Department of Geography

Quaternary Palaeoenvironments

Interest in past climatic change has acquired an important profile in recent years. We have gradually become aware through issues such as global warming that human impact upon the environment can have far ranging consequences.

By gaining clearer insights into the mechanisms that drove ancient climatic systems we can hopefully achieve a greater understanding of how the current climate operates and might then apply such understanding in the prediction of future climatic change.

Research within this group concentrates on the multi-proxy analysis of physical and biological lake systems to help understand and reconstruct Quaternary climatic change on a range of timescales. The principal palaeoenvironmental technique employed at Sussex involves coupling the stable isotope geochemistry of primary lacustrine carbonates with faunal assemblage (and associated palaeoecological) data, mostly derived from ostracods and molluscs, at high temporal resolution. This information is usually then combined with other proxy data (such as palynological analyses) to comprehensively reconstruct past climatic variability.

Quaternary palaeoenvironmental research at Sussex is directed by Mick Frogley. Mick's research is concentrated in four primary areas. Click the links on the left to find out more.