Jon Hassall

HassallphotoDuring my first year as an undergraduate I was exposed to a whole new geography: palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic science. I find it to be utterly fascinating and exciting. Why? Because I discovered that a vast amount has happened throughout our planet’s past in ways that I had never come across before. Short-length ice ages happening in decades; massive changes in oceanic circulation occurring due to factors I had never even heard of. As my degree progressed I became increasingly interested in what has happened in our past. Consequently I undertook a masters degree at Royal Holloway, University of London, which was ran jointly with UCL. There I learned an immense amount and my thirst to research our planet’s past became insatiable.

I am now doing what I have wanted to do for several years: researching the past as part of my PhD. During the summer of 2013 I was fortunate enough to go on a research expedition with two of my supervisors, Professor David Sear and Dr. Pete Langdon, to Samoa and New Caledonia. From these two countries we took sediment cores from lakes: one from Samoa and two from New Caledonia. Over the next three to four years I will be using the cores to reconstruct the past climate in the Pacific region. My aim is to tease out a little more of our planet’s climatic story and add to our current knowledge of what has happened. I will be updating this as I progress, and hopefully will have quite a tale to share!


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  1. Pingback: Past environmental change on Samoa | Ecology of the past

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