Professor Ann Wintle has been at the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences since 1989, and was given a personal chair in 1998. She obtained a BSc in Physics from Sussex University in 1969, and a DPhil from Oxford University in 1974. She received a DSc from Oxford in 1997 and a DPhil (Honoris Causa) from Uppsala University in 2001. Following a post-doc in Oxford at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology, she spent 2 years in the Physics Department at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, before returning to the UK in 1979 to set up thermoluminescence dating in the Godwin Laboratory for Quaternary Research in Cambridge. In 1987 she was a lecturer in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway, London, before moving to Aberystwyth. In 2000/2001 she spent 6 months as a guest professor of the Swedish Natural Science Research Council in the Department of Physical Geography at Uppsala University. She was made an emeritus professor in 2001. In October 2007 it was announced that she had been awarded the 2008 Appleton Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics. In January 2011 she was made an Honorary Member of the Quaternary Research Association. In 2015 she was awarded the Liu Tungsheng Distinguished Career Medal of the International Union for Quaternary Research at a ceremony in Nagoya.
In February 2009 she moved to live in a village just outside Cambridge. She was made an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Geography and a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge University. In 2016 she received a DSc (Honoris Causa) from the University of Wollongong.
In 2018 she was awarded the James Croll Medal of the Quaternary Research Association, and in 2019 she received a DSc (honoris causa) from the University of Sussex, and in 2021 she was elected a Fellow of the British Society of Geomorphology, awarded to members of the Society who have made significant contributions to the advancement of geomorphology.
Developing the use of luminescence signals from naturally occurring minerals as a means of dating sedimentary deposits.
Investigating the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) signals of quartz and feldspars in order to further improve the single-aliquot regeneration dose (SAR) dating procedure.
Applying the SAR procedure to:
- Sediments from archaeological sites, particularly those containing evidence of Middle Stone Age culture in Southern Africa.
- Coastal Sediments, e.g., those relating to Holocene sea-level change or increased storm activity.
- Loess and Colluvial deposits as archives of climatic change.