Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Development of detailed Lateglacial-Holocene cryptotephrostratigraphy of southern England in context with palaeoenvironmental reconstructions (self-funded or sponsored PhD students only)

Personal profile


I graduated from the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen (Germany) in 1997 with a diploma degree in Geology specialising in the mineralogical fields of ‘Zircon Typology’ and ‘Geochemistry’. I went on to complete a PhD at the GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) and University of Potsdam (Germany) in 2000 on the development of a detailed tephrochronological framework in the central Mediterranean region. During my postdoctoral employments at the GFZ (2000-2005) and at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin, USA (2006-2008), I set a further special focus on the reconstruction of Holocene palaeoclimate variability, human environmental impact and historical records of Tsunami, hurricane and extreme drought events recorded in Late Quaternary lake sediments from the Central and Southern Americas. During the following employment at the GFZ Potsdam (2011-2015, 2017) and at Senckenberg Frankfurt/Heidelberg University (2015-2017) I developed new and advanced methods in the detection of cryptotephra layers in annual laminated lake sediments (NE Germany, N Poland, Italy) and in a long high-resolution peat record in Greece. In December 2017, I joined the University of Portsmouth as Reader in Environmental Change.

I am currently the Department Research Degree Coordinator (DRDC).

Research Interests

Areas of research:

  • Development of detailed tephrostratigraphies in the Eastern Mediterranean region (Italy, Santorini)
  • Advancing techniques for cryptotephra identification
  • Abrupt climate change
  • Reconstruction of environmental change and natural hazard events from terrestrial sediment records

Current research:

  • Lateglacial and Holocene palaeoenvironmental changes at the Isle of Wight (MRes project by Daniel Howlett 2019/20)
  • Cryptotephrostratigraphy of southern England (MRes or self-funded PhD students are welcome to participate)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., University of Potsdam

15 May 19974 Dec 2000

Award Date: 4 Dec 2000

External positions

Research Scientist, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

15 Feb 201730 Nov 2017

Research Scientist, Heidelberg University 

15 Feb 201515 Feb 2017

Research Scientist, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

1 Aug 201115 Feb 2015

Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin

16 Apr 200630 Sept 2008

Postdoc, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

1 Oct 200030 Sept 2005


  • GB Physical geography
  • Environmental Change
  • Tephrochronology
  • Abrupt climate change
  • Natural Hazards
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions
  • Quaternary
  • QE Geology


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