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Professor in the Department of Earth SciencesRm 315+44 (0) 191 33 42334
Departmental Rep (Earth Sciences) in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  


2019 – present — Professor in Earth Sciences, University of Durham, UK

2009 – present  — Director of the Sir Kingsley Dunham Palaeoclimate Laboratory , University of Durham

2015 – 2019 — Associate Professor (Reader), University of Durham, UK

2010 – 2015 — Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer), University of Durham, UK

2006 – 2010 — Assistant Professor (Lecturer), University of Durham, UK

2004 – 2006  — Postdoctoral Research Fellow , University College Dublin, Ireland

2002 – 2003  — Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Bristol, UK

2000  2004  — PhD., University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Sir Kingsley Dunham Palaeoclimate Laboratory Banner

Career Research Highlights

My research applies and develops high-resolution techniques to investigate a variety of scientific problems, and also utilises environmental monitoring and modelling to better understand the processes leading to climate proxy emplacement. A primary research interest is developing and understanding climate records created using stalagmites. I am currently the PI on the large ERC-funded HURRICANE Project, which aims to reconstruct tropical storm landfalls around the Caribbean region using stalagmites. Several current collaborations also involve archaeology, and a recent research highlight was working with a large multidisciplinary group to link cultural shifts that occurred during the Classic Maya Collapse to Central American climate variability. I am also involved in research reconstructing the North Atlantic Oscillation using stalagmites from Poland and Germany, modelling karst hydrology and the emplacement of climate signals into stalagmites, and establishing how oxygen isotopes in rainfall are affected by variability in major modes of atmospheric circulation. Related to my work with cave deposits, I have worked extensively on carbon dioxide in cave atmospheres and its effect on stalagmite climate proxies, and plan to continue this research into the future.

Invited Talks

2018 — Grey College, Durham University.

2018 — Calman Learning Centre, Durham University.

2014 — Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, Germany.

2014  — University of Northumbria, UK.

2013  — Durham/Newcastle Postgraduate Conference Keynote

2012  — Josephine Butler College, Durham University, UK.

2012  — Department of Geography, Durham University, UK.

2010  — RWTH Aachen, Germany.

2010  — The Open University, UK.

2010  — University of Liverpool, UK.

2008  — Natural History Society of Northumbria, UK.

2007  — Arthur Holmes Geological Society, Durham University, UK.

2004  — Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

2004  — University College Dublin, Ireland

Recent and Current Grants

2016 Long-Term Human-Environmental Interaction In a Lowland Tropic Setting. NSF Collaborative Grant (Co-I; $156,157).

2015 CoChange: Coastal societies in a changing world: A diachronic and comparative approach to the Prehistory of SW Europe from the late Palaeolithic to the Neolithic. Spanish Government grant (Co-I; 220,000 euro)

2014  SCENT: Controls on Soil Carbon Export revealed by Novel Tracers on multiple timescales. NERC grant (Co-I; £442,072)

2009  — HURRICANE: Past hurricane activity reconstructed using cave deposits. ERC Starting Grant (PI; 1.4 million euro)

2009  — ONE Northeast MSc studentships (PI; £32,000)

2008  — NERC U-series facility grant (Co-I; £13,000)

2008  — Co-host to Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow (£150,000)

2006  — Awarded a European Synchrotron Facility grant to analyse the trace elemental geochemistry of stalagmites at an extremely high spatial resolution (£50,000)

2002 — Marie Curie Fellowship, Bristol University (£75,000)

Research groups

  • Climate and Environmental Change
  • Geochemistry Research Group
  • Palaeoclimate Research Group
  • Volcanology Research Group

Research Projects


Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Earth Sciences: speleology (the study of caves and their development)
  • Earth Sciences: Holocene palaeoclimate (changes in the Earth's climate system in the last 10,000 years)
  • Earth Sciences: using stalagmites (cave calcite deposits) as palaeoclimate proxies to decode past climate changes
  • Weather & climate: anthropogenic climate change


Chapter in book

  • Baldini, J.U.L. (2010). Cave atmosphere controls on stalagmite growth rate and palaeoclimate records. In Tufas and Speleothems: Unravelling the Microbial and Physical Controls. Pedley, H.M. & Rogerson, M. London: Geological Society Special Publication. 336: 283-294.

Conference Proceeding

  • Baldini, J.U.L., McDermott, F. & Fairchild, I.J. (2004). Environmental controls on annual carbonate deposition for stalagmites from Brown's Folly Mine, Wiltshire, England.
  • Baldini, J.U., McDermott, F. & Fairchild, I.J. (2002). Speleothem trace elements as palaeohydrological proxies during the'8,200 year' cold/dry event.

Journal Article

Supervision students