Global warming at the end of the last Ice Age led to the inundation of vast landscapes that had once been home to thousands of people. These lost lands hold a unique and largely unexplored record of settlement and colonisation linked to climate change over millennia.
Within the Europe's Lost Frontiers project, researchers in the fields of archaeo-geophysics, molecular biology and computer simulation are seeking to explore the past environments, ecological change and the transition between hunter gathering societies and farming in the inundated land of the southern North Sea - Doggerland.
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Doctoral Researcher: sedaDNA analysis
Becky has a background in biology and always thought she'd study dinosaurs, but worked on ancient DNA for her MSc and is now a molecular convert. The aim of that project was to detect parasitic worms in Siberian grave soil, asking whether metagenomics could allow archaeologists to spend less time searching with microscopes. It was a mixed success, but a good introduction to interdisciplinary studies.
As part of the Warwick team, Becky will be analysing sedaDNA from the North Sea cores to reconstruct the Doggerland environment. By studying how the ancient landscape responded to climate change and sea-level rise, we may be better able to predict what will happen to our Europe over the next few centuries.
University of Warwick