School of Earth and Environment

Adam Woodhouse Adam Woodhouse

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 7.130

Affiliation: Earth Surface Science Institute


  • 2016 - Present: PhD Micropalaeontology (University of Leeds)
  • 2015 - 2016: MSc Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology (University of Birmingham)
  • 2012 - 2015: BSc (Hons) Palaeontology (University of Portsmouth)

Project details

Project title

Death in the oceans: extinction risk in the marine realm.


Dr Tracy Aze, Professor Paul Wignall, and Dr Alex Dunhill



Start date

1 October 2016

Project outline

Extinction rates are currently at their highest for 65 million years and are rising at an unprecedented rate. Oceanic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to rapid environmental change, which is compounded by our lack of knowledge regarding the evolutionary history of many marine groups.

Planktonic foraminifera are marine, free-living, amoeboid protozoa widely distributed throughout the modern oceans which exhibit an extensive fossil record dating back to the late Triassic period. Modern planktonic foraminifera exhibit vertical stratification throughout the upper portion of the water column, wherein distinct morphological and ecological adaptations permit their occupation within distinct latitudes, trophic conditions and oceanic layers.

By employing a multidisciplinary approach to geochemical, morphometric and biogeographical modelling, the planktonic foraminiferal fossil record of the Neogene period (23 million years ago to the present day) will be analysed for extinction indicators such as changes in ecology, morphology, abundance or geographic range that can be used to predict present-day and future extinction.

The project aims to provide the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of extinction risk in a marine group to date, and subsequently provide a means to determine which present-day species and marine ecosystems are under the highest risk of extinction through anthropogenic climate change.