My PhD project aims to develop a new proxy for reconstructing past ocean circulation.
Ocean circulation plays a central role in dictating Earth’s climate by transporting and storing large quantities of CO2 and heat. It has been shown that circulation patterns have repeatedly switched between different styles, driving major changes in atmospheric CO2 and climate. Understanding these past changes are vital to inform our future. However, despite its importance, reconstructing past changes in ocean circulation remains challenging, with current methods limited by multiple competing controls. My project therefore aims to develop a new proxy based on neodymium in microfossil shells which preliminary data has shown has the potential to create strikingly coherent records of ocean circulation. This will involve generating new data in the STAiG lab and computer modelling work to understand the physical and biogeochemical controls on the proxy.
Once developed, I will apply the method to examine past changes in ocean circulation, including their influence on storage of CO2 in the glacial ocean and on rapid climate change events, and provide a context for the changes in circulation predicted to occur in the coming decades.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):