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Stuart Umbo

S UmboStuart Umbo

Email: | ORCiD: 0000-0001-7828-0266


Stuart graduated from the University of Leeds in 2006 with an honours degree in physics before embarking on a career in science communication working at numerous institutions, notably the Royal Institution and Science Museum. During his time at the latter he spent two years researching and writing the content for their flagship climate change exhibition, developing a keen interest and passion for the subject.

In 2012 Stuart embarked on a masters degree in climate change at University College London, conducting stable isotope analysis on a late Pleistocene/early Holocene speleothem from Central Bulgaria to infer a 120ka paleoclimatic record for his dissertation. After graduation Stuart continued to work in science communication, providing scientific consultancy for productions at the Royal Court Theatre and communication training for early career scientists at the Imperial College Grantham Institute among other exciting projects.

Current research

Stuart's PhD aims to achieve a better understanding of temperature changes in the subpolar North Atlantic during transitions from glacial to interglacial periods, as well as on millennial timescales, using the emerging field of clumped isotope analysis of foraminiferal species. Clumped isotopes - the degree of to which heavier isotopes 'clump' together in the foraminiferal's calcite shell – have the potential to allow the creation of a paleothermometer by separating temperature changes from other local variations in water composition, making them advantageous to conventional stable isotope analysis. Analysis will initially focus on the current and previous interglacial as well as the last glacial maximum and be used to better constrain existing stable isotope records.

The currents in the North Atlantic have a  significant impact on global climate through their redistribution of heat from equatorial regions to the higher latitudes. Thus better understanding of North Atlantic variations can provide valuable insight into the global climate system operation during the quaternary and inform climate modelling.  

Other activities

Stuart has extensive public engagement experience with nearly a decade of working in science communication for numerous organisations including the Science Museum and Royal Institution.