Elizabeth Peneycad
Past Life and Environments
My overall research interest is in Quaternary palaeoclimatology. More specifically, I am interested in how the oxygen isotope geochemistry of fossil mammal teeth can be used to reconstruct variations in past seasonal temperatures between and within different climate stages during the Quaternary period.
PhD Research

Oxygen isotopes in small and large mammal dental carbonates: investigating their use as a proxy for reconstructing Quaternary climate variability

The oxygen isotope analysis of fossil mammalian teeth is a well-established technique for palaeoclimate reconstruction. However, the utilization of this technique for understanding seasonal temperature changes during the Quaternary period has thus far been fairly restricted. Recent studies have proposed a novel approach for quantitatively reconstructing past summer temperatures, through coupling the oxygen isotope values of rodent teeth and coeval freshwater biominerals. As yet, however, this method has not been tested for multiple Quaternary sites, despite the abundance of fossil remains available for analysis. Furthermore, modern analogue studies on small mammal teeth have thus far been limited, and as a consequence, the factors controlling the isotope compositions of rodent teeth are not fully understood. Intra-tooth oxygen isotope variations in larger mammal teeth can also provide a valuable record of seasonal climate variability. Nevertheless, our understanding of how seasonality is recorded in modern mammal teeth, and our knowledge of the ways in which seasonality varied during the Quaternary period, are currently lacking. This research consequently aims to: 1) investigate the sources of isotope variability in modern rodent populations across Britain, 2) test whether the coupled oxygen isotope analysis of rodent teeth and freshwater shell carbonates can produce reliable temperature estimates for past interglacial stages in Britain, and 2) examine how isotope variations in modern horse teeth relate to seasonal environmental changes, so that the findings may applied to the investigatation of seasonality changes during the Quaternary period.
Ian Candy
Danielle Schreve
Quaternary Science
Royal Holloway, University of London
Physical Geography and Geology
Royal Holloway, University of London
Work Experience
Visiting Tutor and Teaching Assistant
Royal Holloway, University of London
Reading, wildlife photography, cross-stitch embroidery
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