Explore processes affecting the Earth's life and its environment
In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. This two-year programme will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand climate change and its impact on natural environments such as soils, sediments, lakes, groundwater, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.
The main topics you will study include the evolution of life, the development of sedimentary basins, carbon sources and sinks, biogeochemical and geochemical fingerprinting of sedimentary processes/environments, and climate reconstruction.
You can choose one of four tracks based on your specific interests:
Integrated Stratigraphy & Sedimentary Systems
Dynamics of marine and continental sedimentary systems
The reconstruction of climate change through Earth's history
Biogeosciences & Evolution
The evolution and response of biota to perturbations in the environments
Processes that control the elemental cycles at the Earth’s surface
Societal and scientific challenges
On this programme, you will learn state-of-the-art reconstruction methods, modelling techniques, and laboratory experiments used in a wide range of earth and beta science disciplines. These disciplines include biogeology, palaeontology, palynology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geochemistry, organic geochemistry, hydrology, physical geography, geology, biology, climate dynamics, marine sciences and palaeoceanography. You will utilise these skills in your own research project or on the traineeships you can take in preparation for an international career in applied or fundamental research.
The programme focuses on the following societal and scientific questions:
- How does the Earth’s climate system respond to higher levels of atmospheric CO2?
- How fast do ice sheets respond to global warming?
- How are regional patterns of precipitation controlled by changes in monsoon strength or El Niño?
- How resilient is the ocean to chemical perturbations?
- How sensitive are ecosystems and biodiversity to environmental change?
- How and when did life originate on Earth?
- How are resources, such as fossil fuels and metal deposits, formed?