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Dr Robin Edwards

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences

Leader of the Reconstructing Ocean & Coastal Change Research Group

Tel: + 353 1 896 1713 
Office: Museum Building, Áras an Phiarsaigh 4th Floor

Find me on: Google Scholar  ORCID  ResearcherID ResearchGate SCOPUS

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Research Interests

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)

Shennan, I, Bradley, S, Edwards R., Relative sea-level changes and crustal movements in Britain and Ireland since the Last Glacial Maximum, Quaternary Science Reviews, 188, 2018, p143 - 159 Journal Article, 2018 TARA - Full Text

Edwards, Robin J., W. Roland Gehrels, Anthony Brooks, Ralph Fyfe, Katie Pullen, Joseph Kuchar, Kieran Craven, Resolving discrepancies between field and modelled relative sea-level data: lessons from western Ireland, Journal of Quaternary Science, 32, (7), 2017, p957 - 975 Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text DOI

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:    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.

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

» full list of publications

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Mail: Museum Building, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Email: robin.edwards(at), Tel: + 353 1 896 1713, Fax: + 353 1 6713397