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Dr William Hale

PositionSenior Lecturer in Environmental Science
LocationK30, Richmond building
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 234229

Research Interests (key words only)

Ecological Management; Environmental Monitoring; Environmental Education

PhD Supervision

To date I have supervised 11 students to successful completion of the PhDs, and am currently involved in supervising 3 others.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Modules taught in 2015-16 included:

  • Interpreting Science
  • Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
  • GIS Theory & Practice
  • Ecological Management & Nature Conservation

Administrative Responsibilities

Programme Leader, Admissions and Placement Tutor for BSc Integrated Science.


Dr Hale spent four years in Portugal at the Instituto de Botanica, Universidade do Porto, first as a Royal Society European Research Fellow and for three years as invited Auxiliary Professor.

Returning to the UK in 1985, he took up a post in the Environmental Science Department at Bradford, where most recently (since 2000) he has held the position of Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science.

Study History

  • BSc in Botany and Zoology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1977
  • PhD from Southampton University in 1981, researching multivariate statistical methods for analysing ecological data

Professional History

Following completion of my PhD studies I worked at the University of Porto, Portugal for four years, first on a Royal Society European Exchange Fellowship and subsequently as an Invited Lecturer. I moved to Bradford in 1985 as a Lecturer, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2000.

Professional Activities

  • Member of the British Ecological Society
  • Member of the Reclamation Ecology Group
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (2001-2005)

Research Areas

My primary research focus has been on the ecological issues of regeneration and establishment of plant communities (e.g. in reclamation of degraded land), and the management of plant community change, particularly on upland moorland.

I have also been interested in ecological studies of individual weed species, at present focussing on the groundsel, Senecio vulgaris. However, these interests have led on to a wider focus on applied ecological or environmental problems, and in particular the biological and chemical monitoring of environmental pollution.

I have also had a continuing research interest into the practice of environmental education. I have been involved in research into, and the practice of, statistical and computer methodologies to analyse ecological and environmental data since my PhD studies, but I anticipate that the use of GIS application tools to analyse data will become a larger part of my research in future.

These various research themes are reflected in the topics studied by recent research students under my supervision.

Three students were awarded their PhD in 2006-7, with theses on the following themes:

  • The role of fire and elephants on the woody savannah vegetation of Mole National Park, Ghana
  • Possible environmental factors causing top-dying in mangrove forest trees in the Sundarbans in Bangladesh
  • Media coverage of environmental items in Kuwaiti newspapers and magazines. 

I am currently principal supervisor for a further five projects investigating:

  • The use of myco-herbicides to control common weed plants
  • The teaching of Geography at University level in Libya
  • The impact of forest fires on soil properties in Libya
  • The role of introduced Acacia shrubs in desertification processes in Libya
  • The degradation of forest land in northern Libya

Current Projects

Current PhD students’ themes: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils; Using light isotope analysis to detect palaeo-climatic changes; Multi-spectral detection methods for forensic materials.


  • Awal, MA, Hale, WHG and Stern, B (2009). Trace element concentrations in mangrove sediments in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58(12): 1944-1948
  • Akbar, KF, Hale, WHG, Headley, AD and Ashraf, I (2010). Evaluation of conservation status of roadside verges and their vegetation in north England. Polish Journal of Ecology 58(3): 459-467
  • Sackey, I, Hale, WHG and Imoro, A-WM (2012). Fire and population dynamics of woody plant species in a Guinea savanna vegetation in Mole National Park, Ghana: matrix model projections. Canadian Journal of Pure & Applied Sciences, 6(1): 1749-1758
  • Akbar, KF, Hale, WHG, Šerá, B and Ashraf, I (2012). Phytometric assessment of fertility of roadside soils and its relationship with major nutrients. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 21(5): 1141-1145
  • Eldiabani, GS, Hale, WHG and Heron, CP (2013). The effect of forest fires on physical properties and magnetic susceptibility of semi-arid soils in North-Eastern Libya. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Science Index, 84: 210-215

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