Skip to content

Cold Climates

The cold climate research group unites cross-disciplinary scientists in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences who are interested in processes in some of the most extreme environments on Earth.

Our studies develop insights into the state, behaviour and dynamics of Earth system processes in the polar regions through a combination of field research, laboratory experimentation and numerical modelling.

We are interested in how life exists in extreme environments and how processes in the coldest places influence the workings of the whole Earth.

Aims

We aim to understand the causes and consequences of change in the Earth system by using glaciology, biogeochemistry, microbiology, palaeoceanography and palaeoecology.

Funding

Bagshaw, E. Novel geophysical sensors for snow monitoring. Royal Astronomical Society. 1 January 2017-31 December 2017, £1,000

Bagshaw, E. Polar snow in a warming world. The Percy Sladen Memorial Fund. 1 April 2017-31 April 2018, £700

Bagshaw, E. Cryoegg: a novel wireless instrument for exploring deep ice. EPSRC. January 2019-January 2021, £291,000

Mikis, A. and Pike, J. The use of individual planktonic foraminifera from sediment traps to assess seasonal variability along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Science Ltd. 1 June 2015-31 May 2016, £4,700

Mitchison, F. and Pike, J. Exploring the utility of diatom silica oxygen isotopes as a proxy for Pliocene EAIS retreat. Antarctic Science Ltd. 3 August 2017-31 March 2018, £4,988

Perkins, R. The Longyearbreen Glacier, Svalbard. British Phycological Society Small Grant. August 2015, £950

Pike, J. IceMelt 200: A 200 year record of glacier melting in the Amundsen Sea. British Antarctic Survey Collaboration Voucher. 1 March 2017-28 February 2018, £3,650

Pike, J., Swann, G. E. A., Leng, M. J. and Leventer, A. Tracing icebergs around East Antarctica - an indication of past ice sheet dynamics? NERC Isotope Geoscience Facility Steering Committee IP-1733-0517. June 2017, £32,000

Poniecka, E. and Bagshaw, E. Microbial community structure changes during temporal development of cryoconite holes. Antarctic Science Ltd. 1 June 2017-31 May 2019, £4,590

Williams, J., Pike, J., Swann, G. E. A. Leng, M. J., and Allen, C.S. Late Quaternary Antarctic ice sheet glacial discharge: exploiting the sediment diatom silica isotope archive. NERC Isotope Geoscience Facility Steering Committee IP 1773-1117. November 2017, £44,000

Williams, J., Pike, J., Swann, G. E. A. Leng, M. J., and Allen, C.S. Holocene diatom and sponge spicule oxygen isotope ratios from the west Antarctic Peninsula: exploring seasonal and depth related isotope offsets using paired samples. NERC Isotope Geoscience Facility Steering Committee IP 1924-0619. July 2019, £18,000

Selected publications

Academic staff

Dr Jenny Pike

Dr Jenny Pike

Deputy Head of School and Reader

Email:
pikej@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5181
Dr Rupert Perkins

Dr Rupert Perkins

Senior Lecturer in Marine Biosciences

Email:
perkinsr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5026
Michael Prior-Jones

Michael Prior-Jones

Research Associate
Glaciology and Communications Engineering

Email:
prior-jonesm@cardiff.ac.uk

Postgraduate students

No profile image

Ellie Pryor

Research student

Email:
pryore1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5874
Ewa Poniecka

Ewa Poniecka

Research student

Email:
ponieckaea@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6688
Jasmin Millar

Jasmin Millar

Research student

Email:
millarjl@cardiff.ac.uk
Jamie Williams

James Williams

Research student

Email:
williamsja8@cardiff.ac.uk

Associated staff

Dr Henrik Sass

Dr Henrik Sass

Senior Lecturer

Email:
sassh@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6001
Dr Marc-Alban Millet

Dr Marc-Alban Millet

Senior Lecturer

Email:
milletm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5124
Professor Carrie Lear

Professor Carrie Lear

Professor in Earth Science

Email:
learc@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9004
Dr Ernest Chi Fru

Dr Ernest Chi Fru

Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences

Email:
chifrue@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 0058
Dr Claire Earlie

Dr Claire Earlie

Lecturer in Coastal Processes

Email:
earliec@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5563
Dr Morten Andersen

Dr Morten Andersen

Lecturer

Email:
andersenm1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4943
Professor Stephen Barker

Professor Stephen Barker

Professor in Earth Science

Email:
barkers3@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4328
Professor Ian Hall

Professor Ian Hall

Head of School, Earth and Ocean Sciences
Research Professor

Email:
hall@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5612 / +44 (0)29 2087 6689

Specialist low temperature environmental simulation cabinets

The cold climate laboratory has Weiss Low Temperature simulation cabinets, which can mimic conditions in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. We can control light, temperature (-40°C to +80°C) and gas content.

Precision chemical analysis

We use Unisense optodes and electrodes to measure oxygen and pH at the microscale. We have an automated, temperature controlled titration system and gas analysis equipment.

Field measurement of meteorological, water and biogeochemical parameters

We can measure and log a variety of biogeochemical parameters (pH, EC, light) using Campbell Scientific data loggers and associated probes in the laboratory and in the field.

We use a Fast Rapid Rate Fluorometer (Photon Systems Instruments 3500F) to measure the photophysiology of microalgae and cyanobacteria cultured in our Weiss Low Temperature cabinets. The FRRF can measure photoacclimation as well as standard proxies of productivity and down regulation.