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Geoff Lee

Geoff Lee


ORCiD: 0000-0002-6636-2261

ResearchGate profile


Academic profile

My research interests are interdisciplinary, spanning atmospheric chemistry, isotope geochemistry, palaeoclimatology, palaeoceanography and micropalaeontology.  I completed a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences with Earth Sciences at the Open University (2002) and a MSc in Geoscience at UCL (2010).  My MSc dissertation related late Cretaceous sea-level change in the Tethys Ocean to agglutinated (benthic) foraminiferal assemblages and bulk oxygen and carbon isotopic ratios from pelagic carbonate sediments in the Umbria-Marche basin, Italy.   

More recently, at Imperial College London, I began investigating the possible effects of the rifting of Tasmania from Antarctica on the onset of Antarctic glaciation around the Eocene/Oligocene boundary using radiogenic neodymium isotopes from continental margin sediments.  I also researched late Miocene to early Pliocene palaeoclimate, with emphasis on early El Niño evolution, using stable isotopes from foraminiferal calcite in eastern equatorial Pacific deep-water sediments. 

Current research

My PhD project at UEA uses stable isotopes of nitrogen and argon and trace gases (e.g. carbonyl sulfide) in air entrapped in firn and ice cores from Antarctica to understand rapid climate change, ice accumulation rates and other palaeoenvironmental parameters during the Pleistocene and Holocene.  When snow accumulates during glaciations the layers undergo ‘firnification’ under the weight of fresh layers.  As the density of the snow increases it is compacted into ice, and air in the porous spaces of the firn gradually becomes trapped and locked in as tiny bubbles – effectively ‘fossil’ air.  The composition of this air from both the firn and the ice can reveal climatic and environmental signals from a time relatively close to deposition of the original snow.  The timing is not an exact match however, since there is exchange of air in the firn until it becomes locked in, and so the entrapped air is always younger than the surrounding ice.  The magnitude of this offset is variable, but can be modelled to constrain the age.  Other parameters under investigation can then be dated and a time-series generated.


The Micropalaeontological Society grant-in-aid – 2010


Dennis Curry Memorial Scholarship in Micropalaeontology – UCL – 2010

EPSRC full studentship – Imperial College London – 2010

NERC full studentship – University of East Anglia – 2014

CASE studentship – British Antarctic Survey – 2014


Drury, A.J., Lee, G.P., Pennock, G.M., and John, C.M. (2014). Data report: late Miocene to early Pliocene coccolithophore and foraminiferal preservation at Site U1338 from scanning electron microscopy. In Pälike, H., Lyle, M., Nishi, H., Raffi, I., Gamage, K., Klaus, A., and the Expedition 320/321 Scientists, Proc. IODP, 320/321. doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.320321.218.2014.

Conference abstracts and attendances

Lee, G.P., Drury, A.J., John, C.M., (2013), Abstract ‘Late Miocene to early Pliocene surface processes in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific: 20-kyrs resolution planktic δ18O and δ13C records from Site U1338’ [presented at The Micropalaeontological Society Conference and AGM 2013, London, 18-19 November].

Drury, A.J., John, C.M., Lee, G.P., Hodell, D.A., Shevenell, A.E., (2013), Abstract ‘Late Miocene to early Pliocene climate evolution: Insights from the eastern equatorial Pacific’ [presented at 11th International Conference on Paleoceanography, Sitges – Barcelona, 1-6 September].

Drury, A.J., John, C.M., Lee, G.P., Shevenell, A.E., (2012), Abstract ‘Exploring late Miocene climate stability: constraining background variability using high-resolution benthic δ18O and δ13C records from Site U1338’ [presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 December].

Conference and AGM of the Micropalaeontological Society – Quaternary to recent records of environmental change – November 2010.

Conference and AGM of the Micropalaeontological Society – microfossils and evolution – November 2009.

Research group affiliations and supervisory team.

Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UEA.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Primary supervisor: Prof Bill Sturges (UEA)

Co-supervisors: Mr Paul Dennis (UEA); Dr Rob Mulvaney (BAS); Dr Alina Marca (UEA).

Other relevant activities

  • Student representative on the Training and Progression Sub-Group of the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership Management Board.
  • Associate tutor at UEA.