.020
Telford, RJ. 2006. Limitations of dinoflagellate cyst transfer functions. Quaternary Science Reviews 25: 1375-1382
Telford, RJ & Birks, HJB. 2005. The secret assumption of transfer functions: problems of spatial autocorrelation in evaluating model performance. Quaternary Science Reviews 24: 2173-2179.
Telford, RJ, Andersson, C, Birks, HJB & Juggins, S. 2004. Biases in the estimation of transfer function prediction errors. Paleoceanography 19: PA4014.

Transfer function application

Hald, M, Andersson, C, Ebbesen, H, Jansen, E, Klitgaard-Kristensen, D, Risebrobakken, B, Salomonsen, GR, Sarnthein, M, Sejrup, HP, & Telford, RJ. 2007. Variations in temperature and extent of Atlantic Water in the northern North Atlantic during the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 3423-3440.
Seppä, H, Birks, HJB, Giesecke, T, Hammarlund, D, Alenius, T, Antonsson, K, Bjune, AE, Heikkilä, M, MacDonald, GM, Ojala, AEK, Telford, RJ, & Veski, S. 2007. Spatial structure of the 8200 cal yr BP event in northern Europe. Climate of the Past 3, 165-195.
Antonsson, K, Brooks, SJ, Seppä, H, Telford, RJ & Birks, HJB. 2006. Quantitative palaeotemperature records inferred from fossil pollen and chironomid assemblages from Lake Gilltjärnen, northern central Sweden. Journal of Quaternary Sciences 21: 831-841.
Clarke, AL, Weckström, K, Conley, DJ, Adser, F, Anderson, NJ, Andrén, E, de Jonge, VN, Ellegaard, M, Juggins, S, Kauppila, P, Korhola, A, Reuss, N, Telford, RJ & Vaalgamaa, S. 2006. Long-term trends in eutrophication and nutrients in the coastal zone. Limnology & Oceanography 51: 385-397.

Palaeoclimatology of Africa

Lamb, HF, Leng, MJ, Telford, RJ, Ayenew, T & Umer, M. 2007. Oxygen and carbon isotope composition of authigenic carbonate from an Ethiopian lake: a climate record of the last 2000 years. The Holocene 17, 517-526.
Lamb, AL, Leng, MJ, Sloane, HJ & Telford, RJ. 2005. A comparison of the palaeoclimate signals from diatom oxygen isotope ratios and carbonate oxygen isotope ratios from a low latitude crater lake. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 223: 290-302.
Lamb, AL, Leng, MJ, Lamb, HF, Telford, RJ & Mohammed, MU. 2002. Climatic and non-climatic effects on the delta O-18 and delta C-13 compositions of Lake Awassa, Ethiopia, during the last 6.5 ka. Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 2199-2211.
Barker, P, Telford, R, Gasse, F & Thevenon, F. 2002. Late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeohydrology of Lake Rukwa, Tanzania, inferred from diatom analysis. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 187: 295-305.
Barker, PA, Street-Perrott, FA, Leng, MJ, Greenwood, PB, Swain, DL, Perrott, RA, Telford, RJ & Ficken, KJ. 2001. A 14,000-year oxygen isotope record from diatom silica in two alpine lakes on Mt. Kenya. Science 292: 2307-2310.
Barker, P, Telford, R, Merdaci, O, Williamson, D, Taieb, M, Vincens, A & Gibert, E. 2000. The sensitivity of a Tanzanian crater lake to catastrophic tephra input and four millennia of climate change. The Holocene 10: 303-310.
Telford, RJ & Lamb, HF. 1999. Groundwater-mediated response to Holocene climatic change recorded by the diatom stratigraphy of an Ethiopian crater lake. Quaternary Research 52: 63-75.
Telford, RJ, Lamb, HF & Mohammed, MU. 1999. Diatom-derived palaeoconductivity estimates for Lake Awassa, Ethiopia: evidence for pulsed inflows of saline groundwater? Journal of Paleolimnology 21: 409-421.

Diatom ecology

Telford, RJ, Vandvik, V & Birks, HJB. 2007. Response to Comment on "Dispersal Limitations Matter for Microbial Morphospecies". Science 316, c1124.
Telford, RJ, Vandvik, V & Birks, HJB. 2006. Dispersal limitations matter for microbial morphospecies. Science 312: 1015.
Telford, RJ, Vandvik, V & Birks, HJB. 2006. How many freshwater diatoms are specialists? A response to Pither & Aarssen (2005). Ecology Letters 9: E1-E5.
Telford, RJ, Barker, P, Metcalfe, S & Newton, A. 2004. Lacustrine responses to tephra deposition: examples from Mexico. Quaternary Science Reviews 23: 2337-2353.