Peter T. Spooner

Research Associate in Paleoceanography, UCL

I am an early career researcher in oceanography, with expertise in past and future climate change, changes in ocean currents, and in cold-water corals and other ecosystems. I am funded by the EU ATLAS project (

The aim of my Ph.D. research was to explore novel techniques to facilitate the use of cold-water corals as a paleoclimate archive. Cold-water corals tend to record oceanographic change in different ways, due to so-called “vital effects”. These effects complicate the construction of palaeoceanographic records, as it is often necessary to use several different coral species to develop extended temporal records. My work assessed these effects in a wide variety of corals, and also helped scientists with large collections of corals to rapidly work out how old they were, so that they could be used more effectively as an ocean archive. I was then able to use the Southern Ocean coral collection at the University of Bristol to examine changes during the last deglaciation.

My current position at University College London is as part of the EU ATLAS Horizon 2020 research program. The overall aim of the ATLAS program is to improve understanding and management of ecosystems in the deep Atlantic Ocean. My aim is to examine changes in N.E. Atlantic Ocean circulation over the last 1000 years at exceptional resolution, to provide long term context to the ecosystem studies undertaken by international colleagues.


  • –present
    Research Associate in Paleoceanography, UCL


  • 2016 
    University of Bristol, Ph.D.