Dr Andrea Burke

Dr Andrea Burke
Senior Lecturer


My research is motivated by a desire to understand the interactions between ocean circulation, chemistry, and climate on a variety of timescales. To do this, I use isotope geochemistry and numerical modeling. Current interests include:

Southern Ocean circulation and CO2
Overturning circulation in the Southern Ocean plays a key role in CO2 regulation and heat transport. Changes in Southern Ocean circulation are thought to control glacial-interglacial CO2 cycles in the past, and may have an important influence on anthropogenic
CO2 uptake in the future. To understand these processes I use radiocarbon as a tracer of ocean-atmosphere CO2 exchange and ocean circulation. Much of my work has focused on deep sea corals, which provide an excellent archive for radiocarbon and other geochemical tracers, and can be precisely dated using uranium and thorium isotope ratios (Burke and Robinson, 2012, Chen et al., 2015). This geochemical work is coupled with circulation modelling, including the application of inverse methods to explore protactinium/thorium changes in the deep Atlantic (Burke et al., 2011), and new approaches to dynamical modelling of Southern Ocean circulation (Ferrari et al., 2014; Burke, Stewart et al., 2015).

Sulfur biogeochemistry and climate forcing
The sulfur cycle exerts an important control on earth's surface redox state, is intertwined with a variety of biogeochemical reactions, and may act as a major climate forcer. To gain insights into these processes I make measurements of sulfur isotope ratios, using a new multi-collector inductively-coupled-plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) technique (Paris et al., 2013). The key advantage of this method is that it allows us to make measurements on extremely small samples, opening up a variety of exciting new research possibilities. Current work includes constraining riverine fluxes of sulfur to the ocean, and reconstructions of climate forcing from volcanic sulfate aerosols.


Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (REINFORCE: Reconstructing and Interpreting the Forcing of Climate using Sulfur and Carbon Isotopes).

NERC Standard Grant: REIMAGINATION: REconstructing and understanding the IMplications of surface radiocarbon AGe changes In the North Atlantic for overturning circulatTION)

source: symbiosis


Recent publications

10  (of 10 published available) for ab276 with keyword Climate clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.

Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
vol.Early View 
Acceleration of northern ice sheet melt induces AMOC slowdown and northern cooling in simulations of the early last deglaciation
Ruza Ivanovic, Lauren Gregoire, Andrea Burke, A. D. Wickert, P. J. Valdes, H. C. Ng, L. F. Robinson, J. F. McManus, J. X. Mitrovica, L. Lee, J. E. Dentith 
Keywords: Heinrich Stadial 1, Meltwater, AMOC, Freshwater forcing, Deglaciation, Stadial
2018 (24/10)
vol.562 pp.569-573
CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales
James William Buchanan Rae, Andrea Burke, L. F. Robinson, J. F. Adkins, T. Chen, Catherine Sarah Cole, Rosanna Greenop, T. Li, Dan Constantin Nita, J. A. Stewart,  
2018 (16/6)
Geophysical Research Letters
vol.45 pp.5681-5689

Nature Geoscience

Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean
William Robert Gray, James William Buchanan Rae, Robert C. J. Wills, Amelia E. Shevenell, Andrea Burke, Gavin L. Foster, Caroline H. Lear 
2018 (15/8)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
vol.496 pp.168-177
Sulfur isotopes in rivers
Andrea Burke, Theodore M. Present, Guillaume Paris, Emily C. M. Rae, Brodie H. Sandilands, Jérôme Gaillardet, Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Woodward W. Fischer, James W. McClelland, Robert G. M. Spencer, Britta M. Voss, Jess F. Adkins 
Keywords: Sulfur, Rivers, Weathering, Pyrite
2017 (16/1)
Geophysical Research Letters
vol.44 pp.383-392
2017 (20/3)
Chemical Geology
vol.453 pp.146-168
Neodymium isotopes and concentrations in aragonitic scleractinian cold-water coral skeletons - Modern calibration and evaluation of palaeo-applications
Torben Struve, Tina van de Flierdt, Andrea Burke, Laura F Robinson, Samantha J. Hammond, Kirsty C. Crocket, Louisa I. Bradtmiller, Maureen E. Auro, Kais J. Mohamed, Nicholas J. White 
Keywords: Neodymium isotopes, Rare earth elements, Cold-water corals, Seawater, Sediments, Drake Passage
2017 (19/9)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
vol.114 pp.10035-10040
Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ~17.7k years ago plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion
Joe McConnell, Andrea Burke, Nelia W. Dunbar, Peter Köhler, Jennie L. Thomas, Monica M. Arienzo, Nathan J. Chellman, Olivia J. Maselli, Michael Sigl, Jess F. Adkins, Daniel Baggenstos, John F. Burkhart, Edward J. Brook, Christo Buizert, Jihong Cole-Dai, T. J. Fudge, Gregor Knorr, Hans-F. Graf, Mackenzie M. Grieman, Nels Iverson, Kenneth C. McGwire, Robert Mulvaney, Guillaume Paris, Rachael H. Rhodes, Eric S. Saltzman, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Jørgen Peder Steffensen, Kendrick C. Taylor, Gisela Winckler 
Keywords: Climate, Deglaciation, Volcanism, Ozone, Aerosol
2016 (29/7)
Geoscientific Model Development
vol.9 pp.2563-2587
Transient climate simulations of the deglaciation 21-9 thousand years before present (version 1) - PMIP4 Core experiment design and boundary conditions
Ruza Ivanovic, Lauren Gregoire, Masa Kageyama, Didier Roche, Paul Valdes, Andrea Burke, Rosemarie Drummond, W. Richard Peltier, Lev Tarasov 
2015 (25/9)
vol.349 pp.1537-1541
Synchronous centennial abrupt events in the ocean and atmosphere during the last deglaciation
Tianyu Chen, Laura Robinson, Andrea Burke, John Southen, Peter Spooner, Paul J. Morris 

Contact Details:

Dr Andrea Burke
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

tel: 01334 464015
room: 416



Scottish Oceans Institute
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
STAIG Principle Investigators

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The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443