Welcome to the Quaternary Environmental Change Research Cluster (QEC)
We are an internationally recognised research group in the Department of Geography conducting research into Quaternary environmental change. We currently comprise 13 full time staff and a vibrant group of research staff and postgraduate students. The group has an excellent suite of state of the art research laboratories and equipment and is supported by a trained team of technicians. We have two core research themes:
Our 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.
Ice Sheets and Glacier Dynamics
Our research 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 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. We 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.
We secure 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.
The buttons along the left-hand side of the screen provide further information about the research that we do in QEC including projects and publications. We hope you find them of interest and welcome any queries from potential postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.
Please contact the cluster convenor, Professor Mike Bentley, if you have any questions.
Forthcoming QEC Events
Department of Geography
South Road, Durham
DH1 3LE, UK
Tel: 0191 3341800
Fax: 0191 3341801