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Geography Professor with a long and distinguished record of research, teaching and administration

Retirement of Professor David Turnock

On the evening of 17 June 2003 a reception was held to mark the retirement of David Turnock after a long and distinguished career in the University.  

A graduate and postgraduate from the University of Cambridge, David was appointed to a lectureship in the Geography Department in 1969 after three years on the staff of the University of Aberdeen. He was promoted to a Readership in 1977 and Chair in Human Geography in 2003.

[Photo: Professor David Turnock]

In the early part of his career David gained a reputation for his research in the fields of historical geography and rural development culminating in the publication of two classic volumes, Patterns of Highland Development (1970) and The Historical Geography of Scotland since 1707 (1982).  

Despite continuing to teach in these areas, David’s research over the last decade or so has increasingly become focussed on Eastern Europe, in particular environmental and economic issues, during both the communism era and the more recent period of transition. This research has attracted much funding and involves collaboration with a number of colleagues in Eastern Europe.  

Among the several important contributions to our current understanding of the transition process include (with F W Carter) The States of Eastern Europe: Southeastern Europe (1999), Privatisation in Rural Eastern Europe (1998) and East Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union, Environment and Society (2001).

David is a leading authority in his field and his research record is second to none.  It involves the writing of over 20 books, the editing of some five or more edited volumes, over 250 journal articles as well as numerous monographs and reports.  

It was not surprising, therefore, that in 1989 David was awarded the prestigious Royal Geographical Society’s Edward Heath Award for contributions to European understanding, the Romanian Geographical Society’s Bronze Medal in 1993, the Romanian Academy Geography Institute’s Diploma in 1994 and, in 2000, an Honorary Doctorate from the West University of Timisoara.

Despite this acclaimed research David still carried a heavy teaching load as well as a wide range of administrative duties including many years liaison with Nene College, Northampton. All were undertaken in his usual quiet and efficient manner.  

David was highly respected by colleagues within and beyond the University. In his retirement, David will continue his research as well as travelling extensively in Eastern Europe. 

At the reception David received a digital camera as part of his retirement gift. We wish both he and his wife, Marion, a long and happy retirement.

Professor Gareth Lewis

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Last updated: 23 October 2003 14:27
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