Professor part of international team researching historic climate change

Martin Head

Martin Head

A Brock professor is part of an international project that will help understand climate change throughout the Earth’s history.

Martin Head, professor of Earth Sciences, is part of the International Ocean Drilling Consortium, a project that will receive $2.28 million over four years through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Head is co-principal investigator of the proposal.

Most of the funding will pay for Canada’s participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international multidisciplinary scientific endeavour involving 24 countries. The IODP uses scientific drilling platforms to explore the Earth’s history as a complex system, archived in sea floor sediments and rocks.

The proposal, led by Prof. Anne de Vernal of the Université du Québec à Montréal, was supported by co-principal investigators from Brock, Alberta, British Columbia, Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria, and Western Ontario.

Brock is already a member of the Canadian Consortium for Ocean Drilling, which supports Canadian participation in IODP. Head and Francine McCarthy of the Earth Sciences department are veterans of ocean drilling research. McCarthy was a participant in last year’s IODP drilling of the New Jersey continental margin.

“This endorsement by the Canadian Government only makes sense for a country with a very long coastline, offshore economic interests, and a vested interest in climate research,” Head said. “Our faculty and students will benefit from access to samples and information, participation on scientific cruises, and improved opportunities for international collaboration.”

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