Amy Jones

University of Birmingham


Macroevolution and Biogeography of Eocene to Oligocene Coccolithophores


Tom Dunkley Jones and Richard Butler

PhD Summary

I am looking at the Eocene-Oligocene transition and the climate associated with this time period -approximately 34 million years ago. During this time there existed, like today, tiny calcareous nannoplankton which are microscopic haptophyte algae, also known as coccolithophores. My research is based in Java, Indonesia and is associated with this climatic transition which is a rapid cooling event that has been recorded by the coccolithophores from these Javanese sediments. Their diversity, evolution and biogeography hold clues to past climates and can tell us a lot about what the Earths’ climate was doing during this interval which is important for understanding the future of Earths’ climate changes.

What inspires you?

From a young age, I have always had a curious mind. Questioning the world and all that was going on around me seemed to spark my enthusiasm and therefore, it was perfect for me to follow this curiosity and feed my hunger for all I wanted to know about the natural world. I was fascinated by fossils and evolution which is where my interests first started, from there, the world has been my oyster and since has led me to where I am today.

Previous Activity

I completed my Bachelors at the University of Portsmouth in BSc Palaeontology where I obtained a First-Class Honours degree and won the Palaeontology Project Prize for my dissertation on “The diversity and taphonomy of Late Jurassic (Tithonian) coccoliths of the Kimmeridge Clay, Dorset, England”. After this, I was awarded a scholarship, courtesy of the University of Birmingham which enabled me to complete my MSc in Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology. It is here where I wrote my dissertation “Coccolithophore diversity and paleoecology across the Eocene-Oligocene Boundary of the Nanggulan Formation, Java, Indonesia” in which I achieved a distinction.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

I have always wanted to enter academia and contribute to research which interests me, such as: coccolithophore evolution and diversity changes through time and why this happens. I aspire to become a Reader and contribute significantly to science and pass on my knowledge to those who have similar passions as I do. I believe by undertaking Doctoral Research is the most suitable route to help me achieve all that I want.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

What interested me most about the CENTA studentship was all of the opportunities that I could obtain by choosing CENTA. For example, the training and facilities in which I have access too are perfect to suit my project and my interests.

What are your future plans

As my future plans are to become a Reader, completing Doctoral research not only appeals to me as I am researching what I am most interested in, but also, the University of Birmingham will facilitate me to the upmost due to the excellent facilities it has to offer. Being paired as a CENTA student also enables me with the best opportunities to help me reach my potentials.