The Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds play an important role in regional temperature and precipitation patterns, as well as changes in the carbon flux, ice-sheet balance and sea-ice. Using a 5 metre long peat sediment sequence from the Falkland Islands (a small archipelago near the Antarctic Peninsula), the project will look at the use of dust as a proxy for past windiness. Dust blown from South America becomes incorporated into the peat sediments, providing a well-preserved proxy. You will also have the opportunity to apply radiocarbon dating on peat sediments in our state-of-the-art laboratory [interactive tour].


Produce a reconstruction of past windiness on the Falkland Islands using high resolution geochemistry as well as a grain-size analyser to measure changing dust over the last 15,000 years.

Student Benefits

Through this project, you will learn how to design and carry out experiments, analyse and interpret data, and how to write a scientific paper. You will also have the opportunity to learn each step of the radiocarbon process, including sampling, pretreating and graphitisation. You will also be integrated within the Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility as well as the Changing Earth Research Centre (formerly PANGEA), with opportunities for training and career development.

Supervisors: Dr Zoë Thomas and Prof. Chris Turney