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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute
(023) 8059 3786

Professor Gavin Foster BSc, PhD

Professor of Isotope Geochemistry

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Professor Gavin Foster is Professor of Isotope Geochemistry within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

BSc Geology, University of Leicester (1996)

PhD Isotope Geochemistry, Open University (2000)

NERC PDRA, Department of Geology, University of Leicester (2000-2003)

NERC PDRA, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (2003)

NERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (2003-2006)

NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (2006-2009)

NERC Advanced Research Fellow, School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton (2009-2011)

Lecturer Ocean and Earth Science (2011-2012)

Flint Visiting Lecturer, Geology and Geophysics, Yale University (2013)

Research interests

Specialism: Isotope Geochemistry and Palaeoceanography

My research is primarily concerned with using novel isotopic techniques to gain insights into how and why the Earth’s climate has changed over geological time. Much of my research efforts are currently focused on using boron isotopes in the calcareous shells of foraminifera to reconstruct the state of the oceanic carbonate system in the geological past. In particular I am interested in the mechanisms responsible for the CO2 changes that accompanied the waxing and waning of the ice-sheets throughout the Pleistocene, and the role of CO2 in the gradual (and sometimes rapid) deterioration of climate through the Cenozoic.

My other research interests deal with oceanic records of radiogenic isotopes (Pb and Nd) that reflect the changing patterns of continental weathering intensity and ocean circluation. I am also interested in reconstructing ice sheet coverage in the past using novel detrital mineral provenancing techniques such as in situ Nd isotopes in apatite.

Clean Labs
Clean Labs
Sea-surface temperature anomaly
Sea-surface temperature anomaly
Iceberg (Source: E Storey)
Iceberg (Source: E Storey)
Diatoms and Grains
Diatoms and Grains

Research group


Affiliate research group

Palaeoceanography and Palaeoclimate

Research project(s)

PISTON: Does Developmental Plasticity Influence Speciation?

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Book Chapters




SOES3025 – Independent Mapping Project leader to the Isle of Skye (UK)

SOES 3006 - The evolving Earth

SOES6047 - Global Climate Cycles

Research Horizons for Post Graduates

Professor Gavin Foster
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number: NOCS/186/10

Professor Gavin Foster's personal home page
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