Philip Sexton

SEXTON_photoLecturer in Earth Sciences


OU webpage


I am a palaeoceanographer and micropalaeontologist. My research exploits geochemical and micropalaeontological analyses of marine microfossils (foraminifera) to reconstruct the dynamics of climate, carbon cycling and ocean circulation during past ‘greenhouse’ climates. Much of my work has involved understanding the nature and causes of climatic change during the global warmth of the Eocene and mid-Cretaceous 'greenhouse' regimes.

Another research theme is aimed at improving knowledge of the scale and intensity of diagenetic alteration in planktic and benthic foraminifera (the 'workhorses' of palaeoceanography) and its impact on geochemical signals incorporated within their calcite shells. I am also investigating the role of climate change and switches in ocean circulation in structuring plankton biogeography, modulating inter-ocean exchanges of plankton populations and driving plankton extinctions. I have extensive experience working with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), having participated in recent Paleogene-focussed IODP Expeditions 342 and 207 as shipboard scientist.


I teach a broad range of Earth Science disciplines including: oceanography, palaeoclimatology, evolutionary processes, palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and general Earth Science.

The modules I teach on are: S104 Exploring science,  S175 Frozen Planet (module team chair 2013-), S309 Earth processes and S209 Earth science.


Recent publications