William Golding Junior Research Fellow, Brasenose College
Stipendiary Lecturer, Brasenose College
Researcher, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford


PhD Geography (Aberystwyth University)
MSc Quaternary Science (University of London)
BSc Geography (University of Sheffield)

Academic Background

Julie undertook her PhD research at Aberystwyth University, using luminescence dating to reconstruct fluvial activity in Pakistan, which she used to infer how palaeoenvironmental change impacted the Bronze Age Indus civilisation. Since then, Julie has been a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford (2013-2014; 2020-present) and a Supernumerary Teaching Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford (2015-2019).

Undergraduate Teaching Areas

Julie teaches physical geography across the 1st year (Preliminary Examination) and 2nd/3rd year (Final Honours School) BA Geography course. She also lectures on ‘the Quaternary Period: Natural and Human Systems’ options course.

Research Interests

Julie is a Quaternary Scientist, specialising in geochronology and luminescence dating. Her research focuses on reconstructing palaeoenvironmental change, with particular attention to fluvial (river) systems, to better understand how past civilisations responded to changes in the environment and climate. Her main research project focuses on northwest plains of India, formerly occupied by the Indus Civilisation, where she applies luminescence dating to inactive river systems in order to reconstruct river histories. Past and current research projects have focused on landscape systems in Kazakhstan, Egypt, Namibia, and Australia.

Recent publications include

Durcan, J.A., Thomas, D.S.G., Gupta, S., Pawar, V., Singh, R.N., Petrie, C.A., 2019. Holocene landscape dynamics in the Ghaggar-Hakra palaeochannel region at the northern edge of the Thar Desert, northwest India. Quaternary International, 501, 317-327.
Durcan, J.A., 2018. Assessing the reproducibility of quartz OSL lifetime determinations derived using isothermal decay. Radiation Measurements, 120, 234-240.
Durcan, J.A., King, G.E., Duller, G.A.T., 2015. DRAC: Dose rate and age calculator for trapped charge dating. Quaternary Geochronology, 28, 54-61.

A full list of publications is available on Julie’s academic webpage https://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/jdurcan.html and GoogleScholar https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=13hOuH8AAAAJ&hl=en


[email protected]


Academic web-page: https://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/jdurcan.html


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