Dendroclimatologist Dr Kathy Allen has joined the Climate Futures team on a prestigious 4-year ARC Future Fellowship. She will be studying global palaeoclimate extremes, looking back some 2000 years to better understand the context for today’s changing climate.
“Palaeoclimatology looks at coral records, speleotherms, trees, sediments and ice cores to piece together past climate,” said Dr Allen. “We need to better understand today’s extreme events by setting these events within longer-range timescales in the past. The palaeo climate record allows us to do that.”
By examining a range of past climate indicators, palaeoclimatologists can identify longer-timescale events of high and low temperatures in the past, as well as fire events.
“My work is lots of fun. It gets you out into the field – which for me is the best bit,” said Dr Allen.
Palaeo field trips in Tasmania are not always easy, though, Kathy said.
“This is a picture of a rainy lunch table on one trip. We had 5 of 8 days pretty much like this. I’ll bet the lads were happy to see the chopper coming back to get us on day 8!”
Prior to joining the Climate Futures team at UTAS, Dr Allen worked in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne.