Kirsty Edgar

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Kirsty specializes in planktic foraminiferal micropalaeontology and geochemistry. The overall goal of her research is to unravel the complex interplay between life and climate ranging from the modern day back through millions of years. Much of her research to date has focused on constraining climatic and biotic (e.g., ecological and evolutionary) responses to short-lived environmental perturbations over the past 65 million years of Earth’s history. Focal events include the transient global warming event, the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) ~40 million years ago and other ‘hyperthermals’. The geochemistry of foraminiferal tests is one of the main means used to reconstruct both fossil foraminifera ecology and past environments. As such she is actively involved in evaluating the fidelity of key geochemical proxies (e.g., d11B, d13C and d18O values) in fossil and modern foraminiferal carbonate with the view to improving confidence in our palaeoreconstructions.

Kirsty’s research interests at a glance are:

1) Biotic responses and sensitivity to environmental change in our past, present and future oceans

2) Cenozoic (particularly Eocene) environmental change

3) The fidelity of geochemical and biotic proxies for reconstructing past ecology and environments



2019- Senior Lecturer in Micropalaeontology, University of Birmingham

2017- Lecturer in Micropalaeontology, University of Birmingham

2016– Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer in Micropalaeontology, University of Birmingham

2014-2016 – Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, University of Bristol

2011-2014 – NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cardiff University

2008-2011 – NERC Research Associate, University of Southampton (Advisor: Prof. Heiko Pälike)

2009 – Ph.D, University of Southampton (Advisor: Prof. Paul Wilson)

2008 (June – August), WUN International Research Fellow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego (Advisors: Prof. Dick Norris & Dr Philip Sexton)

2004 – MSci (First Class Hons), Royal Holloway, University of London

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southampton

    Palaeoceanography, stratigraphy and biotic responses in the middle Eocene

    Oct 2004 - 19 Jan 2009
  • Master of Earth Science, Royal Holloway University of London

    MSci Geoscience (First Class Hons)

    Sep 2000 - Jul 2004

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy,

    2018 -
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Distinction), University of Birmingham,

    2018 -

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Kirsty Edgar is interested in understanding the timing and nature of the interaction between global climate, geochemical cycling, and biota during the Cenozoic. A major research focus is elucidating the dynamics and consequences of transient climate events in the geological record and the evolution of planktic foraminifera.

If you are interested in exploring opportunities to join the Micropalaeontology group here at Birmingham as a graduate student, postdoc or if you looking for somewhere new for a research visit or sabbatical then please get in touch.