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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Southampton welcomes world-renowned Arctic change researcher to Gregory Lecture

Published: 14 May 2015
The Gregory lecture

A world-leading researcher of Arctic change was the key speaker at this year’s 23rd annual Gregory Lecture at the University of Southampton.

Professor Julie Brigham-Grette,from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, has been at the forefront of Arctic change over several decades.

She enthralled a packed audience with her insights into her role as US Chief Scientist of the El’gygytgyn Lake (Lake E) Scientific Drilling project – a multinational programme that led to the recovery of one of the longest continuous records of environmental change.

The project examined sediments from Lake E for a range of different physical, chemical and biological features that revealed past states of the lake, the climate, the surrounding landscape and vegetation.

She recalled the huge logistical challenges of putting together such a project in inhospitable and remote arctic terrain.

Julie has a remarkable span of interests working across the boundaries of land and sea on records of sea ice cover, as well as tidewater glaciers and land-fast glaciers. She has also worked extensively exploring how sea levels in the Arctic have changed as a result of the interplay of glacial-interglacial climate swings and the effects of local glaciation on land-surface elevation.

Geography and Environment’s Director of Resources, Professor Mary Edwards, said: “We were honoured and delighted to welcome Julie as our 23rd Gregory Lecturer. She gave a superb insight into the nitty-gritty of doing field science and the emotional highs and lows that come with such a long-term intensive effort. For the students in particular the lecture made science come alive.

“She provided a timely reminder that as we continue to push our climate towards further warming, the Arctic will undergo momentous changes in the near future, probably well within the lifetimes of the students attending the lecture.”

The annual Gregory Lecture was organised by Southampton’s Geography and Environment department and hosted by the Palaeoenvironmental Change Group. It was also attended by Professor and Mrs Gregory and Southampton’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise Professor Judith Petts. The introduction and vote of thanks were given by Professor Mary Edwards. More about Professor Brigham-Grette's research can be found here.

Keynote speech
The 23rd Gregory Lecture
Professors Brigham-Grette & Edwards
Professor Ken Gregory
Professors Petts & Darby
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