Accessibility statement

Paramita Punwong
KITE (External)



Punn completed her PhD with the York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems. Now based at Mahidol University in Thailand, Punn is continuing her research with the KITE team on the reconstruction of past vegetation and sea level change along the East African coast.


2013-Present Lecturer Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University (Thailand)
2009-2013 PhD Student  Department of Environment and Geography, University of York 
2005-2007  MSc Botany Department of Botany, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) 
2001-2004  BSc (Hons) Biology  Department of Biology, Prince of Songkla University (Thailand)



Sea levels have fluctuated throughout geological time resulting in invading and retreating of sea water across coastal plains. Mangrove communities can be used as the indicators of coastal changes because most plants of mangrove community are perfectly adapted to sea water and respond to fluctuations in tidal regime. Mangrove also shows a strong plant zonation and environmental gradients that can be related to changes through time (vertically) in cores of sediment that will be collected from the field site. 

My research interest is focused on the study of past environments by means of pollen analysis. My PhD project focussed on mangrove dynamics and sea level changes particularly in coastal areas of Tanzania (Zanzibar Island and Rufiji delta) and Kenya (Mida Creek). One of the study areas was Rufiji Delta, which is the largest mangrove area in East Africa and we work in collaboration with WWF- Tanzania. This research aimed to elucidate how mangrove responds to Late Quaternary environmental changes including sea level changes. Pollen and diatoms analysis were used to interpret the past environment and to reconstruct sea level during the late Holocene. In addition to understanding the impacts of past climate changes, the results provide insights into possible connections to the settlement and ensuing cultural use in East African coastal areas.

Research group(s)

York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems (KITE)


Full publications list

  • Punwong P (2013). Holocene mangrove dynamics and sea level change: records from the East African coast. PhD Thesis, University of York, UK
  • Punwong P, Marchant R, Selby K (2013). Holocene mangrove dynamics and environmental change in the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 22, 381-396
  • Punwong P, Marchant R, Selby K (2013). Holocene mangrove dynamics from Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar. Quaternary International 298, 4-19
  • Punwong P, Marchant R, Selby K (2013). Holocene mangrove dynamics in Makoba Bay, Zanzibar. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 379-380, 54-67
  • Punwong P (2008). Pollen deposit in Bangkok clay from Ong Kharak district, Nakhon Nayok province, and their implication on paleophytogeography. Unpublished MSc thesis. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
  • Songtham W, Punwong P, Seelanan T (2007). Middle Holocene peat and mollusk shells from Ongkharak area, Nakhon Nayok, Central Thailand: evidence of in situ deposits during a marine transgression period. GEOTHAI 2007 International Conference on Geology of Thailand: Towards Sustainable Development and Sufficiency Economy. Department of Mineral Resources, Bangkok



Contact details

Dr Paramita Punwong
Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies
Mahidol University