Return to page

Academic Staff


Dr Caroline Lear

Research

Carrie’s research exploits the trace metal content of carbonate fossils as a window to past climatic change. For example, Carrie uses the Mg/Ca ratio of microscopic oceanic fossils called foraminifera to reconstruct past ocean temperatures. She also exploits their Li/Ca, B/Ca and boron isotope ratios to link past changes in climate with changes in the carbon cycle and pCO2.

 Most of Carrie’s samples have been drilled from deep-sea sediments by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Carrie has participated in several ocean drilling projects, including Ocean Drilling Project Leg 199 (equatorial Pacific). She has also collected field samples from Tanzania and Italy.

 Carrie is currently working on a project with PDRA Dr Sindia Sosdian and Dr Gavin Foster using her “proxies” to reconstruct temperatures, ice volume and pCO2 from the Middle Miocene (~14 million years ago) during an interval when the Antarctic ice sheet expanded. The results will be used by modeller Dan Lunt to test how well ice sheet models can reproduce the changes recorded by these fossils.

 Carrie currently has three PhD students; Pete Bloxsom, Sam Bradley-Dosaj and Scott Butler. Pete is examining the variability of ocean circulation through the glaciation of the northern hemisphere, Sam is examining the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during a past interval of global warming, and Scott is developing a new palaeothermometer using Mg/Ca ratios of fossil brachiopod shells.

 

Links:

http://www.iodp.org/

http://earth.subsite.cf.ac.uk/earth/research-staff/dr-sindia-sosdian/

http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/geochem/index.php?action=staff_entry&SID=12030

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/geography/people/dan-j-lunt/index.html

http://earth.subsite.cf.ac.uk/earth/postgraduate-students/mr-peter-bloxsom/

http://earth.subsite.cf.ac.uk/earth/postgraduate-students/mr-sam-bradley-dosaj/

http://earth.subsite.cf.ac.uk/earth/postgraduate-students/mr-scott-butler/

 

A fossil benthic foraminifera from the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~34 million years ago) collected in Tanzania.

A fossil benthic foraminifera from the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~34 million years ago) collected in Tanzania.