About Us

The Editors

Isabelle Taylor 

taylor-isabelle-image-website-300x300I am a NERC funded doctoral student on the Environmental Research DTP, working jointly with the Earth Sciences and Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Departments. I previously obtained a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Exeter and a master’s degree in volcanology from the University of Bristol, following which I spent three months working with the gas geochemistry team at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
My research focus is on how satellite imagery can be used to monitor plumes of volcanic ash and gas. Specifically, in what estimates of the concentration and emission rate of sulphur dioxide can tell us about activity at the volcano. Currently, I am using the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer to study emissions into the troposphere from passive or low level eruptions.

Frey Fyfe


Broadly, my main research interests are in the areas of volcanology, igneous petrology and planetary sciences. I graduated from Imperial College London in 2015 with an MSci in Earth Sciences, involving a six month project with the Natural History Museum on Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico. I’m continuing with this work for my PhD project, but focussing in on apatite crystals formed in the magma prior to eruption. By analysing the ‘gas’ contents of these crystals, I hope to pin down how Popo switches from relatively safe ‘effusive’ behaviour to explosive eruptions that threaten the 30 million people living nearby.

Toby Jackson

Jackson-Tobias-image-300x300I am a third year Phd student on the DTP program and am studying wind damage in forests. I did my undergrad and masters in physics in London and am still getting to grips with the wider scope of the geography department I am part of. My work is half modelling and half fieldwork, which is a great way to spend a Phd. We use laser scanners to build accurate 3D maps of the forest and then simulate storms and see how they react. We also measure the wind speed and the response of the tree and use that to validate our simulations. I am coming to the end of my Phd and am trying to write up all my results and start to summarize, so I hope to be able to post some nice looking graphs before too long.

Brooke Johnson


After many years as an amateur geologist, I completed my BSc in geology at Birkbeck College with First Class honours in 2015. My thesis project investigated the sedimentology and palaeontology of environmental change in the early Jurassic of North Yorkshire. Using high detail logging I was able develop new insights in the dynamics of anoxic events in restricted marine basins, a paper of my findings is currently being prepared. My primary research interests are in understanding the relationships between environmental change and biotic radiations and extinctions. I am especially interested in the links between changes in Neoproterozoic and early Palaeozoic environments and major bursts of biotic innovation such the rise of the Ediacarans and the Cambrian explosion and the GOBE. My approach is multidisciplinary and includes aspects of sedimentary geology, geochemistry, paleoecology, biology, oceanography and climatology. I strongly believe that a multidisciplinary approach is the best way to unravel the questions posed by environmental research in deep time.

Fiona Jones


I have a strong interest in how climate change and other anthropogenic activities are influencing polar ecosystems. Currently I am a Penguinologist-in-training, using data from time-lapse cameras positioned around the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Peninsula to examine penguin populations. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford, before spending a year in the Palaeontology Department of the Natural History Museum (London), where I enjoyed being part of the dinosaur research team. Prior to joining the NERC DTP in Environment Research I completed an MSc in Climate Change at University College London. I am now preparing for my first field season in Antarctica!

 Site Manager

Kaja Fenn


I am a NERC-funded doctoral student on the DTP in Environmental Research, also holding CASE award with the British Geological Survey (BGS). My time is shared between the Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory at the School of Geography and the Environment in Oxford and Isotope Geoscience Laboratories in Keyworth. I hold a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England and an MSc in Quaternary Science (Distinction) from Royal Holloway, University of London.
My DPhil research is focused on investigating source(s) of loess in Central Europe over the last interglacial-glacial cycle, examining spatial differences in loess along the course of the Danube River, and assessing provenance variability within and between individual sedimentary units.

 Communication and Media Manager

Marie-Claire Koschowitz

I am a PhD candidate on the Oxford NERC DTP in the Department of Zoology and am currently conducting research on the evolution of reproductive modes in reptiles. In particular, I want to know why all birds lay eggs, as opposed to other reptiles that frequently utilise life birth as an alternative strategy.

My main research interests are animal physiology and large-scale evolutionary transitions of anatomy in reptiles. Specifically, including the reptilian fossil record and palaeontological methods.

I have previously investigated the evolution of feathers in non-avian (not birds) dinosaurs, exploring how shared traits of bird and dinosaur colour vision influenced selective pressures that favoured the evolution of elaborate colour ornamentation by means of feathers, as opposed to fur.



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