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Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41874


My research interests lie in the area of Quaternary environmental reconstruction with particular focus on palaeoceanography and sea-level changes. My current areas of research include:

  • Interaction between palaeoceanography and ice sheet dynamics
  • Relative sea-level changes and coastal evolution
  • Reconstructing Asian Monsoon climate

Interaction between palaeoceanography and ice sheet dynamics

One of my main areas of research has focused on the link between ocean circulation and ice sheet dynamics. This research has concentrated on the west Greenland margin, but has recently expanded to include research from the northeast Greenland margin and the Antarctic Peninsula. Research in west Greenland has investigated the timing and nature of deglaciation in the Disko Bay area and also the link between ocean circulation and the dynamics of Jakobshavns Isbrae (one of the largest ice streams draining the Greenland Ice Sheet). I have extended this research into the link between the oceans and ice streams through recent research from Fosters Bugt in northeast Greenland and Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula. This research has involved collaboration with Dr Antoon Kuijpers (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland), Dr Matthias Moros (Baltic Sea Research Institute, Germany), Dr Andrzej Witkowski (University of Szczecin, Poland) and Profs Colm Ó Cofaigh and Antony Long (Durham).

Relative sea-level changes and coastal evolution

I have carried out research reconstructing relative sea-level change from a range of locations around the UK including NW Scotland, the Solway Firth, Cumbria and NE England. This new data can then be used to test and help refine quantitative glacio-hydro-isostatic models. I am also interested in the relative sea-level history from NW Iceland with the aim of providing accurate relative sea-level reconstructions from the Lateglacial through to the Late Holocene needed to test geophysical glacio-hydro-isostatic models and also provide information on deglaciation. I am also collaborating with archaeologists interested in the Viking settlements of NW Iceland and their links with the sea.

Reconstructing Asian Monsoon climate

One of my research interests has been in developing new proxies from the Pearl River Estuary to reconstruct the Southeast Asian Monsoon. In this research we have investigated a number of proxies including foraminifera, diatoms and bulk carbon stable isotopes to reconstruct the variation in freshwater flux to the Pearl River Estuary linked to monsoon precipitation. This research has recently been extended to include organic and inorganic geochemical analysis of a maar lake sequence. This research is being carried out in collaboration with Drs Cheng Zong and Wyss Yim (University of Hong Kong) and Dr Rachel Flecker (University of Bristol).

Research interests

  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction using foraminifera
  • Palaeoceanography of the Greenland margin
  • Interaction between ocean circulation and ice sheet dynamics
  • Sea-level change and coastal evolution


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