Katrina Kerr

The Open University


Reconstructing the Indian monsoon response to global climate change


Dr. Pallavi Anand (OU), Dr. Phil Sexton (OU) and Dr. Melanie Leng (BGS)

PhD Summary

Utilising samples recovered from IODP Exp. 353 in the core region of the Indian Monsoon my project aims to target reconstructing the monsoon over the past ~150,000 years. I will use a multi-proxy approach through use of geochemical tracers and investigate the effects of salinity on planktonic foraminifera calcification in order to reconstruct palaeoseasonal temperatures and salinity gradients within the Bay of Bengal. Thus I hope to gain from my results constraints in quantifying the monsoon’s sensitivity to external and internal climate forcing.

What inspires you?

I’ve always been fascinated with nature and the way the Earth works since I was a child, from collecting gem stones and minerals in museum shops and going on ‘outdoor’ holidays with my family all initiated my interest in the natural world and wanting to pursue it academically.

Previous Activity

I undertook my BSc in Earth Science at the University of Glasgow with an ERASMUS year abroad at Stockholm University.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

I became interested in the prospect of continuing in research during my year abroad through being exposed to another academic environment aside from my home institution, one which focused more on palaeoceanography/palaeoclimatology in its curriculum which ultimately exposed me to this field within Earth Sciences. I enjoy learning and wanted to continue to a more advanced level which would provide me with an opportunity to tackle and try solve research problems within my field of interest.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

The CENTA studentship, unlike other studentships etc provides training and the opportunity to work along side a variety of other students in different disciplines and academics which I feel will prove invaluable in aiding me develop as a researcher.

What are your future plans

I think studying at the OU and the PhD funded by CENTA will be beneficial through a variety of training that I will be exposed to and being able to connect with a range of academics and other students will be useful in pursuing either an academic career or one in industry. I currently hope to see myself continue with academia.