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Richard Bates

St Andrews / Staff (Geophysics / Archaeology)

I am a geophysicist at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), University of St Andrews with a focus on applying geoscientific techniques to a wide research area from climate change studies to the reconstruction of past environments and landscapes. Recent research has focused on the use of multidisciplinary studies with archeo-geophysics on sites across Europe, Africa and South America. Discoveries using geophysical techniques have included the 800,000yr old footprints at Happisburgh, Norfolk, lightning strikes at Calanais, Lewis, Medieval trade route reconstructions along the African and Arabian shores, early hominid sites in Africa and investigations of the Gorgan wall in northern Iran. In 2017 I initiated the Music Planet project (, a joint inititve between SEES and the St Andrews Music Centre, in order to bring academics and performing artists together for exploring concepts related to the environment and humans. I am really interested in how culture has been represented in society in the past through both tangible and intangible cultural heritage and how culture can be used to confront issues of migration and migrants.

Richard is currently looking for collaborations: digitization of the natural world and turning it into music. The sounds of the Earth.