Bridging the Timing Gap: Connecting Southern Ocean and Antarctic Climate Records

This new project funded by NERC brings together researchers from the UK and the USA to develop high resolution, multi-proxy records from the Southern Ocean. The field work was carried out in 2008  (NBP08-05 cruise) and 2001 (NBP11-03 cruise) funded by the US National Science Foundation.
Read our publications  from this project:
Synchronous centennial abrupt events in the ocean and atmosphere during the last deglaciation
The Southern Ocean’s Role in Carbon Exchange During the Last Deglaciation

Researchers: Dr Laura Robinson, Dr Tianyu ChenDr Andrea Burke, Dr James Rae, Dr Tina van de Flierdt and others.

Funding bodies: Natural Environment Research CouncilNational Science Foundation

ICY-LAB: Isotope CYcling in the LABrador sea

This study funded by the ERC aims to capture the whole silicon cycle system in areas of marked environmental change using careful field sampling strategies – with research expeditions to coastal Greenland and the open ocean Labrador Sea – coupled with cutting-edge analytical methods. The response of the silicon cycle to changing environmental conditions is critical for both carbon and nutrient cycling and it can now be addressed through high precision silicon isotopes, which is the focus of ICY-LAB.


Researchers: Dr Kate HendryProfessor Laura RobinsonProfessor Jemma Wadham, Hong Chin Ng,  Dr Claire Goodwin and others.

Funding Bodies: European research council

Micro to macro: the fractionation of silicon isotopes during biogenic opal formation

The aim of the Micro to Macro project is to investigate the mechanisms behind silicon isotope fractionation in marine diatoms and other marine organisms on a range of spatial scales, to further our understanding of how biogenic opal is produced and how its Si isotope composition can be used to inform about growth conditions.

Researchers: Dr Kate Hendry, Ms Lucie Cassarino and others.

Funding bodies: The Royal Society

Project Barium

Barium cycling in Antarctic waters: Understanding present and past ocean processes.
Project Barium aims to further the understanding of oceanic carbon storage over a range of time-scales in the region of the West Antarctica Peninsula by studying components of the biogeochemical cycle of barium.


Researchers: Dr Kate Hendry, Ms Kimberley Pyle, Miss Stephanie Bates and others.

Funding bodies: European research council

Reconstructing abrupt Changes in Chemistry and Circulation of the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean: Implications for global Climate and deep-water Habitats (CACH)

CACH is a Five year ERC funded project to investigate the present habitats and past history of the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean. This project has involved many researchers from the University of Bristol and beyond and research activities have included ocean going expeditions, habitat mapping, isotope geochemistry, proxy development and more. See more a the TROPICS website.


Researchers: Dr Laura Robinson, Dr Kate Hendry and many others.

Funding bodies: European Research Council

Role of oceanic forcing in West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

Assessing the role of oceanic forcing in West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum.
“The aim of this NERC funded project is to determine how long Circumpolar Deep Water has been present on the shelf and whether the rate of oceanic melting we see today has varied over longer timescales”.


Researchers: Dr Kate Hendry, Dr Elaine Mawbey, British Antarctic Survey, Durham University.

Funding bodies: Natural Environment Research Council

Southern Ocean Sponges

Southern Ocean Sponges: The link between biogeography and geochemistry.
This project uses a multidisciplinary approach to further understand the how sponges can be used as geochemical archives of past ocean chemistry and how sponge distributions are related to their environment.


Researchers: Dr Kate HendryDr Claire Goodwin (National Museum, Northern Ireland) and others.

Funding bodies: The Leverhulme Trust 

The role of ocean circulation on the marine silicon cycle and global climate

Dr Kate Hendry’s Royal Society University Research Fellowship aims to (1) understand how dissolved Si is taken up by diatoms (and sponges) by investigating how these organisms take up different isotopes of Si and (2) to use the chemistry of biogenic opal to investigate the changes in the marine cycling of silicon at important times of climate change.


Researchers: Dr Kate Hendry

Funding bodies: The Royal Society

Weathering and the movement of elements from the land to the ocean

We are using a combination of land based and ocean sediment core work to establish how weathering works today, and how weathering has changed in the past. We are part of the world-wide GEOTRACES program ( with expertise in measuring the isotopes of thorium which tells us about modern dust fluxes to the ocean (Hayes et al. 2015). We also use the long lived isotope of uranium to examine weathering processes in the modern and in the past (Robinson et al. 2004).

Corals in the Drake Passage

Historic perspectives on climate and biogeography from deep-sea corals in the Drake Passage.
By pairing U-series and radiocarbon analyses, deep-sea corals can be used to reconstruct the radiocarbon content of seawater in the past. These reconstructions allow inferences about past ocean circulation to be made.


Researchers: Dr Laura Robinson, Dr Rhian Waller, Dr Kate Hendry and others.

Funding bodies: National Science Foundation