Fossils of the Earth’s earliest animals appear abruptly in the geological record ~574 million years ago (Mya), and then suffer a mysterious decline in diversity just a few million years later ~550 Mya. Some researchers consider this biological change to be Earth’s first mass extinction event.Continue reading “Exploring the environments inhabited by Earth’s earliest animals in Namibia”
I recently accompanied an intrepid group of Cambridge alumni on board the Ocean Endeavour as we sailed a section of the fabled Northwest Passage from West Greenland to the western Canadian Arctic.Continue reading “Into the Northwest Passage: four billion years of Earth history”
I can normally be found writing news stories or running outreach events for the Department, but this year I decided to dust off my walking boots and tag along to Arran with our first years to find out what makes this fabled Island so geologically exciting. Let’s just say it didn’t disappoint, and in the post below I’ve managed to condense down what — according to our students and demonstrators — makes this trip so special.Continue reading “Arran 2022: best bits, as chosen by staff and students!”
My last blog about the WACSWAIN project was in February 2020. We had just started the chemical analysis of our 651-metre-long ice core from Skytrain Ice Rise (Antarctica). The theme of this article is time – the first aspect being that a lot of time has since passed. Soon after I wrote last, our labwork was completely shut down by the pandemic, some of the team went back to their families in other countries, and we all learnt what Zoom meetings were.Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Time and ice”
Nicholas Barber, 4th Year PhD Student, tells us about his experience as a demonstrator for this summer’s first year field trip to Arran – the first since the pandemic started.
Covid-19’s impact has touched each and every one of our lives. While the impacts of the pandemic have been devastating, in a much smaller way Covid-19 has completely reshaped what it means to study Earth Sciences at Cambridge. Traditionally, our students would spend a week over the Easter holiday tramping through the bogs and heather on the Isle of Arran – this would be their first taste of fieldwork and would be “the best revision any Cambridge undergraduate could ask for.”Continue reading “Arran 2021: reporting on the successes of running a field trip in Covid-times”
After gaining a Master’s degree in Earth Sciences at UCL, Grace moved to Cambridge to study – firstly for an MPhil in Environmental Science and Remote Sensing at the Department of Geography, then moving to Earth Sciences to undertake a PhD on earthquake hazards in central Asia.
Grace has now worked at Arup for 5 years, and was recently recognised as one of 2021’s Top 50 Women in Engineering. We caught up with Grace in the following blog post and heard more about her work on natural hazard and risk management.Continue reading “Cambridge seismology graduate named one of 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering”
Before the unprecedented months of virtual everythings – hand sanitiser-soaked fingers and meetings in pyjama bottoms – I was happily enjoying my final year as an undergraduate. Whilst making the most of my time left in beautiful Cambridge and running the greatest student geological society there is (the unofficial title I awarded the Sedgwick Club), I found myself working on an interesting Master’s project with Alex Liu. The exciting results that came out of this project gave me something to focus on whilst stuck at home in the months after graduation. I’ll tell you more about my project, and my journey to getting my results published, in this blog post.Continue reading “Life after graduating, and life before the Cambrian Explosion”
In June every year, the Part II examiners in Cambridge Earth Sciences select the best mapping project of the year group, based on the quality of field maps and notebooks, and on the final drafted map and report. Since 2006, this top project has won the Reekie Prize within the department; a useful accolade to put on the CV. However, a yet bigger prize is then at stake. In December, the project gets submitted for a national award: the Dave Johnston prize of the Geological Society’s Tectonic Studies Group (TSG).Continue reading “The UK’s best student mapping project”