Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

The aim of my research is to generate a new palaeoenvironmental, palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic understanding of the Neogene NE Atlantic. My project focuses on the multi-proxy environmental analysis of several industrial and scientific boreholes on the NW European continental margin, together with outcrop sampling of Icelandic Pliocene marine successions. I will undertake geochemical analyses (inc. stable isotopes, trace metals and biomarkers) of well preserved organic- and inorganic-walled microfossils to facilitate the development of new palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, including estimations of ocean temperatures. My project also seeks to refine and evaluate geophysical estimates of post-rift basin subsidence using micropalaeontological and geochemical evidence, including the analysis of benthic foraminiferal assemblages (water depth) and fluctuations of terrestrial and marine biomarkers (shoreline distance); such findings should enhance the seismic interpretation of deep-water sedimentary basins (inc. Rockall Basin) in this area of active frontier exploration. 

Key objectives include: 

1. Determining stratigraphic control and the uplift/subsidence history of north-east Atlantic basins using biomarker and microfossil techniques.

2. Delivering relevant results to industrial partners and providing a framework for improved interpretation of existing and future regional geophysical surveys and basin models.

3. Generating an extensive multi-proxy sea-surface temperature, terrestrial temperature, palaeoenvironmental data set (including atmospheric pCO2 reconstructions) for the NE Atlantic during the mid-Pliocene and Miocene warm periods.

4. Addressing key hypotheses concerning Neogene climate, proxy biases and model sensitivities to CO2.


MGeol Geology − University of Leicester (2016)


My interest in geology started whilst at secondary school in North Yorkshire through my combined liking of geography, physical sciences and the great outdoors; such appreciation was further reinforced and developed during the opportunity to study A-Level geology at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington. Following this, I decided to study for a MGeol Geology at the University of Leicester. My masters research project focused on the biostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental analyses of foraminifera from the Middle and Upper Albian Gault Formation of Norfolk, under the supervision of Professor Mark Williams (University of Leicester) and Dr Ian Wilkinson (British Geological Survey).

Doctoral research

PhD title
The Neogene evolution of the NE Atlantic Basin
Supervisors Dr Stephen Jones, Dr James Bendle and Dr Tom Dunkley Jones


Research interests

Stratigraphy (bio, chemo, litho, seismic and sequence), applied micropalaeontology (foraminifera, calcareous nannofossils, pollen and spores), geochemistry (organic and isotope), petroleum geoscience and sedimentary basin analysis.

Other activities

I am a fellow of the Geological Society of London. During my spare time I am a keen runner, enjoy hiking and photography.