Belcher, C.M. (2013). Fire Phenomena and the Earth System: an Interdisciplinary Guide to Fire Science, Wiley.

bookMore information here

Edited Volume – The Interaction of Fire and Mankind. (Eds) Scott, A.C., Chaloner W.G., FRS, Belcher, C.M., Roos, C.I. (2016) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – B Available online

Published research articles

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CA Boulton, CM Belcher (in press) A novel approach for predicting the probability of ignition of palaeofires using fossil leaf assemblages. Palaeontology

SL New, VA Hudspith, CM Belcher (2018) Quantitative charcoal reflectance measurements better link to regrowth potential than ground-based fire-severity assessments following a recent heathland wildfire at Carn Brea, Cornwall, UK. International journal of wildland fire

AW Cardoso, I Oliveras, KA Abernethy, KJ Jeffery, D Lehmann, JE Ndong, I McGregor, CM Belcher, WJ Bond, YS Malhi (2018) Grass species flammability, not biomass, drives changes in fire behaviour at tropical forest-savanna transitions. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 1, 6

CM Belcher, SL New, C Santin, SH Doerr, R Dewhirst, MJ Grosvenor, VA Hudspith (2018) What can charcoal reflectance tell us about energy release in wildfires and the properties of pyrogenic carbon. Frontiers in Earth Science 6, 169

SH Doerr, C Santin, AG Merino, CM Belcher, G Baxter (2018) Fire as a removal mechanism of pyrogenic carbon from the environment: effects of fire and pyrogenic carbon characteristics. Frontiers in Earth Science 6, 127

M Haworth, CM Belcher, D Killi, RA Dewhirst, A Materassi, A Raschi, M Centritto (2018) Impaired photosynthesis and increased leaf construction costs may induce floral stress during episodes of global warming over macroevolutionary timescales. Scientific reports 8 (1), 6206

S Archibald, CER Lehmann, CM Belcher, WJ Bond, RA Bradstock et al.., (2018) Biological and geophysical feedbacks with fire in the Earth system. Environmental Research Letters 13 (3), 033003

VA Hudspith, RM Hadden, AI Bartlett, CM Belcher (2018) Does fuel type influence the amount of charcoal produced in wildfires? Implications for the fossil record. Palaeontology 61 (2), 159-171

NG Walding, HTP Williams, S McGarvie, CM Belcher (2018) A comparison of the US National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) with recorded fire occurrence and final fire size. International journal of wildland fire 27 (2), 99-113

AJ Crawford, SJ Baker, CM Belcher (2018) Fossil charcoals from the Lower Jurassic challenge assumptions about charcoal morphology and identification.  Palaeontology 61 (1), 49-56


N Prat‐Guitart, CM Belcher, DK Thompson, P Burns, JM Yearsley (2017) Fine‐scale distribution of moisture in the surface of a degraded blanket bog and its effects on the potential spread of smouldering fire. Ecohydrology 10 (8), e1898

Baker, S.J. Hesselbo, S.P. Lenton, T.M. Duarte L.V. Belcher C.M. (2017) Charcoal evidence that rising atmospheric oxygen terminated Early Jurassic ocean anoxia. Nature Communications 8, 15018 doi: 10.1038/ncomms15018

Hudspith, V.A., Belcher, C.M. (2017) Fire alone creates a bias in the production of charred flowers: Implications for the Cretaceous fossil record. Geology, 45, 727-730

Hudspith, V.A., Belcher, C.M. (2017) Observations of the structural changes that occur during charcoalification: Implications for indentifying charcoal in the fossil record. Palaeontology, 60, 503-510

Hudspith, V.A., Belcher, C.M. Barnes, J. Dash, C.B., Kelly, R. Hu, F.S. (2017) Charcoal reflectance suggests heating duration and fuel moisture affected burn severity in four Alaskan tundra wildfires. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 306-316


Belcher, C.M., Hudspith V.A. (2016). Changes to Cretaceous surface fire behaviour influenced the spread of the early angiosperms. New Phytologist

New, S.L., Belcher, C.M., Hudpsith, V.A., Gallego-Sala, A.V., (2016) Holocene fire history: can evidence of peat burning be found in the palaeo-archive. Mires and Peat, 18, 1-11.

Mills, B.J.W., Belcher, C.M., Lenton, T.M., Newton, R.J., (2016) A modelling case for high atmospheric oxygen concentrations during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Geology DOI: 10.1130/G38231.1

Belcher, C.M., Hudspith, V.A., (2016) The formation of charcoal reflectance and its potential use in post-fire assessments. International Journal of Wildland Fire 25 775-770

Belcher, C.M. (2016) The influence of leaf morphology on litter flammability and its utility for interpreting palaeofire. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – B

Scott, A.C., Chaloner, W.G., Belcher, C.M., Roos, C.I., et al. (2016) Living on a flammable planet: interdisciplinary, cross-scalar, and varied cultural lessons, prospects, and challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – B

Scott, A.C., Chaloner, W.G., Belcher, C.M., Roos, C.I. (2016) The interaction of fire and mankind: introduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – B

Prat-Guitart, N., Rein, G., Hadden, R.M., Belcher, C.M., Yearsley, J.M. (2016) Effects of spatial heterogeneity in moisture content on the horizontal spread of peat fires. Science of the Total Environment

Prat-Guitart, N., Rein, G., Hadden, R.M., Belcher, C.M., Yearsley, J.M. (2016) Propagation probability and spread rates of self-sustained smouldering fires under controlled moisture content and bulk density conditions. International Journal of Wildland Fire

Crawford A.J., Belcher C.M. (2016) Area-volume relationships for fossil charcoal and their relevance for fire history reconstruction. The Holocene

Simpson, K.J., Ripley, B.S., Christin, P-A., Belcher, C.M., Lehmann, C.E.R., Thomas, G.H., Osborne, C.P. (2016) Determinants of flammability in savanna grass species. Journal of Ecology, 104, p.138-148. Open Access doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12503


He T, Belcher C.M., Lamont B.B., Lim SL (2015) A 350-million-year legacy of fire adaptation among conifers. Journal of Ecology

Prat-Guitart, N, Hadden, R.M., Belcher, CM., Rein, G., Yearsley J.M., (2015) Infrared Image Analysis as a Tool for Studying the Horizontal Smoldering Propagation of Laboratory Peat Fires. in Stracher and Prakash and Sokol (eds) Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective. Elsevier Science

Hudspith, V.A., Rimmer, S.M., and Belcher C.M., (2015) Latest Permian chars may derive from wildfires, not coal combustion. Comment and Reply – Geology online forum doi:10.1130/G36804Y.1

Hudspith, V.A., Belcher, C.M., Kelly, R., Hu, F.S., (2015) Fossil charcoals reveal Holocene boreal deciduous forests burned at high intensities. PloS One

Belcher, C.M., Hadden, R.M., Rein G., Morgan J.V., Artemieva, N., Goldin T., (2015). An experimental assessment of the ignition of forest fuels by the thermal pulse generated by the Cretaceous-Palaeogene impact at Chicxulub. Journal of the Geological Society of London

Prat-Guitart N, Belcher C.M., Hadden R.M., Rein, G, Yearsley J.M. (2013). A laboratory study of the effect of moisture content on the spread of smouldering peat fires. FLAMMA, 6(1), 35-38.


Hudspith, V.A., Belcher, C.M., and Yearsley, J.M., (2014) Charring temperatures are driven by the fuel types burned in a peatland wildfire. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5, 714, doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00714

Hudspith, V.A., Rimmer, S.M., and Belcher C.M., (2014) Latest Permian chars may derive from wildfires, not coal combustion. Geology 82, 879-882 doi: 10.1130/G35920.1

Mander L., Baker S., Belcher C.M., Haselhorst DS., Rodriguez J., Thorn J.L., Tiwari S., Urrego D.H., Wesslen C.J., & Punyasena S.W. (2014) The accuracy and consistenct of grass pollen identification by human analysts compared to recent computational methods. Applications in Plant Sciences 2, doi: 10.3732/apps.140031

Crawford A.J., Belcher C.M., (2014) Charcoal morphometry for paleoecological analysis: the effects of fuel type and transportation on morphological parameters. Applications in Plant Sciences, 2, doi:10.3732/apps.1400004

Zaccone C., Rein G., D’Orazio V., Hadden R.M., Belcher C.M., Miano, T.M., (2014) Smouldering fire signatures in peat and their implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 137, 134-146.


Clyde W.C. et al., and the BBCP Science Team (2013). Bighorn Basin Coring Project (BBCP): a continental perspective on early Paleogene hyperthermals. Sci. Drill., 16, 21-31. Doi:10.5194/sd-16-21-2013.

Hesselbo S.P. et al., and the Mochras Revisited Science Team (2013). Mochras borehole revisited: a new global standard for Early Jurassic earth history. Sci. Drill., 16, 81-91. Doi:10.519/sd-16-81-2013

Belcher, C.M., Punyasena S.W., Sivaguru M., (2013). Novel application of confocal laser scanning microscope and 3D volume rendering toward improving the resolution of the fossil record of charcoal. PLoS One 8(8) e72265. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072265

Belcher, C.M., Collinson, M.E., Scott, A.C. (2013). A 450-million-year history of fire in Belcher CM (ed) Fire Phenomena and the Earth System: an Interdisciplinary Guide to Fire Science, Wiley.

Bacon, K.L., Belcher, C.M., Haworth, M., McElwain, J.C. (2013). Increased atmospheric SO2 detected from changes in leaf physiognomy across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary interval of East Greenland. PLoS One. 8(4): e60614. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060614

Hadden, R.M., Rein, G., Belcher, C.M. (2013). Study of the competing chemical reactions in the initiation and spread of smouldering combustion in peat. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34 (2), 2547-2553.


Belcher, C.M., Mander, L. (2012). Catastrophe: extra-terrestrial impacts, massive volcanism and the biosphere in Henderson-Sellers A,McGuffie K (eds.) Future Climates of the World, 463-485.

He, T., Pausas, J.G., Belcher, C.M., Schwilk, D.W., Lamont, B.B. (2012). Fire-adapted traits of Pinus arose in the fiery Cretaceous. New Phytologist, 194 (3), 751-759.

Torrence K, Switzer, C, Carvel, R, Hadden, R.M, Belcher, C.M. (2012). Self-sustained smouldering combustion of a coal-waster heap in central Scotland in Stracher, GB, Prakash, A, Sokol EV (eds) Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective, volume 2, Elsevier Geoscience doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-59412-9.00020-X.


Bacon, K.L., Belcher, C.M., Hesselbo, S.P., McElwain, J.C. (2011). The Triassic-Jurassic Boundary carbon-isotope excursions expressed in taxonomically identified leaf cuticles. Palaios, 26, 461-469.


Belcher, C.M., Yearsley, J.M., Hadden, R.M., McElwain, J.C., Rein, G. (2010). Baseline intrinsic flammability of Earth’s ecosystems estimated from paleoatmospheric oxygen over the past 350 million years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 22448-22453.

Belcher, C.M. (2010). From fiery beginnings: wildfires facilitated the spread of angiosperms in the Cretaceous. New Phytologist (188), 913-915.

Belcher, C.M., Mander, L., Rein, G., Jervis, F.X., Haworth, M., Glasspool, I.J., Hesselbo, S.P., McElwain, J.C. (2010). Increased fire activity at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary in Greenland due to climate-driven floral Change. Nature Geoscience, 3, 426-429.


Belcher, C.M., Finch, P., Collinson, M.E., Scott, A.C., Grassineau, N.V. (2009). Geochemical evidence for combustion of hydrocarbons during the K-T impact event. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4112-4117.

Belcher, C.M. (2009). Reigniting the Cretaceous-Palaeogene firestorm debate. Geology, 37, 1147-1148.


Harvey, M.C., Brassell, S.C., Belcher, C.M., Montanari, A. (2008). Combustion of fossil organic matter at the K-P boundary. Geology, 36, 335-358.

Belcher, C.M., McElwain, J.C. (2008). Limits for combustion in low O2 redefine paleoatmospheric predictions for the Mesozoic. Science, 321, 1197-1200.


Morgan, J., Lana, C., Kearsley, A., Coles, B., Belcher, C.M., Montanari, S., Dias, E., Barbosa, E., Neumann, V. (2006). Analyses of shocked quartz at the global K-P boundary indicate an origin from a single, high- angle, oblique impact at Chicxulub. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 251, 264-279.

Belcher, C.M. (2006). Impacts and wildfires – an analysis of the K-T event. In Cockell C, Koerberl C, Gilmour I (eds.) Biological Processes Associated with Impact Events, Springer, 221-243.


Belcher, C.M., Collinson, M.E., Scott, A.C. (2005). Constraints on the thermal power released from the Chicxulub impactor: new evidence from multi-method charcoal analysis. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 162, 591-602.


Belcher, C.M., Collinson, M.E., Sweet, A.R., Hildebrand, A.R., Scott, A.C. (2004). Reply to comment on Fireball passes and nothing burns – the role of thermal radiation in the K-T event: evidence from the charcoal record of North America by Robertson et al., Geology, 32, e50-e51.


Belcher, C.M., Collinson, M.E., Sweet, A.R., Hildebrand, A.R., Scott, A.C. (2003). Fireball passes and nothing burns – the role of thermal radiation in the K-T event: evidence from the charcoal record of North America. Geology, 31, 1061-1064.