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George Swann

Associate Professor in Palaeoclimatology, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

George is an isotope geochemist and palaeoclimatologist working on reconstructing past environmental changes over the last three million years from marine and lake sediment cores. He is also a visiting research associates at the British Geological Survey/NERC Isotope Geosciences Facility. George's research is focused towards:

  • Developing and applying diatom isotopes δ13C, δ18O and δ30Si) in environmental reconstructions;
  • Constraining biogeochemical cycling and the global silicon cycle;
  • Investigating Quaternary changes in meltwater influx and role of the biological pump in CO2 sequestration in high latitude marine regions, including the Bering Sea and North Atlantic, North Pacific and Southern Oceans;
  • Reconstructing Pliocene palaeoceanography during the onset of major Northern Hemisphere Glaciation;
  • Reconstructing the Quaternary/Pliocene climatic and environmental history of lacustrine systems in Siberia.
  • ORCiD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4750-9504

Teaching Summary

I lecture on the following School of Geography modules:

  • Dissertation (F83172)

  • Dissertation Preparation (L82180)

  • Earth and Environmental Dynamics (F81125)

  • Environmental Change (F82165)

  • Foundations of Environmental Management (F84153)

  • Geographical Field Course (F81250)

  • Global Climate Change (F83155)

  • MSci Dissertation (F84274)

  • Quaternary Environments (F83150/F84155)

  • Research Tutorial (L82170)

  • Sedimentology and Palaeontology (F82368)

  • Statistical and Computational Problem Solving (F84234)

  • Tutorial (L81148)

Research Summary

Current Research Grants

  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2017-2019): "Constraining biogeochemical cycling in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea through the Mid Pleistocene Transition." IP-1786-1117. PI (Co-I: Snelling, Metcalfe [Nottingham], Horstwood, Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2017-2018): "Reconstructing upwelling, nutrient supply, and the efficiency of the biological pump in the Bering Sea since the middle Pleistocene, using diatom silicon isotope records." IP-1740-0517. PI (Co-I: Kender [Exeter], Worne [Nottingham], Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2017-2018): "Tracing icebergs around East Antarctica - an indication of past ice sheet dynamics?" IP-1733-0517. Co-I (PI/Co-I: Pike [Cardiff], Leng [NIGL], Leventer [Colgate/USA]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2017-2018): "How have hydrological impoundments and eutrophication changed organic matter cycling in shallow freshwater ecosystems of the Middle Yangtze Basin?" IP-1727-0517. Co-I (PI/Co-I: McGowan, Zeng [Notttingham]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2016-2018): "Investigating sea ice and Bering Sea palaeoceanography during the middle Pleistocene global climatic shift " IP‐1674‐1116. Co-I (PI/Co-I: Kender/Worne [Nottingham], Stroynowski [LNEG/Portugal], Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2016-2017): "Oxygen isotope systematics of deep-sea sponges from the North Atlantic" IP-1619-0516. Co-I (PI/Co-I: Hendry [Bristol], Howell [Plymouth], Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2014-17): Determining if changes in the position of the Southern Westerly Wind belt impact the South Georgia marine ecosystem" IP/1495/1114 (Co-I with Leng, Kender, Dejardin [Nottingham], Peck, Allen [BAS])

See research tab above for full details on past/current research grants

Recent Publications

  • HAMPTON, S.E., GALLOWAY, A.W.E., POWERS, S.M., OZERSKY, T., WOO, K.H., BATT, R.D., LABOU, S.G., O’REILLY, C.M., SHARMA, S., LOTTIG, N.R., STANLEY, E.H., NORTH, R.L., STOCKWELL, J.D., ADRIAN, R., WEYHENMEYER, G.A., ARVOLA, L., BAULCH, H.M., BERTANI, I., BOWMAN, L.L., CAREY, C.C., CATALAN, J., COLOM-MONTERO, W., DOMINE, L.M., FELIP, M., GRANADOS, I., GRIES, C., GROSSART, H-P., HABERMAN, J., HALDNA, M., HAYDEN, B., HIGGINS, S.N., JOLLEY, J.C., KAHILAINEN, K.K., KAUP, E., KEHOE, M.J., MACINTYRE, S., MACKAY, A.W., MARIASH, H.L., MCKAY, R.M., NIXDORF, B., NÕGES, P., NÕGES, T., NÕGES, T., PALMER, M., PIERSON, D.C., POST, D.M., PRUETT, M.J., RAUTIO, M., READ, J.S., ROBERTS, S.L., RÜCKER, J., SADRO, S., SILOW, E.A., SMITH, D.E., STERNER, R.W., SWANN, G.E.A., TIMOFEYEV, M.A., TORO, M., TWISS, M.R., VOGT, R.J., WATSON, S.B., WHITEFORD, E.J. and XENOPOULOS, M.A., 2017. Ecology under lake ice. Ecology Letters. 20, 98-111
  • MACKAY, A.W., SEDDON, A.W.R., LENG, M.J., HEUMANN, G., MORLEY, D.W., PIOTROWSKA, N., RIOUAL, P., ROBERTS, S. and SWANN, G.E.A., 2017. Holocene carbon dynamics at the forest - steppe ecotone of southern Siberia Global Change Biology. 23, 1942-1960
  • PANIZZO V.N., SWANN, G.E.A., MACKAY, A.W., VOLOGINA, E., ALLEMAN, L., ANDRE, L., PASHLEY, V.H. and HORSTWOOD, M.S.A., 2017. Constraining modern day silicon cycling in Lake Baikal. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 31, 556-574
  • SWANN, G.E.A., PIKE, J., LENG, M.J., SLOANE, H.J. and SNELLING, A.M., 2017. Temporal controls on silicic acid utilisation along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Nature Communications. 8, 14645

Current PhD Students

  • Rowan Dejardin: Understanding global teleconnections between ocean and atmosphere over the transition from the last glacial maximum (ca. 25ka) to the present in the Southern Ocean
  • James Williams (Cardiff University): Late Quaternary Antarctic ice sheet discharge: exploiting the sediment diatom silica archive
  • Savannah Worne: Investigating Bering Sea oceanographic controls on the Milankovitch orbital cycle climatic shift during the middle Pleistocene
  • Linghan Zeng: Combined effects of hydrological modification and eutrophication on shallow freshwater ecosystems in the middle Yangtze floodplain

Past PhD Students

  • Jennifer Adams (University College London): Pollution and Climate Change Impacts on Productivity and Biodiversity in the Selenga River Delta, Lake Baikal: a Siberian, Ramsar Wetland of International Importance
  • Sarah Roberts: Algal Community Response to Recent Environmental Change and Anthropogenic Pollution in Lake Baikal, Russia, Over the Last 1000 Years
  • Mark Stevenson: Carbon cycling in Arctic lakes

Past Research

Previous research grants:

  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2015-16): "The effects of differential dissolution on the δ18O isotope composition of diatom silica" IP-1584-1115 (Co-I with Mackay, [UCL], Smith, Leng (NIGL), Barker [Lancaster], Ryves [Loughborough], Chenery [BGS]).
  • NERC Radiocarbon Facility Steering Committee (2015-16): "Assessing Holocene variability in oceanographic conditions around the Subantarctic island of South Georgia" 1944.1015 (PI with Rowan Dejardin (Ph.D student), Dr. Sev Kender, Prof. Melanie Leng [Nottingham], Dr. Vicky Peck, Dr. Claire Allen [BAS].
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2015): "The effects of differential dissolution on the δ18O isotope composition of diatom silica" IP-1533-0515 (PI with Leng [Nottingham], Mackay, [UCL], Barker [Lancaster], Ryves [Loughborough], Chenery [BGS])
  • NERC Radiocarbon Facility Steering Committee (2014-15): "An upland geochemical record of carbon cycling from Arctic lake sediments, Disko Island, west Greenland" 1843.1014 (PI with Dr. Suzanne McGowan [Nottingham], Mark Stevenson [Nottingham] and Dr. Emma Pearson [Newcastle])
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2014-15): "Biological and geochemical records of Holocene carbon cycling, Disko Island, western Greenland" IP-1516-1114 (PI with McGowan, Stevenson [Nottingham], Pearson [Newcastle])
  • Birmingham-Nottingham Strategic Collaboration Fund (2013-15): "Antarctic ice-­‐sheet controls on tropical Pacific nutrient cycling" (Co-PI with Tom Dunkley Jones [University of Birmingham]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2013-14): "Geochemical records of Holocene carbon cycling, Disko Island, Western Greenland" IP-1393-1113 (PI with Dr. Suzanne McGowan [Nottingham] and Mark Stevenson [Nottingham])
  • NERC Radiocarbon Facility Steering Committee (2013-14): "Biological and geochemical markers of carbon flux in Arctic lake sediments, Disko Island, west Greenland" 1757.1013 (PI with Dr. Suzanne McGowan [Nottingham], Mark Stevenson [Nottingham] and Dr. Emma Pearson [Newcastle]).
  • NERC Standard Grant (2012-15): "Silicon isotope records of recent environmental change and anthropogenic pollution from Lake Baikal, Siberia" NE/J00829X/1 (PI with Dr. Suzanne McGowan [Nottingham], Dr Gary Priestnall [Nottingham], Dr. Anson Mackay [UCL], Dr. Matt Horstwood [NIGL] and Prof. Melanie Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2011-12): "Silicon isotope records of nutrient input to the Antarctic coastal margin" IP-1234-0511 (PI with Dr. Jenny Pike [University of Cardiff], Prof. Melanie Leng [NIGL] and Dr. Andrea Snelling [NIGL]).
  • NERC IODP Small Grant (2011-12): "Bering Sea diatom isotope records during the onset of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation" NE/I005889/1 (PI with Dr. Andrea Snelling [NIGL]).
  • NERC Standard Grant (2009-12): "Diatom silica oxygen isotope records from the Late Quaternary Antarctic Margin" NE/G004137/1 (Co-I with Dr. Jenny Pike [University of Cardiff], and Prof. Melanie Leng [NIGL]).
  • NERC Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (2008-2011): "Changes in the North Pacific Ocean biological pump over the last glacial-interglacial cycle" NE/F012969/1 (PI).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2010-11): "Development of oxygen isotopes in chrysophyte cysts as a new palaeoenvironmental proxy in lacustrine systems" IP-1204-1110 (PI with Prof. Melanie Leng [NIGL], Dr. Andrea Snelling [NIGL] and Dr. Sergi Pla [Spanish Council for Scientific Research [CSIC]).
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2008-09): "Diatom evidence for the variability of the stratification and halocline conditions in the Subarctic Atlantic during the last glacial cycle" IP/1072/1108 (PI with Dr. Oscar Romero [Universidad de Granada, Spain])
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (2008): "The role of the North West Pacific Ocean in controlling atmospheric concentrations of Carbon Dioxide during the last glacial cycle" IP/1015/0508 (PI with Prof. Melanie Leng [NIGL]).

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