Joanna Tindall

Joanna Tindall

Profile Display Name:

Joanna Tindall

E-mail Address:

Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

Research interests:

My research currently focuses on using oxygen isotopes from ostracods to investigate abrupt climate events in the Holocene. I am interested in using stable isotopes from microfossils and how modern lake monitoring can inform the palaeo record. I am interested in the driving mechanisms and impacts of abrupt climatic change and proxy-model output data comparisons. I work on both modern and palaeolake sites.

Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Lacustrine oxygen-isotopes as tracers of past climate change in NW Europe.

Research Theme

Past Life and Environments

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution


Additional supervisor(s)

Simon Blockley (RHUL),


The Holocene (last ~11,700 years BP) has experienced multiple abrupt climatic events. However, their often subtle expression in the palaeo-record results in many proxies lacking the sensitivity to identify them. The use of oxygen isotopes to investigate palaeotemperature of major abrupt events in cold stages, particularly ice core records, is well-established. In contrast, their use on Holocene lake sediments is limited, despite their potential to also allow for palaeoprecipitation and palaeoatmospheric reconstruction of these subtler abrupt climatic events when high-resolution sampling Is aligned with a good chronology. These reconstructions are made possible by the predictable relationship between water isotope ratio and air temperature. Unusually, large shifts may be attributed to other forcing factors such as precipitation; the δ18O composition of precipitation being strongly controlled by atmospheric processes. This project uses this theory to build on the work of Holmes et al. (2010) to investigate the palaeoclimatic record from lacustrine sediments at various Holocene time slices and the comparison with modern lake water isotope systematics and outputs from an isotope-enabled general circulation model (GCM) outputs.

Policy Impact

The outcomes of this research will be of interest to climatologists concerned with atmospheric circulation changes and palaeolimnologists interested in the interpretation of shallow-lake carbonate isotope records.
The research will further our understanding of climate evolution during the Holocene and mechanisms that drive abrupt climatic events. This will contribute to our ability to model, predict and prepare for potential events in the light of modern climate change in NW Europe. The comparison with archaeological evidence where appropriate may indicate societal response to change. Finally, the development of tephrochronologies at the selected field sites have the potential to a) identify tephra at some of the most southernly site in Britain to date, b) identify new Holocene tephras, c) demonstrate that tephra is a viable chronological alternative in late Holocene sites which can circumvent existing issues associated with radiocarbon, 210Pb and SCP dating methodologies which are presently widely used.

Background Reading
  • Candy, I., Farry, A., Darvill, C.M., Palmer, A., Blockley, S. P. E., Matthews, I. P., MacLeod, A., Deeprose, L., Farley, N., Kearney, R., Conneller, C., Taylor, B., Milner, N.. 2015. The evolution of Palaeolake Flixton and the environmental context of Star Carr
  • Daley, T.J., Thomas, E.R. Holmes, J. A., Street-Perrott, F.A., Chapman, M.R., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J., Loader, N.J., Marshall, J.D., Wolff, E.W., Hopley, P.J., Atkinson, T.C., Barber, K.E., Fisher, E.H., Robertson, I., Roberts C.N. (2011) The 8200 yr BP cold event in stable isotope records from the North Atlantic region. Global and Planetary Change 79, 288-302.
  • Holmes, J. A., Arrowsmith, C., Austin, W. E. N., Fisher, E., Holme, R., Marshall, J. D., Oldfield, F. van der Post, K. (2010) Climate and atmospheric circulation changes over the past 1000 years reconstructed from oxygen isotopes in lake-sediment carbonate from Ireland. The Holocene 20, 1105-1111. 

  • Collaborators

    Melanie Leng (BGS)
    David Sear (University of Southampton)
    Louise Sime (BAS)

    Grants and awards
    • NIGL Grant-in-Kind for Stable Isotope Work – NERC Stable Isotope Facility (BGS)
    • NIGL Grant-in-Kind for Stable Isotope Work – NERC Stable Isotope Facility (BGS)
    • Access and Widening Participation Summer Challenge Award – UCL
    • INQUA 2019 Travel Fund – QRA

    Conferences and Workshops
    • QRA Postgraduate Symposium 2018 (August 2018). Poster: Lacustrine oxygen-isotopes as tracers of past climate change in NW Europe.
    • INQUA 2019 (July 2019). Poster: Holocene abrupt climate change: the view from Crudale Meadow, Orkney Mainland..:
    • TMS Ostracod Group (April 2019). Talk: The Early Holocene from Crudale Meadow, Orkney.
    • London Micropalaeontology Group (December 2019). Talk: Reconstructing abrupt Holocene climatic events from ostracod-derived oxygen isotope records..
    • EGU 2020. Poster: A high-resolution ostracod-derived δ18O record of early Holocene abrupt climatic change from N. Scotland..:
    • TMS. Poster: A high-resolution ostracod-derived δ18O record of early Holocene abrupt climatic change from N. Scotland..
    Training courses
    • SUERC isotope training course, hosted by SUERC. November 2018
    DTP Activities
    DTP Activities

    Member of the Joint DTP Summer Conference Organising Committee 2019

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