School of Earth and Environment

Aisling Dolan Dr Aisling Dolan

School Research Support Manager

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 31859
Email address:
Room: 8.113

Affiliation: Earth Surface Science Institute, Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science

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As the Research Support Manager, my main role is to support the School's research strategy, implementing and overseeing key research-related initiatives. I am a member of the School Research Committee and provide direct support to the Director of Research and Innovation. I am responsible for a variety of areas including implementing policies around research funding strategies, staff recruitment and open access requirements. I also work on strategic projects relating to enhancing research activity within the School and the external profile of our excellent research portfolio.

Additionally, I remain active in research. I did my PhD in Palaeoclimate Modelling at the University of Leeds and until 2014, I worked as an ERC Fellow. My main research area involves understanding the nature of the Pliocene warm period, which serves as a useful analogue for future climate change. My core skills are numerical climate and ice sheet modelling. I am on the advisory panel for PlioMIP (Pliocene Model Intercomparison Projects) and lead the international Pliocene Ice Sheet Modelling Intercomparison Project (PLISMIP) alongside researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Utrecht University. See Research Interests for more details...

In 2014 I was elected to sit on the AGU Council as an Early Career Scientist. Within SEE I also work towards enhancing the research experience of early career scientists and have established an Early Career Forum.

Google Scholar Profile

Research Gate Profile


2008-2012: Ph.D., University of Leeds Project/funding: NERC “Modelling mid-Pliocene Climate and Ice Sheets” Supervisors: Prof. Alan Haywood (Leeds), Prof. Jane Francis (BAS), Dr. Daniel Lunt (Bristol)

2007-2008: M. Res. - Science of the Environment, Lancaster University

2002-2006: B.Sc. Hons - Geography Major (German Minor), University of Wales, Aberystwyth


  • AGU Council Member 2014 - Present
  • Steering Committee for EPSRC funded Past Earth Network
  • Member of UK National Committee on Antarctic Research (UKNCAR) 2010-2014
  • Lead Advisory Panel for the international Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) 2012-Present
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador since 2012
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the UK Polar Network (UKPN)
  • Earth Sciences Women’s Network (ESWN) and the Young Earth Scientists Network (YES)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) and European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Research Interests

As a PhD student I developed the first physical models of Pliocene ice sheets which assessed the contribution of orbital forcing to ice sheet stability. This has lead to the significance of the role of orbital forcing on the wider Pliocene to be more fully appreciated. I also am the Leader of the Pliocene Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (PLISMIP). PLISMIP is the first co-ordinated effort to systematically assess the model dependency of ice sheet reconstructions in a warm interval in Earth history. It currently involves over 30 researchers (15 ice sheet modelling groups) world-wide. At present I am co-ordinating the implementation of a new set of palaeogeographic boundary conditions into climate models for a future phase of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP). This new method I am developing is an innovative approach to reconstructing past topography and will be implemented in multiple climate models around the world in PlioMIP. I have also published work on the first climate model simulations of a Pliocene Glacial, a pioneering study which will enable the comparison of glacial and interglacial climates.

Teaching Interests

Start date

1 October 2008