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My present research aims to improve knowledge of the nature, rate and timing of climatic changes during the last glacial cycle and the previous interglacial period (Eemian). This will be achieved through the precise synchronisation of key ice-core and marine sequences from the North Atlantic region using horizons of volcanic ash (tephra). Through this work I have been involved in the retrieval and analysis of the latest deep-ice core to be extracted from the Greenland Ice Sheet, the North Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) core. A significant focus of this work involves improving the robustness of geochemical characterisations of tephra horizons through the use of the technique of laser ablation inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), in addition to the standard technique of electron-probe micro analysis. This allows us to gain trace element characterisations and a more comprehensive geochemical fingerprint for horizons which will aid in the correlation of material between records. Work on marine records has involved the application of the density separation technique to explore the presence of cryptotephra horizons within the fine-fraction of sediments and attempts to disentangle the transport history of volcanic material within the marine environment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Tephrochronology of ice and marine cores
  • geochemical characterisation of tephra (major and trace elements)
  • abrupt climate change


  1. & Underestimated risks of recurrent long-range ash dispersal from northern Pacific Arc volcanoes. Scientific Reports 6, 29837
  2. & Visualizing tephra deposits and sedimentary processes in the marine environment: The potential of X-ray microtomography. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, n/a-n/a.
  3. & Last glacial period cryptotephra deposits in an eastern North Atlantic marine sequence: Exploring linkages to the Greenland ice-cores. Quaternary Geochronology 31, 62-76.
  4. & Developing a robust tephrochronological framework for Late Quaternary marine records in the Southern Adriatic Sea: new data from core station SA03-11. Quaternary Science Reviews 118, 84-104.
  5. & A tephra lattice for Greenland and a reconstruction of volcanic events spanning 25–45 ka b2k. Quaternary Science Reviews 118, 122-141.

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Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2010 Present Postdoctoral Research Officer ERC funded project “Tephra Constraints on Rapid Climate Events (TRACE)” and Swansea University
2010 2011 Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the NERC-funded project Synchronising MArine and ice-core Records using Tephrochronology (SMART) at Swansea University
2009 2010 Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the NERC-funded project Synchronising MArine and ice-core Records using Tephrochronology (SMART) at Swansea University
2005 2009 Ph.D. in Physical Geography Tephrochronology of the Greenland Ice-cores and the North Atlantic Region during Marine Isotope Stage 4, Swansea University
2004 2005 MSc Quaternary Science Royal Holloway/UCL, University of London
2001 2004 BSc (Hons) Geography St John's College, Durham University
Swansea Tephra Group

Swansea Tephra Group