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Name: Sabrina J. Renken

Isadore Henrichs

Contact Details

Tel: +353 (0)1 8961363
Fax: +353 (0)1 6711199

Title of Project

Ice Sheet - Ocean Interaction in the North Atlantic: A Palaeoceanographic Perspective

Project details

It is widely accepted that sea level will rise in the future as a result of global warming and the accompanying melting of global ice and thermal extension. However, the responses of the oceans due to these changes are still not fully understood. One way to improve the knowledge is a better understanding of how conditions have varied in the past. One aspect to be considered are millennial-scale abrupt climate changes which can be triggered by ice sheet collapses. This is potentially important since the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have exhibited such dynamics behaviour in the last decade.

The evolution and demise of the British Irish Ice Sheet is a useful analogue for the behaviour of a marine-based ice sheet in a warming world. The sediments accumulating off the west coast of Ireland, along the Porcupine Bank and in the adjacent Rockall Trough, have provided important insights into this evolution. The aim of this PhD project will be to produce high resolution records of ocean circulation and ice sheet changes from selected deepwater cores recovered from the slope deposits of Porcupine Bank. A multi-proxy approach is applied where data from planktonic/benthic foraminifera and marine sedimentology are combined to explore millennial-scale changes in sea surface temperatures, water mass characteristics, ocean circulation/current velocity, phases of ice rafting and sediment flux.

Name of supervisor

Dr Robin Edwards

Postgraduate personal details

I finished my B.Sc. in Geosciences at the University of Bremen (Bremen, Germany) with main modules in geophysics and marine geology in 2006. My Bachelor thesis was about the reconstruction of oceanic fronts in the South Atlantic by sea surface temperatures on the basis of planktonic foraminifera. Afterwards I started my M.Sc. in Geosciences with the opportunity to gain a ‘Joint Degree’ with the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealnd). This time I focused more on sedimentological and oceanographic modules and wrote my Master thesis about habitat mapping in Tauranga Harbour (New Zealand). During my Masters I took the chance to find out my real interests for the future, with the result that my heart still belong to palaeoclimate and –oceanographic topics. Now I am looking forward to my PhD at a new place, the Trinity College Dublin.

Project Start Date

September 2013


‘Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship 2013’ by the Irish Research Council

Science without Borders – Brazil


Capperucci, R. M., Bartholomä, A., Renken, S., & DeLange, W. (2013). Natural vs humaninduced changes at the Tauranga Harbour area (New Zealand): a time-series acoustic seabed classification comparison. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU2013-1012.

Renken, S. (2012). Acoustic detection of habitat dynamics in Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand (unpublished Master Thesis). University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.

Renken, S. (2009). Oberflächentemperaturen aus Mg/Ca-Verhältnissen in planktischen Foraminiferen für die Rekonstruktion von Ozeanfronten im Südatlantik während der mittelpleistozänen Übergangsphase (unpublished Bachelor Thesis). University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.

Last updated 8 October 2014