Dr Rhian Rees-Owen
University of St Andrews
My current research focuses on modelling changes in radiocarbon in the deep and surface North Atlantic ocean over the last forty thousand years, using the GENIE Earth System Model. In turn, this will advance our understanding of changes in Atlantic ocean circulation during the episodes of rapid climate change that occurred during this time period.
My PhD research at the University of Leeds looked much further back in time. Using a range of isotope and organic geochemical proxies in combination with an isotope-enabled General Circulation Model, I reconstructed past vegetation, continental temperature and hydrological cycling on Antarctica, 3 – 14 million years ago, during a period of large-scale Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat. This work provided important insights into high Southern latitude climate change, in particular suggesting a marked reorganisation of the hydrological cycle over the continent driven by ice sheet collapse.