Quaternary climates and environments
Our research explores the climate changes of the Quaternary Period and their impacts on landscapes, ecosystems and humans societies.
Our work encompasses a wide range of palaeoclimatic and palaeoecological research techniques, applied to diverse archives including long lacustrine and marine sediment sequences, peats and mires, geomorphological landforms and archaeological deposits. Key topics include the timing, mechanisms and impacts of Quaternary climate change at a range of spatial and temporal scales, the dynamics of past ecosystems, and human-environment interactions within the dynamic context of Quaternary environmental change.
Who we are
Tim Allott (Group: EPRG)
Tim’s palaeolimnological research has focussed on the impacts of air pollution on upland freshwaters and the extent to which acidified and metal polluted lakes and streams can recover.
Roger Braithwaite (Group: QEG, Emeritus)
Roger specialises in present-day glacier-climate relationships, but working in collaboration with Phil Hughes is exploring the implications of the degree-day model for Quaternary glaciation.
Jason Dortch (Groups: QEG, EPRG)
Jason is conducting research in the Indian Himalaya, exploring links between geomorphological processes and past periods of enhanced monsoon activity, with a special focus on large landslides, flood events, and fluvial incision rates.
Will’s research in the palynology of long marine and terrestrial archives explores the palaeoclimatic implications of past vegetation changes in the Mediterranean and North Africa, with a particular focus on abrupt climate changes and millennial-scale variability.
Phil Hughes (Group: QEG)
Phil examines the spatiotemporal dynamics and palaeoclimatic significance of past glaciation, with regional foci in the Balkans, western Mediterranean, Morocco and the British Isles.
Christine Lane (Group: QEG)
Christine explores the impacts, timing and mechanisms of Late Quaternary climatic change and environmental responses, specialising in the study of volcanic ash isochrons to date and precisely correlate palaeoenvironmental archives.
Pete Ryan (Group: QEG)
Pete is a palynologist and palaeoecologist whose research concerns the environmental impacts of Mesolithic cultures, the transition to farming, and the deforestation of upland Britain.
Abi Stone (Groups: QEG, EPRG)
Abi’s expertise in Quaternary climate change relates to dryland environments, with a current focus on palaeoclimatic conditions in southern Africa using the study of geoproxies (e.g. sand dunes, fluvial tufa carbonates) and geochronological techniques.
Jamie Woodward (Group: QEG)
Jamie is a geomorphologist and geoarchaeologist with particular interests in the nature and impacts of Quaternary environmental change in the Mediterranean and the Nile basin.
Current research projects
- INTegrating Ice core, MArine and TErrestrial records: The INTIMATE network. Christine Lane (Chair) and Will Fletcher
- Into and out of the Younger Dryas at Haemelsee, northern Germany. Christine Lane, Stefan Engels (Amsterdam), Wim Hoek & Frederike Wagner-Cremer (Utrecht), Achim Brauer & Dirk Sachse (GFZ, Potsdam).
- DeepCHALLA: two glacial-interglacial cycles (ca. 250,000 years) of climate and ecosystem dynamics on the East African equator. Christine Lane, PI Dirk Verschuren (Ghent)
- MATLAB modelling to approximate how fluctuations in the strength of the mid-latitude westerlies and the Indian Monsoon have impacted Himalayan glacier extent throughout the Pleistocene. Jason Dortch
- The 1.3-Ma-long terrestrial climate archive of Tenaghi Philippon, northeastern Greece. Will Fletcher, PI Joerg Pross (Heidelberg) & Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BIK-F)
- Impacts of abrupt glacial and deglacial climate events on vegetation and fire regime in
- the Middle Atlas, Morocco. PI Will Fletcher, Christoph Zielhofer (Leipzig), Steffen Mischke (Reykjavik)
- Why are we still puzzled about the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in southern Africa? PI Abi Stone
- The last interglacial in southern Africa: status of the palaeoproxy database. PI Abi Stone, Sallie Burrough and Alex Rowell (Oxford)
- Wiggle-match dating a 500 yr environmental record from a high-altitude, subtropical peat bog (High Atlas, Morocco). PI Will Fletcher
- Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change in the High Atlas, Morocco. PI Phil Hughes, Co-PI Will Fletcher
- Records of Mid-Late Holocene climate change from the North Atlantic region. Pete Ryan, Will Fletcher, Jeff Blackford (Hull)