Posted on 12/05/2017
Dr Celia Martin-Puertas
Celia with other members of the Diss Mere coring team, including RHUL's Adrian Palmer and Simon Blockley
started her Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
in the Department of Geography, RHUL in January 2017. Celia will be spending the five years of the Fellowship exploring how variations in solar activity influenced Europe’s climate in the past and may do so in the future.
Celia’s research involves coring three European lakes; Diss Mere (UK), Lac Pavin (France) and Meerfelder Maar (Germany). Like a tape recorder, the annually-laminated sediments store environmental and climate changes that have occurred across Europe from the present to the end of the last glacial period 11,700 years ago. She expects to reconstruct both climate variability and solar activity from sedimentological and chemical signatures kept in the sediments. The results will provide select information about connections between the Sun’s activity and climate during episodes of low, medium and high human impact. This is essential to validate climate models and refine predictions.
Celia says of her research, “I am interested in the Sun because we are now living in a period of low solar activity, which may interrupt global warming for a few decades and enhance extreme weather events in Britain. As a similar situation has never been recorded by instrumental data, high-quality records of past climate are crucial to help plan for the future.”
The Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship is awarded by the Royal Society to outstanding early-career scientists who require flexibility due to personal circumstances. Celia is the second Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow to be hosted by the RHUL Department of Geography. Danielle Schreve, now Professor of Quaternary Science and Director of our Centre for Quaternary Research, also received the Fellowship early in her career. This reflects the high-quality of our research environment, but also the supportive and inclusive environment that the Department provides. This was externally acknowledged through the award of an Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2015.