EXPLORE CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Prof Pearson graduated with a BA in Geology from Oxford in 1987 before completing a PhD at Cambridge in 1990 on the evolution of Eocene planktonic foraminifera. He then spent several years as a Research Fellow in Cambridge funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, following which, he was based at Bristol University as a Royal Society Research Fellow. He joined the School in January 2003.
Prof Pearson is interested in extracting climatic information from deep sea cores and sediments. He specializes in evolutionary and geochemical studies of planktonic foraminifera, and what they tell us about the long history of climate change on Earth. He has helped develop new proxies for determining past seawater pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and hence the history of the greenhouse effect. His studies range from the Cretaceous period to Recent.
Prof Pearson has sailed on several occasions with the Ocean Drilling Program. Over the last few years, he has been co-ordinating geological exploration and drilling programmes in coastal Tanzania and Java (Indonesia) where excellently preserved samples have been obtained, providing new insights into the history of tropical climate.
He is also interested in the history of science and archaeology.
Summary: The project focuses on abrupt ocean acidification events in earth’s past. It will investigate a variety of geological records from the deep sea and the margins of the oceans. Unique among these is a newly recovered borehole through marine sediments in Tanzania. Preliminary work revealed the presence of a highly expanded (thick) record of the onset of the Paleocene / Eocene thermal maximum (‘PETM’) event with very well-preserved planktonic microfossils that is suitable for new geochemical and biological studies
Summary: Studying the global cooling trend of the Eocene, atmospheric CO2 levels and ocean biota.
Summary: This project compares the available sediment record in the deep sea and continental areas around the North Atlantic with diversity patterns in calcareous nannoplankton and planktonic foraminifera to assess possible biases in the rock record on recorded diversity.
Summary: This project aims to provide a detailed understanding of how ecology and environmental change have shaped the evolution and biodiversity of planktonic foraminifera over the last 65 million years.
Summary: This project is the UK component of a European consortium, approved through the ESF/Eurocores programme, to investigate Paleogene sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean. Part of the project will be a site survey cruise on RV Pelagia in the waters off Tanzania and Mozambique to investigate suitable drilling sites for an Integrated Ocean Drilling Program initiative that is currently in the pre-proposal stage.
Summary: This funding supports Dr Phil Sexton in a Marie Curie Outgoing Research Fellowship, based in Cardiff, with two years as visitor to Scripps Oceanographic Institution in California. The aim is to investiage natural processes of extinction in planktonic oganisms.
NERC Standard Grant NE/F019688/1. 1/08/08-31/01/11. Smith, A., Pearson, P.N. and Young, J. Comparing land-based and deep sea rock and fossil records of microplankton to test bias in diversity patterns through time. £14,559 to Cardiff.
Purvis, A. (Imperial College) and Pearson, P.N. Macroevolution in planktonic foraminifera. NERC grant NE/E018165/1. 01/10/07-30/09/10, £86,319 (Cardiff component)
Pearson, P.N.. NERC UK-IODP grant NE/F523293/1. GLOW Tropical temperature history during Palaeogene global warming events. 01/05/07 - 30/04/10, £82,305
Pearson, P.N.. European Union MOIF-CT-2006-40177 International Outgoing Fellowship. Climate change, hydrography and the paradox of plankton extinctions. 18/11/06-17/11/09. E277,456, £190,057
Lear, C.H. and Pearson, P.N. NERC Standard Grant NE/D008654/1. An integrated study of the middle Miocene Climate Transition. £90,969
Pearson, PN. NERC grant NE/C514523. Eocene - Oligocene climate change in Indonesia. 01/01/06-31/12/06. £30,788.
Pearson, P.N. NERC standard grant NE/B503225/1. Palaeoclimatic study of cored intervals of major environmental change, Tanzania. £208,063 01/10/04-30/09/06
Pearson, PN. NERC standard grant NE/X509345/1. Double proxy investigation of Cretaceous and Paleogene CO2 levels, Tanzania. £259,552 01/10/02-30/09/05