"The present is the key to the past"

Uniformitarianism; James Hutton

..can the past also be the key to the future?

Dr. Vanessa Bowman

My primary research interest involves using palynology for palaeoclimate interpretation and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction in the high southern palaeolatitudes. I have also used fossil wood to study a Jurassic fossil forest and palaeoenvironments in New Zealand, phytoliths to analyse modern and Quaternary plants from the sub-Antarctic and Australia, and interpreted proxy data for use in GCM palaeoclimate modelling (Eocene/Oligocene boundary).

I completed my PhD in Geology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and in addition to several short research positions, held a New Zealand Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship for a project entitled “Antarctic vegetation shifts from Greenhouse to Icehouse”. Now back in the UK, I am currently, investigating the terrestrial and marine palynological signal from a shallow marine sedimentary sequence on Seymour Island, James Ross Basin, Antarctic Peninsula. The results will provide insight into palaeoclimate and sea level conditions in the region during the Maastrichtian in the lead-up to, and across, the K-T boundary.

  • High palaeolatitude vegetation communities, especially Antarctica
  • Terrestrial and marine palynology, phytoliths, fossil wood
  • Palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment reconstruction


Fieldwork on Seymour Island, James Ross Basin, Antarctica, 2006

SGPC University of Leeds British Geological Survey PRISM BRIDGE UK Polar Network Leicester University NCAS Antarctic Climate Evolution PMIP2 Met Office