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Quaternary Environmental Change (QEC)
A research group of the Department of Geography.
Quaternary Environmental Change (QEC) is a research group in the Department of Geography that specialises in research into Quaternary environmental change. It currently comprises 14 full time staff and a vibrant group of research staff and postgraduate students. The group has two core research themes that complement and overlap each other – Sea-level Research and Ice Sheets and Glacier Dynamics – as well as interests in Quaternary landscape evolution, fluvial archives, and ocean-climate interactions spanning the tropical, mid- and high latitudes. A particular strength of our work is the integration of field based research with numerical modelling of ice sheets, oceans and the solid earth. The group has an excellent suite of state of the art research laboratories and equipment, supported by a trained team of technicians.
Our Sea-level Research focuses on reconstructing and modelling sea level and coastal change on active and passive coastal margins in low, temperate and high latitude environments. The group has particular interests in understanding sea level change since the Last Glacial Maximum, including land uplift and subsidence patterns, ice sheet-ocean interactions and human impacts and coastal hazards. Research in this theme is primarily undertaken by Ian Shennan, Antony Long, Jerry Lloyd and Sarah Woodroffe, as well as a number of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers. The group is engaged in projects around the globe including the USA, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Australia, Indian Ocean, NW Europe and Britain.
Our research into Ice Sheets and Glacier Dynamics involves field-, remote-sensing- and numerical modelling-based investigations of ice sheet and ice stream dynamics, glacial landforms and sediments; ice sheet history and glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins, ice shelf stability and sea level histories of the large polar ice sheets. Research in this theme is undertaken by David J.A. Evans, Colm Ó Cofaigh, Mike Bentley, Dave Roberts, Chris Stokes and Andreas Vieli as well as several postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers. The group is currently engaged in research projects in Greenland, Arctic Canada, North America, Antarctica, South America, Scandinavia, Russia, Ireland and the UK.
Our other key research strengths in QEC centre on landscape evolution and long-timescale fluvial sequences in the UK, Europe and Asia (David Bridgland, Jim Innes), and multi-proxy investigations of tropical, mid- and high-latitude palaeoceanography (Jamie Casford, Jerry Lloyd, Erin McClymont).
QEC staff currently hold editorial board positions on a number of different Quaternary science, gemorphological and cryospheric journals including the Journal of Quaternary Science, The Cryosphere, Quaternary Science Reviews, Boreas and Proceedings of the Geologist's Association and have guest-edited special issues of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms and Sedimentary Geology. They hold positions on the NERC Peer Review College, the NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility Committee, NERC Radiocarbon Committee, and lead several International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) projects (449; 495 and 518). We also contribute to steering committees on Antarctic Climate Evolution and the Marine Studies Group. External recognition of QEC staff as leading researchers includes the Charles Lyell Award (British Association for the Advancement of Science), the Henry Stopes Memorial Medal (Geologists Association), the Lewis Penny Medal (Quaternary Research Association), the W.S. Bruce Medal for Polar Science (Royal Society of Edinburgh) and the Geological Society’s Lyell Fund.
QEC secures significant research income including awards from NERC, The Leverhulme Trust, EU, UNESCO/IUGS - IGCP, British Geological Survey, USGS, Carnegie Trust/National Geographic/RSGS, and English Heritage. We also have established research links with several international corporations including Halcrow, AMEC and Jacobs.
- Asian Monsoon climate variability
- Constraining Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance Using Salt Marsh Sediment Sequences
- Deglacial history of the southeast sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum, The
- Geochronology and dynamics of the western sector of the Greenland Ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum, The
- Glacial and climate history of South Georgia, sub-Antarctic
- Glacial Retreat in Antarctica and Deglaciation of the Earth System (GRADES - QWAD)
- IGCP 449 / 518
- IGCP 495
- Land and sea-level changes around Britain
- Millennial-scale history of the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula
- Monsoon climate, sea-level change and major cultural changes in the Yangtze lowlands, China
- Numerical testing of hypotheses for the recent thinning and acceleration of Greenland outlet glaciers
- Reconstructing ice sheet history using relative sea-level (RSL) observations and modelling
- Reconstructing intermediate water temperature response to Pliocene - Pleistocene climates
- Recurrent Holocene palaeoseismicity and associated land / sea level changes in the Greater Anchorage Area
- Streamlined bedrock terrain and fast ice flow, Jakobshavns Isbrae, West Greenland: implications for ice stream and ice sheet dynamics
- Swale-Ure Washlands Project, The
- Terrestrial record of former Arctic ice streams: elucidating the controls on ice stream location and vigour, The
- Timing and rates of ice sheet thinning in the Ellsworth Mountains, Weddell Sea Embayment: constraints on West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics
- Understanding contemporary change in the West Antarctic ice sheet
- Professor Mike Bentley
- Professor David R. Bridgland
- Dr Jamie Casford
- Professor David J.A. Evans
- Dr Jim Innes
- Dr Jerry Lloyd
- Professor Antony Long
- Dr Erin McClymont
- Professor Colm O'Cofaigh
- Dr Dave Roberts
- Professor Ian Shennan
- Dr Chris Stokes
- Dr Andreas Vieli
- Dr Sarah Woodroffe
- Dr Natasha Barlow
- Dr Aurora Elmore
- Dr Marek Ewertowski
- Dr Ed Garrett
- Dr Stewart Jamieson
- Dr Gwendolyn Leysinger Vieli
- Dr Eleanor Maddison
- Dr Martin Margold
- Dr Pippa Whitehouse