Dr Dominic Fontana
Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3HE
I graduated as a mature student in 1991 from Portsmouth Polytechnic with a CNAA first-class BA (hons.) Geography and have taught in Department of Geography since. I gained my PhD in 2002 from University of Portsmouth. My thesis considered the philosophical and practical application of GIS technology to integrated archaeological and environmental studies in the Langstone Harbour, Hampshire. I currently lecture in GIS, human geography and historical geography. I am course leader for our MSc in GIS.
I am an active broadcaster and have appeared in a number of television documentaries including “What sank the Mary Rose?” (2000) for Channel Four directed by Peter Bate and produced by Darlow Smithson; “Bloodbath at Hastings” (2002) in five’s Battlefield Detectives strand directed by Georgina Pye and produced by Granada Media, “The Ghosts of The Mary Rose” (2008) directed by Martin Gorst and produced by Windfall Films for five. The film was shown as part of their “Revealed” strand and most recently “What really sank the Mary Rose” (2008) directed by Howard Foster produced by Redlobster Media for The History Channel. I have also been involved in the creation and development of the quiz show “National GeoGenius” (2001) directed by Stuart McDonald for the National Geographic Channel which was commissioned for two series. I have also been a radio broadcaster.
Dominic filming at Cowdray House, Midhurst, West Sussex.
July 2008. Photo by Stephen Foote.
I enjoy lecturing and have been invited to speak on many occasions at The Mary Rose Trust as well as The Royal Naval Club, The Society of Antiquaries of London and Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. I have also spoken at many international conferences in Europe and the United States of America over the years.
Before becoming a Geographer my career was somewhat eclectic, encompassing a five years working for British Railways, a period at Salisbury College of Art studying photography and five years working as project photographer on The Mary Rose maritime archaeological project. This project excavated and recovered King Henry VIII's vice-flagship, which sank in 1545 during an action against the French, from the seabed of the Solent in 1982. The Mary Rose Trust now preserves and displays the ship and its contents in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard. My interest in maritime archaeology and the Mary Rose project is still very strong.
Current Research Interests
At present I am engaged on building a Geographic Information System (GIS) reconstructing the events of the battle which took place in the Solent and the Isle of Wight in July 1545. It was during this action that the Mary Rose was sunk and the majority of her crew lost. The GIS enables me to better understand the disposition of the opposing fleets and to model what may have happened to result in the disaster which befell the Mary Rose. This project incorporates data from a wide variety of geographical and historical sources and uses the GIS as the means of integrating this evidence.
With the background in Maritime Archaeology gained from an intimate involvement with The Mary Rose Project I have worked on a number of projects with an archaeological component including The Langstone Harbour Archaeological Survey Project. This inter-disciplinary project developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) to hold, manage and display archaeological and environmental data for the analysis of the coastal and inter-tidal zone of Langstone Harbour on the south coast of Hampshire. Some further work has also been done in Portsmouth Harbour, Chichester Harbour and The River Itchen in Southampton as well as The Solent area as a whole. Sponsoring bodies for this work included; Hampshire County Council, West Sussex County Council, The Environment Agency, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Chichester Harbour Conservancy, Southampton City Council and The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.
I also have interests in historical mapping and web dissemination of research data.
I would be happy to supervise any students wishing to pursue research in any of the above areas. In the first instance it would probably be best to contact me directly by e-mail.
Please look at:
Please also look at the wonderful work of Jean and Martin Norgate which is hosted by the Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth.