UCL Earth Sciences


Prof Paul Pearson

Geology; palaeoclimate; palaeobiology; micropalaeontology; foraminifera; ancient history

Professorial Research Associate

Prof Paul Pearson



Research AssociateK. Lonsdale Building, 101

Courses Taught:

non-teaching appointment

Research Group(s):


Email Address:

Telephone Number:


Research Summary

I am interested in extracting climatic information from deep sea cores and sediments. I specialize in evolutionary and geochemical studies of marine microfossils, and what they tell us about the long history of climate change on Earth. I have helped develop and apply new proxies for determining past seawater temperature, pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and hence the history of the greenhouse effect. I am interested in the influence of climate on deep sea ecology and carbon cycling.

I specialise in the taxonomy, biostratigraphy, preservation and evolution of planktonic foraminifera, an important group of mineralizing plankton. I also write about the history of science and ancient history. My current position focuses on the long-term history of the North Atlantic using sediment cores taken from the Reykjanes Ridge south of Iceland by Integrated Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 395(C). I also research the history of the Roman Empire, especially the Third Century crisis.