Dr Bettina Stefanini

Dr Bettina Stefanini

PhD, Trinity College, Dublin, 2008
H. Dip. Statistics, Trinity College, Dublin, 2005
BA (Hons), Environmental Sciences, Trinity College, 2003


Irish Quaternary Association (IQUA), Secretary
Association for Environmental Archaeology (AEA)
Quaternary Research Association (QRA)
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) Associate
Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI)

E-mail: bstefanini@ipean.ie
Phone: +353-87-2180048


  • Microfossil analysis including pollen, intestinal parasite eggs, microscopic charcoal, fly ash (SCPs) and non pollen environmental indicators
  • Estimation of sediment organic content through loss on ignition
  • Peat humification analysis
  • Pollen and other sample preparation


My primary focus is on environmental and vegetation reconstruction through microfossil analysis.  I am particularly interested in past agricultural practices and their environmental manifestations.   My PhD project was about differentiation between human induced and natural vegetation change.  Within this I studied fossil pollen and proxy climate indicators from Ireland and north-west Spain.  Since completing my PhD research I have worked on archaeological pollen, for example, from medieval Kilkenny.  Where feasible I like working with multiple data strands as it allows for more robust archaeological inferences.  I am fortunate to have access to a dedicated environmental archaeology laboratory where I can pursue analyses as well as sample preparation. I have compiled a proxy climate database for the UCC led and EPA funded Extreme Weather, Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Ireland project. I lecture in Geography in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and I am curator of IPOL, the Irish Pollen Site Database.


Stefanini, B. S., Oksanen, P. O., Corcoran, J. P., & Mitchell, F. J. G. (2018). Appraising the cohesion of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in north-west Spain since the mid-Holocene from a high temporal resolution multi-proxy peat record. Holocene, 28(5), 681-694.
Roche, J., Mitchell, F., Waldren, S., & Stefanini, B. (2018). Palaeoecological Evidence for Survival of Scots Pine through the Late Holocene in Western Ireland: Implications for Ecological Management. Forests, 9(6), 350.
Orme, L. C., Charman, D. J., Reinhardt, L., Jones, R. T., Mitchell, F. J. G., Stefanini, B. S., . . . Grosvenor, M. (2017). Past changes in the North Atlantic storm track driven by insolation and sea-ice forcing. Geology (Boulder), 45(4), 335-338.
Stefanini, B., & McGlynn, G. (2015). Palaeoenvironmental change in the Comeragh and Monavullagh Mountains. In G. McGlynn & B. Stefanini (Eds.), The Quateranry of SE Ireland. Dublin: Irish Quaternary Association.
Swindles, G.T., Lawson, I.T., Matthews, I.P., Blaauw, M., Daley, T.J., Charman, D.J., Roland, T.P., Plunkett, G., Schettler, G., Gearey, B.R., Turner, T.E., Rea, H.A., Roe, H.M., Amesbury, M.J., Chambers, F.M., Holmes, J., Mitchell, F.J.G., Blackford, J., Blundell, A., Branch, N., Holmes, J., Langdon, P., McCarroll, J., McDermott, F., Oksanen, P.O., Pritchard, O., Stastney, P., Stefanini, B.S, Young, D., Wheeler, J., Becker, K. and Armit, I. (2013) Centennial-scale climate change in Ireland during the Holocene. Earth-Science Reviews, 126, 300-320.
Mitchell, F.J.G., Stefanini, B.S. and Marchant, R. (2013) A Catalogue of Irish Pollen Diagrams. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 113, 1-31.
Stefanini, B.S. and McGlynn, G. (Eds.) (2012) Roscommon and South Sligo. IQUA Field Guide No. 30, Irish Quaternary Association, Dublin. ISBN: 978-0-947920-46-3
Stefanini, B.S. and Mitchell F.J.G. (2011) IPOL, the Irish Pollen Site Database [online]. Available at: www.ipol.ie
Stefanini, B.S. & McGlynn, G. (Eds) (2011) North Meath, IQUA Field Guide No. 29, Irish Quaternary Association, Dublin.
Reilly, E. & Stefanini, B. (2010) A feasibility study examining environmental evidence from the period 1500 BC – 400 AD in Ireland. The Discovery Programme, Dublin.
McCarron, S.G.and Stefanini, B.S. (Eds) (2010)The Beara Peninsula, IQUA Field Guide No. 28, Irish Quaternary Association, Dublin.
Kiely, G., Leahy, P., Ludlow, F., Stefanini, B., Reilly, E., Monk, M. and Harris, J. (2010) Extreme weather, climate and natural disasters in Ireland. Climate Change Research Report 5, EPA Publications, Dublin.