Skip to main content

Postgraduate research project

Resolving Antarctic meltwater events in Southern Ocean marine sediments and exploring their significance using climate models

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The principal aim of this project is to better understand the role of the Antarctic ice sheet in global sea level and rapid climate change by reconstructing Antarctic glacial discharge and modelling the impact of these freshwater fluxes on global circulation and climate. The project will target intervals of increased Antarctic ice sheet discharge for the Last Interglacial (LIG), and the past millennium in marine sediments from ‘iceberg alley’, to identify intervals of increased Antarctic ice sheet discharge for the Last Interglacial (LIG), and the past millennium.

Last Interglacial (130-120ka): The source of the high global mean sea level at the peak of the LIG when the earth was 1-2°C warmer and global sea level was 6 to 9m higher than present is still unresolved. Sights have turned to Antarctica to account for the bulk of the LIG sea level rise. 

Historical (~1 ka to present): Existing records of Antarctic glacial discharge either do not include the Anthropocene, are at very low resolution or are from sites on the inner continental shelf where glacial discharge is likely dominated by local glacier conditions. Records of continental-scale ice discharge are urgently needed to resolve historical changes in Antarctic contributions to GMSL and freshwater influence on ocean circulation. 

These records will yield an integrated (WAIS & EAIS) record of glacial discharge and provide new evidence for models to assess how Antarctic freshwater inputs impact deep waters, ocean circulation and other climate dynamics. 

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.

Lead supervisor

  • Doctor Claire S Allen (British Antarctic Survey)


  • Doctor Louise C Sime (British Antarctic Survey)
  • Doctor Alessandro Silvano (University of Southampton)
  • Doctor George Swann (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Melanie Leng (University of Nottingham)