Photo of Prof Stephen Hesselbo

Prof Stephen Hesselbo

CSM Director of Research and Professor of Geology


Telephone: 01326 253651

My research interests are broadly in the area of Earth history and are aimed at understanding the dynamics of major past perturbations in the Earth’s physical and biological systems and their expression in the sedimentary record.  Most of my work has employed a range of laboratory and field techniques at the interface of stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochemistry and palaeobotany.  Existing and developing research projects include: 1) a multidisciplinary and collaborative study of the genesis and diagenesis of fine-grained sediments funded by Shell, and; 2) a proposal to re-drill the Mochras Borehole in Cardigan Bay through the International Continental Drilling Programme (ICDP) aimed at understanding the Earth System through a warm period in Earth history.   I have a particular interest in the development of terrestrial carbon-isotope stratigraphy to elucidate major environmental changes taking place on land at the same time as in the ocean - especially in relation to massive volcanic events) -  and the determination of patterns of regional sea-level change through the Jurassic as recorded in fine-grained sediments.  I have been co-leader of an International Geoscience Project (IGCP 458) on Triassic/Jurassic Boundary Events, an interdisciplinary study of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary mass extinction.  I also have experience of the international Ocean Drilling Program having been a shipboard scientist on Legs 150 (1993) and 174a (1997), and a member of the Science Party on Expedition 313 (2009) aimed at understanding global sea-level change from 30 to 14 million years ago.  I am currently Chair of the International Subcommission on Jurassic Stratigraphy, Visiting Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow at St Peter's College Oxford.   At CSM I am part of the Deep Time Global Change research group