Rhiannon Jones


  • Social media and UK-Russia International Collaboration Officer, 2021-2022
  • Member-At-Large, 2020-2021



Currently I am studying for a PhD on the direct impact of melting glaciers upon nutrient cycling in polar locations, such as along the West Antarctic Peninsula and Greenland, two of the most rapidly warming areas in the world. I am in the 2nd year of my PhD program at the University of Southampton, on a NERC-funded project that uses novel radioactive isotope measurements to trace glacial material throughout seafloor sediments and the water column. The glacial material I study focuses on iron-rich particles, picked up and eroded beneath the glacier and transported into the ocean as the glacier melts. Iron is an essential nutrient to primary producers, but is in short supply in the ocean, so understanding how glaciers may deliver this nutrient is vital to our understanding of biological and chemical cycles (termed biogeochemistry) within polar regions and the wider ocean. It is amazing to consider how the measurement of one sample connects to our understanding of the whole Earth system, and how we are changing it.

Alongside my PhD, I work as a policy researcher on a project working to increase international collaborations within Arctic Science by building strong networks between countries. The project is driven by the idea that bringing together different approaches to research strengthens our potential impact on environmental policy decisions, helping us inform policy makers of the consequences of climate change with robust evidence.

Being on the UKPN committee is an exciting way for me to continue working on science – policy – outreach projects, which are the best way to bring science to the wider world. Other interests include all sea-related activities, cycling, and birdwatching.