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Dr. Robin Edwards

Associate Prof in Earth Sciences (Geography)

Associate Prof in Earth Sciences (Geology)

After reading Oceanography in Southampton, I undertook a PhD in Geography at Durham, developing high precision methods of sea level reconstruction, and investigating the relationship between late Holocene climate change and sea level. On completion of my PhD, I moved to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, to work on a project examining the nature of climate - ocean relationships, during which time I undertook fieldwork along the eastern coast of the USA. This project is on-going and I continue to collaborate with colleagues in the Netherlands. I then worked for a short period with the Wetlands Research Group at ACU Sydney, examining salt-marsh and mangrove ecosystems and their potential as sea level indicators, before returning to Durham to take up a lectureship in Quaternary environmental change. Since arriving at Trinity in 2002, I have developed new research interests relating to Irish coastal evolution, sea level change and inter-tidal archaeology. I have also returned to my oceanographic roots with several projects looking at past ocean circulation in the North Atlantic.
  Climate Change   Coastal Environmental Change   Earth Science   Earth Sciences for Climate Research   Earth Stratigraphy, Sedimentary Processes   FORAMINIFERA   Glaciology   MARINE   Oceanography   Paleoclimatology   Paleontology, Paleoecology   Quarternary science   SALT MARSH   SALTMARSH   SALT-MARSH   Sea Level
 Ice Sheet - Ocean Interaction in the North Atlantic: A Palaeoceanographic Perspective
 Testing simulations of relative sea-level change: a marine geophysical perspective
 Palaeoceanographic records of abrupt climate change: a preliminary investigation
 Testing the utility of a combined geochemical and microfossil-based approach to sea-level reconstruction in western Ireland
 Examining the evidence for a recent acceleration in the rate of sea level rise using combined instrumental and proxy data

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Details Date
National Committee for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Relative sea-level change around the Irish coast in, editor(s)P. Coxon S. McCarron F. Mitchell , Advances in Irish Quaternary Studies, Paris, Atlantis Press, 2017, pp181 - 215, [R. Edwards, K. Craven], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Irish Sea and Atlantic Margin in, editor(s)Flemming, N.C. Harff, J. Moura, D. Burgess, A. Bailey, G.N. , Submerged Landscapes of the European Continental Shelf: Quaternary Paleoenvironments, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017, pp241 - [Westley, K., Edwards, R.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Robin Edwards, W. Roland Gehrels, Anthony Brooks, Ralph Fyfe, Katie Pullen, Joseph Kuchar, Kieran Craven, Resolving discrepancies between field and modelled relative sea-level data: lessons from western Ireland, Journal of Quaternary Science, 2017, Journal Article, IN_PRESS  DOI
Craven, K.F., Edwards, R.J., Flood, R.P., Source organic matter analysis of saltmarsh sediments using SIAR and its application in relative sea-level studies in regions of C4 plant invasion, Boreas, 2017, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Alexander J. Wright, Robin J. Edwards, Orson van de Plassche, Maarten Blaauw, Andrew C. Parnell, Klaas van der Borg, Arie F. M. de Jong, Helen M. Roe, Katherine Selby, Stuart Black, Reconstructing the accumulation history of a saltmarsh sediment core: Which age-depth model is best?, Quaternary Geochronology, 39, 2017, p35 - 67, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Foraminifera in, editor(s)Shennan, I. Long, A.J. Horton, B.P. , Handbook of Sea Level Research, Chichester, UK, John Wiley & Sons, 2015, pp191 - 217, [Edwards, R.J., Wright, A.J.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Plets, R.M.K., Callard, S.L., Cooper, J.A.G., Long, A.J., Quinn, R.J., Belknap, D.F., Edwards, R.J., Jackson, D.W.T., Kelley, J.T., Long, D., Milne, G.A., Monteys, X., Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland, Marine Geology, 369, 2015, p251 - 272, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Sturt, F., Dix, J.K., Grant, M.J., Steadman, S., Scaife, R., Edwards, R.J., Griffiths, S., Cameron, N., Thompson, C., Bray, S., Jones, J., LIFE BELOW THE WAVES: PALAEOLANDSCAPES PRESERVED WITHIN THE SUB-TIDAL BRISTOL CHANNEL, Archaeology in the Severn Estuary, 22, 2014, p41 - 66, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Sedimentary Indicators of Relative Sea-Level Change - Low Energy in, editor(s)Scott Elias , Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science (2nd Edition), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Elsevier, 2013, pp396 - 408, [Edwards, R.J.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Benjamin Thébaudeau, Alan S. Trenhaile, Robin J. Edwards, Modelling the Development of Rocky Shoreline Profiles along the Northern Coast of Ireland, Geomorphology, 203, 2013, p66 - 78, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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Robin Edwards, Understanding Sea Level Rise and Variability, Review of Understanding Sea Level Rise and Variability, by John A. Church, Philip L. Woodworth, Thorkild Aarup, W. Stanley Wilson (Editors) , The Holocene, 21, (7), 2011, p1173-74 , Review, PUBLISHED
Robin Edwards, Book Review, Review of Ecology and Applications of Benthic Foraminifera, by J. Murray , Journal of Paleolimnology, 40, (2), 2008, p747-749 , Review, PUBLISHED
Edwards, R.J., Review of Quaternary Environmental Micropalaeontology, by Haslett, S.K. , Quaternary Science Reviews, 22, 2003, p760-761 , Review, PUBLISHED


My primary research focus is the nature of the climate-ocean relationship at multi-decadal to millennial timescales. I seek to examine this by reconstructing past environmental changes with a view to elucidating the forcing factors, mechanisms and processes involved. An important part of this activity is the ongoing development of existing and novel methodologies to improve the ultimate accuracy and precision of my reconstructions. My recent research interests include the relationship between climate and sea level, the impacts of relative sea-level (RSL) rise on coastal landscapes, and past variability in North Atlantic Ocean circulation. Research Strand 1: Sea-Level Change - Previous IPCC reports have highlighted future sea-level rise as one of the major climate-related impacts facing the world over the coming centuries. The AR4 will show this threat remains difficult to quantify due to significant gaps in our understanding of climate / ice-sheet / ocean linkages. Important questions surround ice sheet dynamics, how short-term variability links to longer-term trends, and how 'globally averaged' sea-level change is expressed at local scales. Research Strand 2: Quantitative Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction - The concerns surrounding modern climate change are partly responsible for the demand for improved information about past climates and environmental conditions. Microfossil-based proxies such as pollen, diatoms and foraminifera are one of a number of well-established methods for obtaining this kind of information. An intrinsic part of this research is the continual refinement of the relationships between environmental proxies and the variables of interest, and the search for new techniques to extract more detailed and precise quantitative records of change. Research Strand 3: Land-Ocean Interaction, Coastal Evolution and Human Response - Whilst projections of future sea level rise are usually quoted in terms of 'global averages', human populations experience the impacts of sea-level change at local scales. These changes are mediated via a range of processes operating over different temporal and spatial scales, including glacio-hydro-isostatic adjustment, geoidal eustasy, dynamic effects associated with tides and currents, sediment movement and coastal morphodynamics. Simple X-Y plots of sea level through time therefore conceal a multiplicity of associated processes and possible outcomes.