Dr Sarah Greene PhD

Dr Sarah Greene

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor

Contact details

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

Sarah is a palaeoclimatologist, geobiologist, and Earth system modeller studying the biogeochemical cycling of carbon between the atmosphere, the ocean, and marine sediments. Particular research interests include rapid carbon cycle perturbations (Mesozoic mass extinctions, Palaeogene hyperthermals), protracted multi-mullion year carbon cycle trends (co-evolution of life and the carbon cycle), and how biogeochemical cycling within marine sediments influences palaeoclimatological and palaeoenvironmental records.

ORCID 0000-0002-3025-9043


  • B.S. Geological Sciences, 2005 (University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA)
  • B.A. German, 2005 (University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA)
  • Ph.D Geological Sciences, 2011 (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA)


Dr Sarah Greene grew up in New York City and studied Geology and German at the University of Rochester before pursuing a PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, studying mass extinctions, marine invertebrate palaeontology, and carbonate diagenesis. In 2011 she moved to the University of Bristol for a postdoctoral position, retraining in palaeoclimatology and numerical modelling of the Earth system/global biogeochemical cycles. She was appointed as a Lecturer in Palaeoclimates at Birmingham in 2017.

2021 - current Associate Professor in Palaeoclimates, University of Birmingham
2019-2021 - Lecturer in Palaeoclimates, Univeristy of Birmingham
2017-2019 - NERC Independent Research Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer in Palaeoclimates, Univeristy of Birmingham
2014-2019 - NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of Bristol
2011-2014 - NERC Research Associate, University of Bristol (Advisor: Prof. Andy Ridgwell)
2011 PhD, University of Southern California (Advisor: Prof. David Bottjer)
2006 Fulbright Research Fellowship to Germany
2005 B.S. in Geological Sciences, University of Rochester
2005 B.A. in German, University of Rochester


Dr Sarah Greene teaches earth system science, geochemistry, palaeoclimates, sedimentology, oceanography, and field geology. She is passionate about making teaching practices as inclusive as possible, authoring several best practice guides about field teaching that have been adopted by many universities nationally and internationally, and has twice been shortlisted for the University of Birmingham's Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi) Inclusive Educator Award (2020, 2021). Outside of the University of Birmingham, Sarah has taught on multiple international summer courses for PhD students, including the International Geobiology Course and the Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimates.

Postgraduate supervision

Sarah is primarily interested in supporting PhD projects in Earth system modelling, biogeochemical cycles, and palaeoclimates, but is also open to discussing other project ideas. If you are interested in exploring opportunities to join Sarah's group here at Birmingham as a graduate student or postdoc/research fellow then please get in touch.


Dr Sarah Greene's primary research interests are rapid palaeoclimate 'events', large igneous province volcanism, mass extinctions, ocean acidification, carbonate biogeochemistry, the co-evolution of life and the planet and, particularly, carbon cycle feedbacks and past global biogeochemical cycles. Sarah's primary research toolkits are Earth system modelling, field geology, and geochemistry. A hallmark of Sarah's research approach is innovation - she works on projects as varied as developing established geochemical proxies for application in animal ecology, applying machine learning to palaeoclimate proxy development, and on interrogating the human practice of geoscience and palaeontology, past to present.


Recent publications


Dunne, E, Farnsworth, A, Benson, RBJ, Godoy, P, Greene, S, Valdes, PJ, Lunt, DJ & Butler, R 2023, 'Climatic controls on the ecological ascendancy of dinosaurs', Current Biology, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 206-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.11.064

De Lira Mota, M, Dunkley Jones, T, Sulaiman, N, Edgar, K, Yamaguchi, T, Leng, MJ, Adloff, M, Greene, S, Norris, R, Warren, B, Duffy, G, Farrant, J, Murayama, M, Hall, J & Bendle, J 2023, 'Multi-proxy evidence for sea level fall at the onset of the Eocene-Oligocene transition', Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 4748. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-39806-6

Wang, Y, Lu, J, Yang, M, Yager, J, Greene, S, Sun, R, Mu, X, Bian, X, Zhang, P, Shao, L & Hilton, J 2023, 'Volcanism and wildfire associated with deep-time deglaciation during the Artinskian (early Permian)  ', Global and Planetary Change, vol. 225, 104126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2023.104126

Zhang, P, Lu, J, Yang, M, Bond, D, Greene, S, Liu, L, Zhang, Y, Wang, Y, Wang, Z, Shan, L, Shao, L & Hilton, J 2022, 'Volcanically-induced environmental and floral changes across the Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) transition', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, 853404. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.853404

Dunne, E, Farnsworth, A, Greene, S, Lunt, DJ & Butler, R 2021, 'Climatic drivers of latitudinal variation in Late Triassic tetrapod diversity', Palaeontology, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 101-117. https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12514

Ashley, KE, Crosta, X, Etourneau, J, Campagne, P, Gilchrist, H, Ibraheem, U, Greene, SE, Schmidt, S, Eley, Y, Massé, G & Bendle, J 2021, 'Exploring the use of compound-specific carbon isotopes as a palaeoproductivity proxy off the coast of Adélie Land, East Antarctica', Biogeosciences, vol. 18, no. 19, pp. 5555-5571. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-5555-2021

Wang, C, Bendle, JA, Yang, H, Yang, Y, Hardman, A, Yamoah, A, Thorpe, A, Mandel, I, Greene, SE, Huang, J & Xie, S 2021, 'Global calibration of novel 3-hydroxy fatty acid based temperature and pH proxies', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 302, pp. 101-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2021.03.010

Adloff, M, Ridgwell, A, Monteiro, FM, Parkinson, I, Dickson, AJ, Pogge von Strandmann, P, Fantle, M & Greene, S 2021, 'Inclusion of a suite of weathering tracers in the cGENIE Earth system model – muffin release v.0.9.23', Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 4187–4223. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-14-4187-2021

Yager, J, West, AJ, Thibodeau, A, Corsetti, F, Rigo, M, Berelson, W, Bottjer, D, Greene, S, Ibarra, Y, Jadoul, F, Ritterbush, K, Rollins, N, Rosas, S, Di Stefano, P, Sulca, D, Todaro, S, Wynn, P, Zimmerman, L & Bergquist, B 2021, 'Mercury contents and isotope ratios from diverse depositional environments across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary: towards a more robust mercury proxy for large igneous province magmatism', Earth Science Reviews, vol. 223, 103775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103775

Lu, J, Zhang, P, Dal Corso, J, Yang, M, Wignall, P, Greene, S, Shao, L, Lyu, D & Hilton, J 2021, 'Volcanically driven lacustrine ecosystem changes during the Carnian Pluvial Episode (Late Triassic)', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 118, no. 40, e2109895118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2109895118

Dunkley Jones, T, Eley, YL, Thompson, W, Greene, SE, Mandel, I, Edgar, K & Bendle, JA 2020, 'OPTiMAL: a new machine learning approach for GDGT-based palaeothermometry', Climate of the Past, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 2599–2617. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-2599-2020

Petryshyn, VA, Greene, S, Farnsworth, A, Lunt, DJ, Kelley, A, Gammariello, R, Ibarra, Y, Bottjer, DJ, Tripati, A & Corsetti, FA 2020, 'The role of temperature in the initiation of the end-Triassic mass extinction', Earth Science Reviews, vol. 208, 103266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103266

Other contribution

Giles, S, Greene, S, Ashley, K, Dunne, E, Edgar, K & Hanson, E 2020, Getting the basics right: a field-teaching primer on toilet stops in the field.. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11723

Greene, S, Ashley, K, Dunne, E, Edgar, K, Giles, S & Hanson, E 2020, Toilet stops in the field: An educational primer and recommended best practices for field-based teaching.. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/gnhj2


Greene, S, Antell, G, Atterby, J, Bhatia, R, Dunne, E, Giles, S, Groh, S, Hanson, E, Hilton, J, Knight, H, Kraftl, P, Morgan, E, Rhodes, I, Rockey, F, Singh, S, Stevenson, C, Sun, S, Warren, B, Wheeley, J & Yamoah, K 2021 'Safety and belonging in the field: a checklist for educators' EarthArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31223/x53p6h

View all publications in research portal