Open main menu

Andrew Cunningham Scott (born 16 February 1952) is a British geologist, and professor emeritus at Royal Holloway University of London.[1] He won the 2007 Gilbert H. Cady Award from the Geological Society of America for outstanding contributions to coal geology.[2] He is widely regarded an expert on wildfire and charcoal and has highlighted the role of fire in deep time. He also contributes as a palaeobotanist and science communicator.

Andrew Cunningham Scott
Born(1952-02-16)16 February 1952
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
Alma materBedford College, London (B.Sc.)
Birkbeck College (Ph.D.)
Scientific career
InstitutionsRoyal Holloway University
University of London
ThesisEnvironmental Control of Westphalian Plant Assemblages from Northern Britain (1976)
Doctoral advisorWilliam Gilbert Chaloner

Scott was educated at Cannon Lane Primary School, (Pinner); St. Martins School, Northwood; Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood; and the University of London, where he obtained a B.Sc. (Bedford College) and a Ph.D. (Birkbeck College) studying under William Gilbert Chaloner. His thesis concerned the palaeoecology of Carboniferous Coal Measure plants. After a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, he returned to England to take up a lectureship in Geology at Chelsea College, University of London. During this period, his research concentrated on the Lower Carboniferous floras of Scotland including those from the Pettycur Volcanics and the East Kirkton Quarry.

In 1985, the geology departments at Chelsea College and Bedford College merged to form a new department at Royal Holloway, University of London. He was awarded a personal chair in 1996, becoming Professor of Applied Palaeobotany.[3] During the 1990s, he worked on Drawings and Prints in the Royal Library that had been collected by Cassiano dal Pozzo.[3] These were part of a project undertaken by Federico Cesi and Francesco Stelluti, founders of the Accademia dei Linceii. His book on the drawing of fossil woods was launched by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle in 2005.

From 1998 to 2006, he was the Director of Science Communication. He was awarded a D.Sc. from the University of London for his published research. In 2003, he was made an Honorary Professor at Jilin University, Changchun, China. He was a visiting Professor at Yale University in 2006–7 and a visiting fellow at Berkeley College. During this period, his research concentrated on the occurrence of wildfire in deep time. He also became involved with the Pyrogeography research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara and published several important papers and a book on Fire on Earth.[4][5] In 2012 he became a distinguished research fellow and was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship and became the Emeritus Professor of Geology in 2014.[6]

Scott has been involved in many radio broadcasts including In Our Time and was the subject of a BBC documentary about his research on coal for screenhouse productions and the Open University.[7] He has been in writing articles on geology stamps and has had a long-term collaboration with the artist Nick Shrewing working on geological stamp designs for a number of countries including the Solomon Islands, Barbados, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

Scott is the recipient of several awards including the Presidents Award of the Geological Society of London and the Gilbert H. Cady Award from the Geological Society of America.[2] He is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is a Chartered Geologist.


Personal lifeEdit

He is married to his wife Anne and has a son and a daughter.

Selected publicationsEdit


Scientific PapersEdit

  • Scott A (1974). "The earliest conifer". Nature. 251 (5477): 707–8. doi:10.1038/251707a0.
  • Scott A.C. (1978). "Sedimentological and ecological control of Westphalian B plant assemblages from West Yorkshire". Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. 41 (4): 461–508. doi:10.1144/pygs.41.4.461.
  • Scott A.C.; Taylor T. N. (1983). "Plant/animal interactions during the Upper Carboniferous". Botanical Review. 49 (3): 259–307. doi:10.1007/BF02861089.
  • Scott A. C.; Galtier J.; Clayton G. (1984). "Distribution of anatomically preserved floras in the Lower Carboniferous in Western Europe". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences. 75 (3): 311–340. doi:10.1017/s026359330001395x.
  • Scott A.C. (1989). "Observations on the nature and origin of fusain". International Journal of Coal Geology. 12 (1–4): 443–475. doi:10.1016/0166-5162(89)90061-X.
  • Jones T.P.; Scott A.C.; Cope M. (1991). "Reflectance measurements and the temperature of formation of modern charcoals and implications for the studies of fusain". Bull. Géol. Soc. France. 162: 193–200.
  • Stankiewicz B.A.; Scott A.C.; Collinson M.E.; Finch P.; Mösle B.; Briggs D.E.G.; Evershed R.P. (1998). "Molecular taphonomy of arthropod and plant cuticles from the Carboniferous of North America: implications for the origin of kerogen". Journal of the Geological Society, London. 155 (3): 453–462. doi:10.1144/gsjgs.155.3.0453.
  • Scott A.C. (2000). "The Pre-Quaternary History of Fire". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 164 (1–4): 281–329. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(00)00192-9.
  • Scott, A.C.2000. Art and the Earth sciences. pp. 38–43. In: Hancock, P.L. and Skinner, B.J (eds). The Oxford Companion to the Earth. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Scott, A.C. 2000. Palaeobotany. p. 774. In: Hancock, P.L. and Skinner, B.J (eds). The Oxford Companion to the Earth. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Scott, A.C. 2000. Fossil plants. pp. 364–371. In: Hancock, P.L. and Skinner, B.J. (eds). The Oxford Companion to the Earth. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Scott A.C. (2002). "Coal petrology and the origin of coal macerals: a way ahead?". International Journal of Coal Geology. 50 (1–4): 119–134. doi:10.1016/S0166-5162(02)00116-7.
  • Scott A.C.; Glasspool I.J. (2005). "Charcoal reflectance as a proxy for the emplacement temperature of pyroclastic flow deposits". Geology. 33 (7): 589–592. doi:10.1130/g21474.1.
  • Scott A.C.; Glasspool I.J. (2006). "The diversification of Paleozoic fire systems and fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen concentration". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 103 (29): 10861–10865. doi:10.1073/pnas.0604090103. PMC 1544139. PMID 16832054.
  • Scott A.C.; Glasspool I.J. (2007). "Observations and experiments on the origin and formation of inertinite group macerals". International Journal of Coal Geology. 70 (1–3): 53–66. doi:10.1016/j.coal.2006.02.009.
  • Scott A.C.; Galtier J.; Gostling N.J.; Smith S.Y.; Collinson M.E.; Stampanoni M.; Marone F.; Donoghue P.C.J.; Bengtson S. (2009). "Scanning Electron Microscopy and Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy of 330 million year old charcoalified seed fern fertile organs". Microscopy and Microanalysis. 15 (2): 166–173. doi:10.1017/s1431927609090126.
  • McParland L.C.; Collinson M.E.; Scott A.C.; Campbell G. (2009). "The use of reflectance values for the interpretation of natural and anthropogenic charcoal assemblages". Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 1 (4): 249–261. doi:10.1007/s12520-009-0018-z.
  • Bowman D.M.J.S., Balch J.K.; Artaxo P., Bond W.J.; Carlson J.M., Cochrane M.A.; D'Antonio C.M., DeFries R.S.; Doyle J.C., Harrison; Johnston F.H., Keeley J.E.; Krawchuk M.A., Kull C.A.; Marston J.B., Moritz M.A.; Prentice I.C., Roos C.I.; Scott A.C., Swetnam T.W.; van der Werf G. R., Pyne S.J. (2009). "Fire in the Earth System". Science. 324 (5926): 481–484. doi:10.1126/science.1163886. PMID 19390038.
  • Scott A.C. (2010). "Charcoal recognition, taphonomy and uses in palaeoenvironmental analysis". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 291 (1–2): 11–39. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.12.012.
  • Glasspool I.J.; Scott A.C. (2010). "Phanerozoic concentrations of atmospheric oxygen reconstructed from sedimentary charcoal". Nature Geoscience. 3 (9): 627–630. doi:10.1038/ngeo923.
  • Bond W.J.; Scott A.C. (2010). "Fire and the spread of flowering plants in the Cretaceous". New Phytologist. 118 (4): 1137–1150. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03418.x.
  • Bowman D.J.M.S.; Balch J.; Artaxo P.; Bond W.J.; Cochrane M.A.; D'Antonio C.M.; DeFries R.; Johnston F.H.; Keeley J.E.; Krawchuk M.A.; Kull C.A.; Mack M.; Moritz M.A.; Pyne S.J.; Roos C.I.; Scott A.C.; Sodhi N.S.; Swetnam T.W. (2011). "The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth". Journal of Biogeography. 38 (12): 2223–2236. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02595.x. PMC 3263421. PMID 22279247.
  • Brown S.A.E.; Scott A.C.; Glasspool I.J.; Collinson M.E. (2012). "Cretaceous wildfires and their impact on the Earth system". Cretaceous Research. 36: 162–190. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2012.02.008.
  • Boslough, M., Nicoll, K., Holliday, V., Daulton, T.L., Meltzer, D., Pinter, N., Scott, A.C., Surovell, T., Claeys, Ph., Gill, J., Paquay, F., Marlon, J., Bartlein, P., Whitlock, C., Grayson, D. and Jull, T. 2012. Arguments and Evidence against a Younger Dryas Impact Event. pp. 13–26. In: Giosan, L.; D.Q. Fuller; K. Nicoll; R. Flad and P.D. Clift. (editors) Climates, Landscapes and Civilizations. Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 198, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2012GM001209.
  • Brown S.A.E.; Collinson M.E.; Scott A.C. (2013). "Did fire play a role in formation of dinosaur-rich deposits? An example from the Late Cretaceous of Canada". Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. 93 (3): 317–326. doi:10.1007/s12549-013-0123-y.


  1. ^ "Professor Andrew Cunningham Scott". Royal Holloway University of London. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b Crelling, John C. "2007 Gilbert H. Cady Award". Geological Society of America. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Scott, Andrew Cunningham (Winter 2012). "OMT Academics - Andrew Scott" (PDF). Concordia: 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Pyrogeography - fire's place in earth system science". National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. The Regents of the University of California. 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Fire on Earth: An Introduction". Wiley. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Awards made in 2012" (PDF). Annual Review 2012. Leverhulme Trust. 2013. p. 69.
  7. ^ "Early Geology". In Our Time. BBC. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2015.

External linksEdit