Research Group Summary
The Climate Change Research programme focuses on recent (~last 150,000 years) environmental and climate change in the South West Pacific, Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
On land the foci are on:
A) understanding the climatology of the South-West Pacific particularly the westerly circulation and (inter-)annual climate phenomena such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and the Southern Annular Mode;
B) environmental impacts of human activities on lakes and other water bodies.
We have a strong focus on glacial systems. Our research includes geochronological, geomorphological and sedimentological investigations of the nature of past ice advances in eastern South Island (e.g. the Clutha, Rakaia, Waimakariri and Rangitata valleys), in NW Nelson and in Westland. There is a major project under way defining the geomorphological and sedimentary characteristics of New Zealand glacial systems. We also conduct glacial research in Antarctica.
We have on-going collaborative projects working on climate records from the Auckland maars and other lake systems. We undertake research in a variety of micro- and macro-fossil groups to reconstruct these past climate and edaphic changes.
In marine environments, we work on ostracod taxonomy and phylogeny, notably diversification processes in the ocean and the dispersal and biogeography of bathyal and abyssal faunas. We also undertake research on ostracod shell chemistry.