Dr Thomas Roland
Lecturer and Research Fellow


Research interests

  • Peatland ecology and palaeoecology including the analysis of testate amoebae, plant macrofossils and pollen
  • Statistical analysis of palaeoecological data
  • Peatland carbon and nutrient dynamics
  • Late-Quaternary palaeoclimatology
  • Tephrostratigraphy and tephrochronology
  • Age-depth modelling in peatlands (radiocarbon, short-lived radioisotopes and tephra) using a range of statistical techniques
  • Environmental archaeology

Research projects

'Holocene evolution of the Southern Annular Mode using novel peat isotope proxies'

With Dan Charman and Matt Amesbury at the University of Exeter. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

This project aims to reconstruct long-term variability in the Southern Annular Mode, a key component of the Southern Hemisphere's climate system. Using peatland records from across New Zealand, we'll employ a range of palaeoenvironmental techniques, including a novel stable isotopic approach recently developed here at Exeter, to look for links between changes in climate in the Southern Hemisphere and the tropics, as well as inter-hemispheric teleconnections. 

‘Terrestrial Holocene climate variability on the Antarctic Peninsula’

With Dan Charman and Matt Amesbury at the University of Exeter. Funded by the NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative.

Together with colleagues from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge, we aim to provide a longer term context for the rapid environmental changes recently witnessed on the Antarctic Peninsula. This involves the analysis of moss bank records using a multi-proxy palaeoecological and geochemical approach (testate amoebae, stable isotopes), supported by radiocarbon, lead-210 and tephra derived chronologies. Visit the project website here.

‘Palaeoclimate reconstructions from Tierra del Fuego to detect land-ocean-atmosphere interactions’

With Paul Hughes at University of Southampton. Funded by NERC.

Working with colleagues from the Universities of Aberdeen, Swansea and Plymouth, the PATAGON project aims to develop a new regional network of proxy archives and create quantitative climate reconstructions for southern South America spanning the last ~2000 years, based on the multi-proxy palaeoecological (plant macrofossils, testate amoebae) and geochemical analysis of the Sphagnum-dominated peat deposits of southern Patagonia. Visit the project website here.

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