Dr Robin Edwards - Associate Professor of Earth Sciences
Leader of the Reconstructing Ocean & Coastal Change Research Group.
Course Director: Earth Sciences (TR077)
Tel: + 353 1 896 1713
Department of Geography
Trinity College Dublin
I am a geoscientist interested in reconstructing past environmental change. My principal research aim is to understand the causes and effects of sea-level change. Much of my work has focussed on developing and refining methods to extract precise records of past relative sea-level from intertidal sediments. I analyse Foraminifera from saltmarsh sediments and apply statistical models (transfer functions) to quantify their vertical relationships with former sea levels. These data can then be combined with detailed radiocarbon dating to construct high resolution records of relative sea-level change from sediment cores covering the last few thousand years. I am also interested in reconstructing the larger-scale changes in relative sea-level that occurred as the last glacial period drew to a close and our modern warm interval began. This work involves collaboration with geophysical modellers to explore the combined effects of global sea-level rise, melting ice sheets and the vertical land movements induced by changes in ice and ocean loading of the Earth's surface. One of the products of this work is the capability to simulate past relative sea-level changes and infer the changing geography of our planet. I am interested in better understanding when Ireland became an island and in locating evidence of lost landscapes that now lie beneath the sea. These environments are of particular significance for understanding early human movement and occupation. In addition to my coastal research, I also analyse seafloor sediments and the foraminifera they contain. This work seeks to improve our knowledge of how marine-based ice sheets respond to climate and ocean circulation change. More information on these research themes and current projects is available on my research group's webpages.
Recent Publications (» all publications)
Edwards, Robin J., Gehrels, W. Roland, Brooks, Anthony, Fyfe, Ralph M., Pullen, Katie, Kuchar, Joseph, Craven, Kieran. (2017). Resolving discrepancies between field and modelled relative sea-level data: lessons from western Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science 32(7) 957-975 DOI:10.1002/jqs.2969. Download from TARA [Open Access]
Westley, Kieran, Edwards, Robin. (2017). Irish Sea and Atlantic Margin. In: Flemming, N.C., Harff, J., Moura, D., Burgess, A., Bailey, G.N. Submerged Landscapes of the European Continental Shelf: Quaternary Paleoenvironments. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1-118-92213-2
Craven, Kieran F., Edwards, Robin J., Flood, Rory P. (2017) Source organic matter analysis of saltmarsh sediments using SIAR and its application in relative sea-level studies in regions of C4 plant invasion. Boreas DOI: 10.1111/bor.12245
Alexander J. Wright, Robin J. Edwards, Orson van de Plassche, Maarten Blaauw, Andrew C. Parnell, Klaas van der Borg, Arie F. M. de Jong, Helen M. Roe, Katherine Selby, Stuart Black (2017) Reconstructing the accumulation history of a saltmarsh sediment core: Which age-depth model is best? Quaternary Geochronology 39, 35-67. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2017.02.004 Download from TARA [Open Access]
Kemp, Andrew C., Wright, Alexander J., Barnett, Robert L., Hawkes, Andrea D., Charman, Dan J., Sameshima, Colby, King, Alexandra N., Mooney, Hailey C., Edwards, Robin J., Horton, Benjamin P., van de Plassche, Orson. (2017) Utility of salt-marsh foraminifera, testate amoebae and bulk-sediment del13C values as sea-level indicators in Newfoundland, Canada. Marine Micropaleontology 130: 43-59. DOI: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2016.12.003
Edwards, R., Craven, K. (2017). Relative Sea-Level Change Around the Irish Coast. In: Coxon, P., McCarron, S., Mitchell, F. (eds.) Advances in Irish Quaternary Studies. 181-215. Atlantis Press. DOI: 10.2991/978-94-6239-219-9 Download from TARA [Open Access]
Plets, R.M.K., Callard, S.L., Cooper, J.A.G., Long, A.J., Quinn, R.J., Belknap, D.F., Edwards, R.J., Jackson, D.W.T., Kelley, J., Long, D., Milne, G.A., Monteys, X. (2015) Late Quaternary evolution and sea-level history of a glaciated marine embayment, Bantry Bay, SW Ireland. Marine Geology 369, 251-272. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.021
Edwards, R.J., Wright, A.J. (2015) Foraminifera. In: Shennan, I., Long, A.J., Horton, B.P. (eds.) The Handbook of Sea-Level Research. John Wiley & Sons: Chichester. ISBN: 978-1-118-45258-5