It is with enormous sadness that the death of Dr Daniele Colombaroli was announced, on Thursday 11 August, after a sudden illness.
Daniele was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and had been at Royal Holloway since 2017. A native of Milan, Daniele obtained his PhD on Holocene fire regimes in the Mediterranean from the University of Bern before taking up a teaching position at the University of Ghent. As a quantitative terrestrial palaeoecologist, with a keen interest in climate-fire-vegetation interactions and human impacts, from the modern-day to the historical to the ancient, his work took him across several continents, from the European Alps to North America to east Africa. At the time of his death, he was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship investigating "The fingerprint of African droughts in Congo’s rainforest". Daniele was also on the steering committee of the Past Global Changes Diverse-K international working group, which seeks to provide an integrative, cross-disciplinary evidence base to enable better decision making on pressing environmental issues, as well as supporting local stakeholders.
Daniele was an integral part of the teaching team in Geography, contributing to courses in biogeogeography, global conservation and palaeoecology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as a core member of the second year undergraduate Sicily fieldtrip team. We mourn the untimely loss of a great colleague and inspiring scientist, known for his good nature and his readiness to help colleagues and students alike. Our deepest condolences are sent to his wife Carole, their 3 year old son Leo, his parents Luigina and Lino, and his sister Sabrina.