School of Earth and Environment

Natasha Barlow Dr Natasha Barlow

University Academic Fellow

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 33761
Email address:
Room: 9.128

Affiliation: Earth Surface Science Institute, Institute of Applied Geoscience


I am a tenure-track Academic Research Fellow and my research focuses on Quaternary environmental change, with a strong emphasis on sea-level change. I bring to SEE expertise in developing records of past sea level from estuarine deposits along with high-precision dating, to understand the magnitude, timing and driving mechanisms of relative sea-level changes over a range of timescales. My current research particularly focuses on sea level during previous interglacial periods, in particular the Last Interglacial (~125,000 years ago) where I am aiming to establish reconstructions of sea-level change from temperate latitudes, which will in turn help improve predictions of future coastal response and ice-sheet mass-balance changes.

I have worked on both passive and active coastal margins developing quantitative reconstructions of near-instantaneous to multi-millennial scale sea-level changes, as well as having experience of glacial isostastic adjustment modelling. My wider research interest is the driving mechanisms of change, in particular that associated with ice sheets, climate and large earthquakes, with the aim of understanding future hazards. We have a growing sub-marine landscapes group at Leeds, conducting research with geophysical datasets and cores to better understand palaeo-landscapes and sediment mobility for offshore infrastructure. In addition to my research I am a co-leader of PALSEA, an international working which group brings together observational scientists and ice-sheet, climate, and sea-level modelers in order to better define observational constraints on past sea-level change and improve our understanding of ice-sheet responses to rapid climate change. I also co-founded and lead the cross-School Leeds Quaternary research group. I am a former leader of QRA Sea Level and Coastal Change working group.



  • 2006 – 2010: “Glacial isostastic adjustment and relative sea level change over the last earthquake cycle in upper Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA”. PhD, Durham University, UK
  • 2003 – 2006: Geography, BSc, Durham University, UK

Previous employment

  • 2009 – 2016: Postdoctoral Research Associate. Durham University, UK


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Interests

  • Sea-level change
  • Coastal processes
  • Quaternary environmental change
  • Diatoms
  • Climate change
  • Ice sheets

Teaching Interests

Current research students

  • Andrew Emery (October 2016 - present). PhD topic: Constraining Holocene coastal response to marine transgressions to predict future coastal realignment. Co-supervisor.
  • Stephen Eaton (January 2017 - present). PhD topic: Origin, evolution,and mobility of large seabed bedforms, offshore, East Anglia. Co-supervisor.
  • Luis Rees-Hughes (October 2017 - present). PhD topic: The buried coast: developing novel geophysical techniques to reconstruct coastal landscapes. Lead-supervisor.
  • Lucy Wheeler (October 2017 - present). PhD topic: Sea level past, present and future: A chronology for marine and estuarine sediments in the Quaternary. University of York. Co-supervisor.

Completed research students

  • Martin Brader (2011-2015). PhD thesis: Postglacial relative sea-level changes and the deglaciation of northwest Iceland. Durham University. Co-supervisor.
  • Christine Hamilton (2013-2014). MSc thesis: Late Glacial to Holocene relative sea-level change in Assynt, north west Scotland. Durham University. Co-supervisor.

Project details

Project title

I welcome interest from potential postgraduate students in any area of my research, in particuar sea-level change and/or Quaternary environments. Please email me.