Dr Alix Cage

Title: Lecturer in Environmental Science and Physical Geography
Phone: (+44) 01782 733177
Email: a.g.cage@keele.ac.uk
Location: William Smith Building: WS 1.14
Role: MSc Geoscience Research Programme Director
PGT Examinations Tutor
Work Placement Tutor
Contacting me: Either arrange an appointment via email or pop by my office
Alix Cage 200x200px

Loch Etive My interest in ocean science began as a child with a map of the ocean bathymetry – the unexplored depths!  I went on to study Geological Oceanography at Bangor University (BSc Hons), where I developed an interest in palaeoceanography (the study of past ocean conditions)and consequently went onto do the MSc in Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway University.  I gained my PhD in Physical Geography from the University of St Andrews, where I studied the ‘Modern and Late-Holocene Marine Environments of Loch Sunart, NW Scotland’ with Dr William Austin.

I stayed on at the University of St Andrews to carry out postdoctoral research primarily on the EU FP6-funded project ‘Millennium’, where I generated high-resolution multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental data from Loch Sunart (a fjord) on the NW coast of Scotland. 

During 2010, I worked as a Lecturer in Physical Geography and Manchester Metropolitan University and I started at Keele as a Lecturer in Physical Geography and Environmental Science in January 2011.

Elphidium excavatum My research interests lie in high-resolution (centennial to millennial-scale) shelf-sea palaeoceanography, marine palaeoecology and geochronology during the Holocene (last ~ 11,500 years) and late-Holocene (last ~ 2,000 years).  Shelf-sea and marginal marine environments can provide an important link between deep ocean and terrestrial records and could help us understand land-ocean interactions and how our climate is modulated by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Recently, my research has moved into reconstructing Quaternary environmental change in Arctic Environments.

I use both the chemical (stable isotope geochemistry) and biological (assemblage compositions) of benthic foraminifera (microscopic marine protists) to reconstruct past ocean climate.  I’m interested in improving our understanding of how modern marine processes influence palaeoceanographic proxies, particularly examining the biological response of modern benthic foraminifera to environmental variables and how those environmental signals are recorded in their  shell geochemistry.  Such steps are important in improving the quality of data used in palaeoceanographic reconstructions and gaining a handle on realistic interpretations of palaeoclimatic records, which in turn can be used to help us predict future climate change.

I was awarded a NERC Small Grant (as a Research Co-Investigator) to study the ‘Holocene tephra constraints on the timing of millennial-scale variability in the subpolar North Atlantic’ with Dr. Siwan Davies (University of Wales, Swansea) and Dr William  Austin (St Andrews) and I’m continuing this research whilst at Keele.

Selected Publications

  • Rogers SL and Cage AG. 2017. Academic Tribalism and Subject Specialists as a Challenge to Teaching and Learning in Dual Honours Systems; a Qualitative Perspective From the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Keele University, UK. The Journal of Academic Development and Education, 46-53. doi>
  • Furze MFA, Pienkowski AJ, McNeely MA, Bennett R, Cage AG. Deglaciation and ice shelf development at the northeast margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the Younger Dryas chronozone. Boreas. doi>
  • Robinson ZP, Cage AG, Szkornik K, Haffenden A, Oliver I, Stimpson I, Stott K, Ullah S, Waller RI. 2016. The Rise and Fall of a Collaboration: Reflections on the benefits, challenges and lessons learned from an joint England-China teaching initiative. The Journal of Academic Development and Education, 32-56. link>
  • Szkornik K, Cage AG, Oliver I, Robinson ZP, Stimpson I, Stott KJ, Ullah S, Waller RI. 2015. Preparing international students for the diversity of assessment in UK High Education. PedRIO, vol. 7(Inclusive Assessment), 30-35. link>
  • Reynolds DJ, Butler PG, Williams SM, Scourse JD, Richardson CA, Jr WAD, Austin WEN, Cage AG, Sayer MDJ. 2013. A multiproxy reconstruction of Hebridean (NW Scotland) spring sea surface temperatures between AD 1805 and 2010. PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, vol. 386, 275-285. link> doi>

Full Publications List show

Journal Articles

  • Rogers SL and Cage AG. 2017. Academic Tribalism and Subject Specialists as a Challenge to Teaching and Learning in Dual Honours Systems; a Qualitative Perspective From the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Keele University, UK. The Journal of Academic Development and Education, 46-53. doi>
  • Furze MFA, Pienkowski AJ, McNeely MA, Bennett R, Cage AG. Deglaciation and ice shelf development at the northeast margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the Younger Dryas chronozone. Boreas. doi>
  • Robinson ZP, Cage AG, Szkornik K, Haffenden A, Oliver I, Stimpson I, Stott K, Ullah S, Waller RI. 2016. The Rise and Fall of a Collaboration: Reflections on the benefits, challenges and lessons learned from an joint England-China teaching initiative. The Journal of Academic Development and Education, 32-56. link>
  • Szkornik K, Cage AG, Oliver I, Robinson ZP, Stimpson I, Stott KJ, Ullah S, Waller RI. 2015. Preparing international students for the diversity of assessment in UK High Education. PedRIO, vol. 7(Inclusive Assessment), 30-35. link>
  • Reynolds DJ, Butler PG, Williams SM, Scourse JD, Richardson CA, Jr WAD, Austin WEN, Cage AG, Sayer MDJ. 2013. A multiproxy reconstruction of Hebridean (NW Scotland) spring sea surface temperatures between AD 1805 and 2010. PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, vol. 386, 275-285. link> doi>
  • Cunningham LK, Austin WEN, Knudsen KL, Eiríksson J, Scourse JD, Wanamaker AD, Butler PG, Cage AG, Richter T, Husum K, Hald M, Andersson C, Zorita E, Linderholm HW, Gunnarson BE, Sicre M-A, Sejrup HP, Jiang H, Wilson RJS. 2013. Reconstructions of surface ocean conditions from the northeast Atlantic and Nordic seas during the last millennium. The Holocene: a major interdisciplinary journal focusing on recent environmental change, vol. 23(7), 921-935. doi>
  • Cage AG, Davies SM, Wastegard S, Austin WEN. 2011. Identification of the Icelandic Landnam tephra (AD 871 +/- 2) in Scottish fjordic sediment. QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL, vol. 246, 168-176. link> doi>
  • Cage AG and Austin WEN. 2010. Marine climate variability during the last millennium: The Loch Sunart record, Scotland, UK. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol. 29(13-14), 1633-1647. link> doi>
  • Stott KJ, Austin WEN, Sayer MDJ, Weidman CR, Cage AG, Wilson RJS. 2010. The potential of Arctica islandica growth records to reconstruct coastal climate in north west Scotland, UK. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol. 29(13-14), 1602-1613. link> doi>
  • Howe JA, Austin WEN, Forwick M, Paetzel M, Harland R, Cage AG. 2010. Fjord systems and archives: a review. Geological Society Special Publication, vol. 344, 5-15. doi>
  • Austin WEN and Cage AG. 2010. High benthic foraminiferal species counts in a Clyde Sea maerl bed, western Scotland. Geological Society Special Publication, vol. 344, 83-88. doi>
  • Cage AG and Austin WEN. 2008. Seasonal dynamics of coastal water masses in a Scottish fjord and their potential influence on benthic foraminiferal shell geochemistry. Geological Society Special Publication, vol. 303, 155-172. doi>
  • Austin WEN, Cage AG, Scourse JD. 2006. Mid-latitude shelf seas: a NW European perspective on the seasonal dynamics of temperature, salinity and oxygen isotopes. HOLOCENE, vol. 16(7), 937-947. link> doi>
  • Eiriksson J, Bartels-Jonsdottir HB, Cage AG, Gudmundsdottir ER, Klitgaard-Kristensen D, Marret F, Rodrigues T, Abrantes F, Austin WEN, Jiang H, Knudsen K-L, Sejrup H-P. 2006. Variability of the North Atlantic Current during the last 2000 years based on shelf bottom water and sea surface temperatures along an open ocean/shallow marine transect in western Europe. HOLOCENE, vol. 16(7), 1017-1029. link> doi>
  • Cage AG, Heinemeier J, Austin WEN. 2006. Marine radiocarbon reservoir ages in Scottish coastal and fjordic waters. RADIOCARBON, vol. 48(1), 31-43. link>
  • Gillibrand PA, Cage AG, Austin WEN. 2005. A preliminary investigation of basin water response to climate forcing in a Scottish fjord: evaluating the influence of the NAO. CONTINENTAL SHELF RESEARCH, vol. 25(5-6), 571-587. link> doi>

Year One

  • ESC-10032 Global Warming or a new Ice Age?
  • ESC-10035 Geographical Skills    
  • ESC-10041 People and the Environment

Year Two

  • GEG-20018 Concepts and Debates
  • ESC-20051 Work Placement Module (Module Leader)
  • ESC-20079 Environmental and Sustainability Impact Assessment and Research Planning

Year Three

  • GEG-30006 Geography Double Dissertation
  • GEG-30008 Geography Single Dissertation
  • ESC-30018 Global Environmental Change (Module Leader)
  • ESC-30019/30047 Environmental Programmes Dissertation tutor (Module Leader)
  • ESC-30042 Work Placement Year (Module Leader)

MSc Geoscience Research (member of Core Programme Team)

  • ESC-40042 Literature Review (Module Leader)
  • ESC-40044 Dissertation
  • ESC-40046 Research Project Design and Management
  • ESC-40049 Research Skills (Module Leader)