UCL Earth Sciences


Prof Bridget Wade

Micropalaeontology, palaeoceanography, biostratigraphy, geochemistry, palaeoecology, evolution

Professor of Micropalaeontology

Prof Bridget Wade




Professor of MicropalaeontologyKathleen Lonsdale, 108

Courses Taught:

GEOL0044 Palaeoceanography
GEOL0047 MSc Dissertation

Research Group(s):


Email Address:

Telephone Number:

b.wade@ucl.ac.uk020 3108 6359 (56359)

Research Summary

Bridget Wade joined UCL as a Professor of Micropalaeontology in 2013. She leads a research group of postdocs, PhD and MSc students in Cenozoic palaeoceanography and the palaeoecology of calcareous microfossils. Wade and her group use microfossils and their chemistry to determine patterns of evolution and extinction, marine temperatures, pH, productivity levels, global ice volume and sea level fluctuations. Her research has been international in scope, involving fieldwork in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico. She participated as a shipboard scientist on Ocean Drilling Program Leg 199 (2001) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 321 (2009), as well as a site survey cruise (2009), onshore drilling by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program at Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure (2005) and the Tanzania Drilling Project (2004).

Currently she is engaged in several research projects focusing on Cenozoic climate change from excellently preserved planktonic foraminifera to reconstruct sea surface temperatures and pH. Related to her research in palaeoceanography, is the high-resolution refinement and calibration of Cenozoic planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy, and determining the biotic response to climatic events. Bridget was Chair of the Paleogene Planktonic Foraminifera Working Group, part of the International sub-commission of Paleogene stratigraphy from 2005 to 2018, culminating in the publication of the Atlas of Oligocene planktonic foraminifera.

External recognition is shown by her election as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (2021) and a Fellow of the Paleontology Society (2014), the Charles Schuchert Award (2013), The Geological Society Bigsby Medal (2020) and Wollaston Fund (2012), the Alan Higgins Award from The Micropalaeontological Society (2011), and Hodson Award from the Palaeontological Association (2008) and a CAREER Award through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program (2009). She was an ECORD Distinguished Lecturer (2016-2017).

Current and recent grants include:  

  • Natural Environment Research Council. Solving the Oligocene icehouse conundrum (TONIC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council. Expedition 395C: Reykjanes Ridge planktonic foraminifer biostratigraphy and assemblages.Natural Environment Research Council. Cenozoic planktonic foraminifera biostratigraphy from the South Atlantic Transect (International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 390/393). 
  • Natural Environment Research Council. Biostratigraphy of planktonic foraminifera from the South Atlantic Transect (International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 390C).
  • Natural Environment Research Council. Does developmental plasticity influence speciation? (PISTON). 
  • Natural Environment Research Council. Miocene to Recent planktonic foraminifera biochronology and evolution in the Pacific Warm Pool (IODP Expedition 363).