Ben Taylor

Name: Ben Taylor

Project Title:Waking the giant: the role of the North Pacific in glacial-interglacial cycles constrained by boron isotopes, trace elements, radiocarbon and earth system modelling

Cohort: 2014/15

Institution: University of St Andrews



I completed my undergraduate degree at Cardiff University attaining a 1st Class Honours MESci in Geology (a four year integrated Masters program). During the 3rd year of my degree I studied at the University of Wyoming where a completed a research project on the stable isotope analysis of Eocene mammal teeth which was supervised by Dr Mark Clementz. My 4th year thesis title was ‘Trace Metal Analysis of ODP site 1090: An insight into the Oligocene-Miocene Glacial Event’ which was supervised by Dr Caroline Lear. Continuing with my interest in examining past climate change, I have started an IAPETUS NERC PhD at the University of St Andrews under the supervisor of Dr James Rae, Dr Andrea Burke (both St Andrews) and Dr Erin McClymont (Durham University).

PhD Project:

My project focuses specifically on the last deglaciation (20-10 ka). In light of new data from the deep North Pacific, this project will use a multi-proxy approach to assess the role of the North Pacific in the exchange of carbon from the deep ocean to the atmosphere. Despite being a large store of carbon the deep North Pacific has been thought of as dormant in terms of its interaction with the surface ocean. Recent data from Rae et al., (2014) suggests that during Heinrich Stadial 1 (19-14.7 ka) deep water formation may have occurred in the North Pacific allowing for the exchange of carbon between the deep and surface oceans to occur. Work by Rae et al., (2014) is only based on one site, therefore this project aims to expand the record through a multi proxy approach (Radiocarbon, Boron Isotopes, Organic Temperature proxies and Trace Metal proxies) to build a clearer picture of North Pacific overturning during the last deglaciation.

Further reading:
Rae, J. W., Sarnthein, M., Foster, G. L., Ridgwell, A., Grootes, P. M., & Elliott, T. (2014). Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO2 rise. Paleoceanography. DOI: 10.1002/2013PA002570.
Get in touch:
Twitter: @bentaylor1991
Department webpage: