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Postgraduate research project

Understanding variability in Earth’s climate and magnetic field using new archives from the Iberian Margin

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

Marine sediments from the west Iberian Margin off the coast of Portugal offer exceptional opportunities to build high-fidelity and detailed (millennial scale) records of Earth’s past climate change. Previous studies demonstrate that these records can be unambiguously correlated to polar ice core records from both Greenland and Antarctica and used to study detailed marine-ice-terrestrial linkages. Previous studies also show that Iberian Margin sediments preserve high-fidelity information on the Earth’s past magnetic field directions and intensity, and that the magnetic properties of the sediments clearly record millennial- and orbital-scale climate variability.  

You will work on new long and continuous sediment archives recovered during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 397 (Iberian Margin Palaeoclimate). You will use these sedimentary records to shed new light on fundamental shifts in Pliocene-Pleistocene climate, such as the intensification of northern hemisphere glaciation, the mid-Pleistocene transition, and the Great Pleistocene Ice Ages. You will also develop new understanding of fundamental geophysical processes, such as the dynamics and causes of geomagnetic direction (e.g., polarity reversals and excursions) and intensity changes, and their possible connections to past climate change.

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.


  • Doctor Chuang Xuan (University of Southampton)
  • Professor Paul Wilson (University of Southampton)
  • Professor David Hodell (University of Cambridge)
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