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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Research Group: Palaeoenvironmental Laboratory at the University of Southampton (PLUS)

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We use modelling approaches and data on past environments to understand environmental change and to anticipate future change at a range of temporal and spatial scales.

Analysing tephra in Patagonia

Members of PLUS generate so-called multi-proxy environmental data and model past environments in order to further our understanding of environmental change and its relationship to human societies at a range of temporal and spatial scales.

The PLUS research group focuses on natural systems and their interface with the Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences. This includes the long-term impacts of climate dynamics on human societies and related subjects such as human-environment modelling, ecosystem services, geoarchaeology and forensic palynology.

We have broad expertise in a range of techniques and the use of natural systems such as peat bogs and lakes as archives of terrestrial environmental change. These techniques range from the study of fossil pollen to stable isotopes. We are involve in active collaboration with other research groups at Southampton including the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, the Centre for Ancient Human Origins (CAHO) and Southampton Ocean and Earth Sciences.

PLUS research is relevant to several international agendas that concern climate change and associated human responses. We are part of the international science community in understanding earth systems science, and our work informs actions to facilitate adaptation to climate change. PLUS has specialist research facilities in the Shackleton Building and a wide range of field equipment.

PLUS undertakes research into environmental change from the very recent period up to 3 million years ago all geographical areas from the tropics to the polar regions. Major interests lie in the North Atlantic, Arctic, Patagonia and East Africa as well as in the British Isles. PLUS research is linked to international agendas of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), International Geosciences Programme (IGCP) and the Arctic Council. We also have active collaboration with universities in the US, China, Russia, Norway, Chile, Denmark, France, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Japan.




Book Chapters

  • Basell, L. S. (2010). Middle stone age Sangoan-Lupemban Lithic assemblages in Africa. In P. Allsworth-Jones (Ed.), West African Archaeology New developments, new perspectives (pp. 15-28). (British Archaeological Reports International Series; No. S2164). British Archaeological Reports.
  • Grant, M. J., Barber, K. E., & Hughes, P. D. M. (2009). True ancient woodland? – 10,000 years of continuous woodland cover at Mark Ash Wood, New Forest. In R. M. Briant, M. R. Bates, R. T. Hosfield, & F. F. Wenban-Smith (Eds.), The Quaternary of the Solent Basin and West Sussex Raised Beaches: Field Guide (pp. 215-229). Quaternary Research Association.
  • Salisbury, C. R., & Brown, A. G. (1970). The archaeological background. In S. Ripper, & L. P. Cooper (Eds.), The Hemington Bridges: The Excavation of Three Medieval Bridges at Hemington Quarry, Near Castle Donington, Leicestershire (pp. 7-12). (Leicester Archaeology Monographs; No. 16). Leicester University.
List of related projects to Palaeoenvironmental Laboratory at the University of Southampton (PLUS)
Related ProjectsStatus
Quantifying and Understanding the Earth SystemDormant
ESPA Deltas Dormant
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