Photo of Mr James Barnet

Mr James Barnet




My main academic research interests involve paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic change using stable carbon and oxygen isotope (δ13C and δ18O) records from benthic foraminiferal carbonate and trace metal proxies (Mg/Ca & B/Ca) from planktic, thermocline-dwelling and benthic foraminifera, with a focus on the Early Paleogene warm "greenhouse" period.

I am working with Dr. Kate Littler and studying at the Camborne School of Mines, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter. I am co-supervised by Prof. Dick Kroon (University of Edinburgh) and have collaborated extensively with Dr. Thomas Westerhold & Dr. Ursula Röhl (MARUM, Bremen), Prof. James Zachos (University of California, Santa Cruz), Dr. Gabriela de Jesús Arreguín Rodríguez (University of Zaragoza), Dr. Kirsty Edgar (University of Birmingham), Prof. Melanie Leng (NERC Isotope Geosciences Facility), Dr. Michael Henehan (GFZ Potsdam) and Dr. Leah LeVay (Texas A&M).

I have constructed a high-resolution (~1.5-4 kyr), stratigraphically complete, single-species (Nuttallides truempyi), 14.75 million year-long benthic stable carbon and oxygen isotope (δ13C and δ18O) record from foraminiferal carbonate recovered from ODP Site 1262 (Walvis Ridge, South Atlantic), to investigate the coupled changes to Earth's carbon cycle and climate during the Late Maastrichtian to Early Eocene (~67.10-53.35 Ma). This record has been compiled using new data generated during my PhD studentship (Late Maastrichtian-Middle Paleocene), along with the Late Paleocene-Early Eocene record of Littler et al. (2014) and Early Eocene record of Lauretano et al. (2015). This record allows us to examine the evolution of ambient climate during this enigmatic time interval at unprecedented resolution, as well as identify the principle forcing mechanisms driving the climate and carbon cycle, along with phasing relationships between the records.

The other strand of my project is focused on constructing paired Mg/Ca and B/Ca records from planktic, thermocline-dwelling and benthic foraminifera from IODP Site U1443 and ODP Site 758, Ninetyeast Ridge, Indian Ocean. These records will show the longer term thermal evolution and coupled changes in pH across a depth transect in the Indian Ocean from the Late Paleocene to Early Eocene, including the PETM. Boron isotopes (δ11B) have also been generated on a sub-set of these samples to assess variations in atmospheric pCO2 during this time interval.


Barnet, J.S.K., Littler, K., Kroon, D., Leng, M.J., Westerhold, T., Rohl, U. & Zachos, J.C. 2017. A new high-resolution chronology for the late Maastrichtian warming event: Establishing robust temporal links with the onset of Deccan volcanism. Geology.

I am the author of a geologically-themed walking guidebook to the Fort William area in western Scotland:

Exploring the Nevis Range and Mamores, Scotland, August 2014, Memoirs Publishing (Cirencester), 272p.