I graduated in 2018 from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, receiving my bachelor degrees in Advanced Science and Arts, with First Class Honours in Climate Science. My honours year was spent in the UNSW ICELAB with Chris Turney, where I used a range of techniques to quantify organic matter and climate signals preserved within a snow/firn core from the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica. During my bachelors I spent time as an academic tutor, and conducted data analysis for a public policy evaluation consultancy.
I have come to Keele for my PhD, supervised by Professor Chris Fogwill. I’m using proxy methods, including fluorescence spectroscopy and liquid water isotope analysis, to reconstruct climate and ocean dynamics across high-resolution ‘horizontal’ Antarctic ice cores. Current model reconstructions of Holocene (<11,650 years BP) climate dynamics are starved for important constraining data, so proxy records spanning this period, particularly in the West Antarctic, are sorely needed. There is also a severely limited understanding of biological activity within Antarctic ice and ice cores. My application of fluorescence spectroscopy and novel imaging techniques will help illuminate the drivers behind changes in organic content in ice.
Research and scholarship
A high-resolution reconstruction of Holocene climate and ice sheet change in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica
A key problem for reducing the uncertainty in climate projections is that historical records of change are too short to test the skill of climate models, raising concerns over our ability to successfully plan for future change. Arguably, one of the most significant elements of the climate system in this regard is the Southern Ocean. Playing a significant role in global climate, changes in the ocean south of 50˚S have an impact on the global carbon cycle and may trigger atmospheric circulation changes with implications for Antarctic Ice sheet stability and therefore global sea level. Unfortunately, there is a relative dearth of high-resolution climate records from the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere, limiting our understanding of how this area has responded to past change.
To address this knowledge gap, the overarching aim of this PhD is to use novel and innovative palaeoclimate approaches to quantify and understand the mechanisms of change in the high-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere and explore and their relationship to mid-latitude atmospheric circulation across the broader region during the Holocene. Focusing on a unique record from the Patriot Hills in the southern Atlantic sector of Antarctica, this project will fulfil the following research objectives:
1. Apply innovative approaches to quantify the magnitude, impact, rate of change and timing of atmospheric changes in over the past 11,650 years as recorded in ice.
2. Develop novel methods to explore the mechanisms and impact of atmospheric and surface ocean changes over the mid-latitudes through the analysis of marine biomarkers captured in ice.
3. Integrate these records with current and emerging oceanographic and model reconstructions of the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean to examine ice-ocean-atmosphere teleconnections.
UNSW Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre ECR Scholarship (2018)
UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Deans List for Academic Excellence (2015)