Grants and awards 2015


October 2015: Funding success!

ICDP have provided US$ 1M funding for a new drilling project on the Paleogene marine record from coastal Tanzania, project TOPIC (Tanzania Onshore Paleogene Integrated Coring).The project will provide a new integrated stratigraphy for the Tanzanian Paleogene which is well known for its excquisite microfossil preservation and palaeoclimate records. Drilling will include new records through the Paleocene/Eocene and Eocene/Oligocene boundaries, and everything in between. Scientific objectives relate to paleoclimate studies and the deep subsurface biosphere:

  • How did atmospheric CO2 and global temperature co-vary during previous intervals of global warmth?
  • How extreme did climatic conditions become in the tropics, in the ocean and on land?
  • What was the response of the marine and terrestrial biota to extreme climate states and intervals of climate change?
  • Is the paleoclimate forcing and response we infer from the sediment record consistent with the predictions of General Circulation Models (GCMs) that are also used to predict the future?
  • What kind of microbial life currently exists subsurface, at what abundance and depth?

The project PI is Paul Pearson (Cardiff University) with other UK Co-Is from BGS (Melanie Leng), UCL, Birmingham, Southampton, and Bristol.

September 2015: Funding success!

The ICDP have provided US$1.5M towards the drilling for a project on the Lower Jurassic in Wales/UK: Integrated understanding of the early Jurassic Earth system and Timescale (JET).The science objectives are to:

  • Achieve a high-resolution continuous cyclostratigraphy for the Early Jurassic and associated astronomical time scale leading to insights into solar system resonance, length-of-day and tidal dissipation; the first biostratigraphically-calibrated magnetostratigraphy for the entire 25 Myr long Early Jurassic based on a single section, and; a full synthesis of radio-isotopic and chronostratigraphic scales
  • Provide a multi-proxy isotopic and elemental chemostratigraphy to track supercontinent break-up influence on the global Earth system and, in particular, a record of the end-Triassic and Early Toarcian mass extinctions, and subsequent recoveries of the carbon cycle, biosphere and ocean, and effects from volatile releases from coeval LIPs.
  • Deliver insights into Early Jurassic sea-level change and the greenhouse-icehouse transitions; an understanding of interdependencies between primary productivity, nutrient flux, and ocean redox state; and an integrated record of changes in atmospheric and marine composition understood in the context of quantitative whole-Earth system models.

The overall PI is Stephen Hesselbo (University of Exeter) with UK Co-Is from BGS (Jim Riding, Melanie Leng, Dan Condon), Oxford and Leeds.

June 2015

Congratulations to Dr Sev Kender, Prof Melanie Leng, Dr Simon Chenery and Dr Lyndsey Fox from the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry and the Stable Isotope Facility (University of Nottingham and the BGS) who have won a NERC Directed IODP grant to work on reconstructing Bay of Bengal palaeoceanography and the East Asian Monsoon since the Miocene. The project will analyse stable isotopes and trace metals in fossil foraminifera collected during IODP Exp. 354, Bengal Fan.

More information

May 2015: The following NIGFSC applications were approved at the Spring meeting

  • IP-1521-0515: Dr D Gooddy - Understanding nutrient sources and biogeochemical cycling in peri-urban floodplains and rivers (pilot).
  • IP-1525-0515: Dr M Jones - Palaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental investigations of hunter-gatherers at Kharaneh IV, Azraq Basin, Jordan (pilot).
  • IP-1527-0515: Prof C Richardson - Assessing the growth rate of the common whelk in order to help fishery management strategies.
  • IP-1529-0515: Dr S Krause - Fractionation of nitrogen and oxygen isotopes in nitrate during sampling by Diffusive Equilibrium in Thin-film Gels.
  • IP-1530-0515: Dr T H P Harvey - Constraining the marine environment of the Cambrian metazoan adaptive radiation using oxygen isotope
  • IP-1533-0515: Dr G Swann - The effects of differential dissolution on the O isotope composition of diatom silica (pilot).
  • IP-1538-0515: Dr C Mahaffey - The oxygen isotopic composition of phosphate in the Celtic Sea: a tracer for phosphate sources and biological cycling of phosphate.
  • IP-1542-0515: Dr A Stone - Nitrate beneath the surface in drylands. Can we connect the gap between high nitrate groundwater and surface source
  • IP-1543-0515: Prof J Lee-Thorp - Sea surface temperatures from oxygen isotope ratios in marine molluscs from Late Pleistocene Middle Stone Age sites, South Africa.
  • IP-1547-0515: Dr S Kender - North Sea Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM): carbon release rates and environmental impacts
  • IP-1548-0515: Dr M Singer - Revealing the impacts of climate on riparian forest water availability and water use through tree-ring oxygen and carbon isotopes.
  • IP-1550-0515: Dr D Ryves - Testing the role played by intra-annual climate and salinity change on human subsistence trends in Danish prehistoric shell middens.
  • IP-1555-0515: Prof N J Butterfield - The Middle Jurassic Plankton Explosion.
  • IP-1557-0515: Dr F Marret-Davies - Are recent catastrophic droughts in West Africa a result of the natural climate cycle of climate variability or anthropogenic climate warming?
  • IP-1559-0515: Dr A Henderson - Late Cenozoic palaeoceanographic evolution of the Japan Sea: assessing the role of climate and tectonics.