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Sedimentology and stratigraphy

Research Sedimentology and stratigraphy with The Open University ( Image by Angela Coe).

The study of sedimentary rocks and the fossils contained within them is critical to our understanding of the Earth system and the evolution of life, and consequently this research area forms an integral part of the work undertaken in the Environment, Earth and Ecosystems discipline at the OU. Research in this area covers a range of topics, and includes palaeontological studies into evolutionary change through Earth history, as well as the use of sedimentary records of orbital forcing to develop geological timescales. A major focus of current research is the use of sedimentary rocks as archives of past environmental change. As such, this work brings together both sedimentological and stratigraphcal investigations with geochemical analyses of sedimentary rocks and fossils and the development of novel proxies for tracing ancient climatic change.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Assessing the nature of the stratigraphic record and its utility for understanding the Earth system
  • Exploring the links between orbital forcing of climate and large-scale sea level change in the geological record
  • Investigating the biotic responses to large scale environmental change in Earth history
  • The development and refinement of geological timescales using orbital chronologies

We encourage enquiries from prospective students on topics related to sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeontology, as well as topics related to palaeoenvironmental change. Lists of postgraduate research projects likely to be available for a 2018 start will become available towards the end of 2017.

Please also see further opportunities.

Current/recent research projects

  • Palaeoenvironmental change in the Early Jurassic: A north African perspective

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.