UCL Department of Geography


Description Photo Here

Personal tools
Log in
This is SunRain Plone Theme
UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Joanna Tindall

Joanna Tindall


Joanna Tindall

Department of Geography, University College London, North-West Wing, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT


Twitter: @joannaT1995

London NERC DTP:



Prof. Jonathan Holmes (University College London) & Prof. Ian Candy (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Collaborators: Prof. Melanie Leng (BGS), Prof. Simon Blockley & Dr. Ian Matthews (RHUL), Prof. David Sear, Dr. Thierry Fonville & Prof. Pete Langdon (University of Southampton), Dr Louise Sime & Dr Irene Malmierca Vallet (BAS) and Dr Kira Rehfeld (Hiedelberg University).



NIGLFSC (2018) - Oxygen isotope analyses on ostracod shells.

NIGLFSC (2019) - Oxygen isotope analyses on ostracod shells.

UCL Widening Participation and Access Grant for Summer Challenge 2019.

Frank Carter Travel Fund £800.

Current Research

Title: Lacustrine oxygen isotopes as tracers of past climate change in NW Europe.

Abstract: The Holocene (last ~11,700 years BP) has experienced multiple abrupt climatic events. However, their often subtle expression in the palaeo-record results in many proxies lacking the sensitivity to identify them. The use of oxygen isotopes to investigate palaeotemperature of major abrupt events in cold stages, particularly ice core records, is well-established. In contrast, their use on Holocene lake sediments is limited, despite their potential to also allow for palaeoprecipitation and palaeoatmospheric reconstruction of these subtler abrupt climatic events when high-resolution sampling Is aligned with a good chronology. These reconstructions are made possible by the predictable relationship between water isotope ratio and air temperature. Unusually, large shifts may be attributed to other forcing factors such as precipitation; the δ18O composition of precipitation being strongly controlled by atmospheric processes. This project uses this theory to build on the work of Holmes et al. (2010) to investigate the palaeoclimatic record from lacustrine sediments at various Holocene time slices and the comparison with modern lake water isotope systematics and outputs from an isotope-enabled general circulation model (GCM) outputs.

Impact: The research will further our understanding of climate evolution during the Holocene and mechanisms that drive abrupt climatic events. This will contribute to our ability to model, predict and prepare for potential events in the light of modern climate change in NW Europe. The comparison with archaeological evidence where appropriate may indicate societal response to change. Finally, the development of tephrochronologies at the selected field sites have the potential to a) identify tephra at some of the most southernly site in Britain to date, b) identify new Holocene tephras, c) demonstrate that tephra is a viable chronological alternative in late Holocene sites which can circumvent existing issues associated with radiocarbon, 210Pb and SCP dating methodologies which are presently widely used.


1)      Produce oxygen isotope records for four lacustrine sites across the British Isles, at different time slices, from ostracod shells.

2)      Produce chronologies for each site, primarily using tephra, but supported by radiocarbon, 210Pb, SCPs and historical records where appropriate.

3)      Identify abrupt climatic events through shifts in the δ18O record and use this to infer palaeotemperature and palaeoprecipitation change.

4)      Monitor modern lake δ18O composition and temperature where possible to compare to proxy evidence.

)      Use the isotope-enabled iHadCM3 GCM and the generated palaeoclimatic data to model potential driving factors of the abrupt climatic events and place change in a NW European context.


Academic Qualifications:

2017 – present: University College London

PhD Geography: ‘Lacustrine oxygen-isotopes as tracers of past climate change in NW Europe’.

2016-2017: Royal Holloway, University of London.

MSc Quaternary Science (Distinction)

Dissertation: ‘Reconstructing North African Monsoon Variability in the Last ~150ka through the use and experimentation of Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating from marine core ODP658B’.

2013-2016: Royal Holloway, University of London.

BSc (Hons) Physical Geography (First Class Honours).

Dissertation: ‘Is Sutton Fen natural? Using palaeoecological methods to inform future management’.


2016: Wang Jing Tai Prize from Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London for the best undergraduate dissertation in Quaternary Science.

2016: Nominated for the British Society of Geomorphology Marjorie Sweeting dissertation prize.

Academic Membership:

Quaternary Research Association

The Micropalaeontology Society

Other Responsibilities:

2018 – 2020: Secretary for the Ostracod Working Group with The Micropaleontology Society

2017 – 2018: Cohort 4 of the London NERC DTP Representative.

2018 – 2020: Academic Representative for Physical Geography PhD students in the Geography Department at UCL.

2019 - 2020: Postgraduate Lab User Representative.

2019: DTP Conference Organisation Committee


2018 – 2020: Tutorial Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Delivering small group tutorials with the first-year undergraduates to support their Physical Geography modules. The role involves preparing and delivering material and setting and marking the associated course essays. I also deliver the academic skills tutorials related to reading and writing at university.

2018 – present: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at University College London.

Assisting staff with delivering content related to the following courses including lab and field demonstrations and seminar leading. Modules include

Environmental Change & Earth: An Integrated Approach (1st yr), The Practice of Geography & Reconstructing Past Environments (2nd yr), Biological Indicators of Environmental Change (MSc)

2019 – present: Teaching Assistant and Marker at RHUL.

Assisting staff with delivering content related to the following courses including field demonstrations and marking of undergraduate coursework. Modules include Geographical Techniques (1st year).



Blog pieces:

PAGES ECN Blog - How Can We Use Oxygen Isotopes from Ostracods to Reconstruct Abrupt Climate Changes from the Holocene? Available at:

Conference Oral Presentations:

Quaternary Research Association Postgraduate Symposium 2017 – presented work from my MSc dissertation.

Conference Poster Presentations:

TMS 2020

EGU 2020

INQUA 2019

Quaternary Research Association Postgraduate Symposium 2016 – PhD project outline.

A Changing Planet, DTP Conference – PhD project outline.


2019 - Summer Challenge at UCL

2016 – present: Learning Volunteer at the Natural History Museum, London.

Regularly volunteer at the museum where we deliver and engage visitors with specimens across the whole scope of Natural History from creepy crawlies to mammals and minerals to fossils.

2013 – 2018: Geography Ambassador with the Royal Geographical Society (IBG).

Promote the uptake and study of geography at GCSE, A Level and University by delivering sessions both in schools and at the Society in London.