Stuart graduated from the University of Leeds in 2006 with an honours degree in physics before embarking on a career in science communication working at numerous institutions, notably the Royal Institution and Science Museum. In 2012 Stuart embarked on a masters degree in climate change at University College London, conducting stable isotope analysis on a late Pleistocene/early Holocene speleothem from Central Bulgaria to infer a 120ka paleoclimatic record for his dissertation. After graduating Stuart continued to work in science communication, providing scientific consultancy for productions at the Royal Court Theatre and communication training for early career scientists at the Imperial College Grantham Institute. He embarked upon his PhD research at the University of East Anglia in October 2015.
Key Research Interests
Stuart's PhD aims to achieve a better understanding of temperature changes in the subpolar North Atlantic during transitions from glacial to interglacial periods, as well as on millennial timescales, using the emerging field of clumped isotope analysis.
By analysing the degree of to which heavier isotopes 'clump' together in the molecular lattice of calcite materials it is possible to infer the temperature at which the calcite formed. This is advantageous to conventional stable isotope analysis as it negates the need for assumptions about historical water composition.
The technique will be applied to fossilised foraminifera from the subpolar North Atlantic. Analysis will initially focus on the current and previous interglacial as well as the last glacial maximum and be used to better constrain existing stable isotope records. The currents in the North Atlantic have a significant impact on global climate through their redistribution of heat from equatorial regions to the higher latitudes. Thus better understanding of North Atlantic variations can provide valuable insight into the global climate system operation during the quaternary and inform climate modelling.