We are interested in how life exists in extreme environments and how processes in the coldest places influence the workings of the whole Earth.
The Cold Climate Research Group unites cross-disciplinary scientists in the Earth and Environmental Sciences who are interested in processes in some of the most extreme environments on Earth.
We use field research, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling to understand processes occurring in cold climate systems. We are interested in how life exists in extreme environments and how processes in the coldest places influence the workings of the whole Earth.
Our expertise in biogeochemistry, microbiology, technology development is used to address some of the most pressing scientific questions about the state, behaviour and dynamics of Earth system processes in the polar regions and beyond.
We aim to understand the causes and consequences of change in the Earth system by using glaciology, biogeochemistry, microbiology, palaeoceanography and palaeoecology.
We are working to find out how melting ice sheets impact the ocean, in the past, present and future. We use isotopes, in situ monitoring and microfossils to understand how fluxes of nutrients change the ocean. We are also learning about the role of glacier surfaces in regional ecosystem dynamics and how mixoplankton contribute to the polar ocean system.
We develop new technologies for exploring meltwater beneath glaciers, and returning data from deep ice. We are also making systems for monitoring temperate catchments at high spatial and temporal resolution, to understand water quality in UK rivers and reservoirs.
We use state of the art microbial analysis methods to understand icy ecosystems. We are finding out what species can survive in extreme cold systems, both now and in the past. We are measuring the activity of ecosystems, both in extreme icy environments and in UK freshwater systems, to understand how they influence their surroundings.
You can find out about some our research by watching these videos:
- Jaz Millar tells us about Snowball Earth ecosystems
- Mike Prior-Jones describes technology measuring under glaciers
- Liz Bagshaw introduces the Cryoegg project
- Aditee Mitra tells us all about mixoplankton
- Hendry, K. R. et al., 2019. The biogeochemical impact of glacial meltwater from Southwest Greenland. Progress in Oceanography 176 102126. (10.1016/j.pocean.2019.102126)
- Lamarche-Gagnon, G. et al., 2019. Greenland melt drives continuous export of methane from the ice-sheet bed. Nature 565 , pp.73-77. (10.1038/s41586-018-0800-0)
- Bagshaw, E. et al. 2018. Prototype wireless sensors for monitoring subsurface processes in snow and firn. Journal of Glaciology 64 (248), pp.887-896. (10.1017/jog.2018.76)
- Hawkings, J. R. et al., 2018. The silicon cycle impacted by past ice sheets. Nature Communications 9 3210. (10.1038/s41467-018-05689-1)
- Alley, K. et al., 2018. Iceberg Alley, East Antarctic Margin: Continuously laminated diatomaceous sediments from the late Holocene. Marine Micropaleontology 140 , pp.56-68. (10.1016/j.marmicro.2017.12.002)
- Perkins, R. G. et al. 2017. Photoacclimation by Arctic cryoconite phototrophs. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 93 (5) fix018. (10.1093/femsec/fix018)
- Montserrat, F. et al., 2017. Olivine dissolution in seawater: implications for CO2 sequestration through Enhanced Weathering in coastal environments. Environmental Science & Technology 51 (7), pp.3960-3972. (10.1021/acs.est.6b05942)
- Swann, G. E. A. et al., 2017. Temporal controls on silicic acid utilisation along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Nature Communications 8 14645. (10.1038/ncomms14645)
- Anderson, N. J. et al., 2017. The Arctic in the twenty-first century: changing biogeochemical linkages across a paraglacial landscape of Greenland. BioScience 67 (2), pp.118-133. (10.1093/biosci/biw158)
- Swann, G. E. A. , Snelling, A. M. and Pike, J. 2016. Biogeochemical cycling in the Bering Sea over the onset of major Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. Paleoceanography 31 (9), pp.1261-1269. (10.1002/2016PA002978)
- Bagshaw, E. et al. 2016. Chemical sensors for in situ data collection in the cryosphere. Trends in Analytical Chemistry 82 , pp.348-357. (10.1016/j.trac.2016.06.016)
- Welsby, H. J. , Hendry, K. R. and Perkins, R. 2016. The role of benthic biofilm production in the mediation of silicon cycling in the Severn Estuary, UK. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 176 , pp.124-134. (10.1016/j.ecss.2016.04.008)
- Bagshaw, E. et al. 2016. Response of Antarctic cryoconite microbial communities to light. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 92 (6) fiw076. (10.1093/femsec/fiw076)
- Perkins, R. G. et al. 2016. Microspatial variability in community structure and photophysiology of calcified macroalgal microbiomes revealed by coupling of hyperspectral and high-resolution fluorescence imaging. Scientific Reports 6 22343. (10.1038/srep22343)
- Renforth, P. , Pogge von Strandmann, P. A. E. and Henderson, G. M. 2015. The dissolution of olivine added to soil: implications for enhanced weathering. Applied Geochemistry 61 , pp.109-118. (10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.05.016)
Director of Learning and Teaching
- +44 (0)29 2087 5181
Glaciology and Communications Engineering
Lecturer in Environmental and Physical Geography
- +44 (0)29 2087 4579
Head of School, Earth and Environmental Sciences
- +44 (0)29 2087 5612 / +44 (0)29 2087 6689