Dr Hugh Jenkyns

University Lecturer in Stratigraphy

Email: hugh.jenkyns@earth.ox.ac.uk
TEL: +44 (1865) 272023
FAX: +44 (1865) 272072

Research Profile

My research is concerned primarily with the palaeoceanography and palaeoclimatology of Jurassic and Cretaceous marine sediments. Areas of study include northern and southern Europe and the Pacific Ocean. My approach has been to elucidate the causality of major global events in Earth history by examining their sedimentary and geochemical records. To this end, I have studied the distribution, in time and space, of sediments unusually rich in organic carbon as well as the stratigraphic distribution of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotopes in rocks and fossils. I am also interested in the preservation of climatic signals in marine and continental sediments. Specific research topics include the causes and consequences of Oceanic Anoxic Events, particularly those of the early Toarcian (183Ma), the early Aptian (120Ma) and the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (93Ma). This latter interval was apparently characterized by some of the highest global palaeotemperatures of the last 115Ma, represented a huge disturbance of the carbon cycle, and was a major turning point in the climatic history of the Earth. I have also been involved in a multidisciplinary study of the type Kimmeridge Clay, through the Kimmeridge Drilling Project. In addition, I have  investigated the origin of north Pacific guyots - drowned carbonate platforms capping volcanic seamounts - which we believe were formed as a result of suppression of shallow-water carbonate production as northward plate movement pushed the edifices into peri-equatorial waters whose surface temperatures were >30 degrees C. Tropical waters were simply too hot for many carbonate-secreting organisms to survive. Platform drowning can thus be related to the thermal maximum of the mid- to Late Cretaceous greenhouse earth. Cretaceous palaeoclimates in high latitudes are another interest, with the postulated high temperatures - at times in excess of 20 degrees C - posing a fundamental problem in understanding how heat was transported across the globe. Currently I am exploring the use of novel isotope systems (Li, S, Fe, Cr, Mo) in Mesozoic palaeoceanography, and investigating the impact of Oceanic Anoxic Events on marine environments in the Southern Hemisphere.

Teaching Profile

My teaching involves sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeoceanography,
primarily at 2nd-year level.

Selected Publications


  • Kafousia, N, Karakitsios, V, Mattioli, E, Kenjo, S and Jenkyns, HC, (2014) 'The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event in the Ionian Zone, Greece', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Vol. 393, pp. 135-145 doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.11.013


  • Owens, JD, Gill, BC, Jenkyns, HC, Bates, SM, Severmann, S, Kuypers, MM, Woodfine, RG and Lyons, TW, (2013) 'Sulfur isotopes track the global extent and dynamics of euxinia during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2.', Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Vol. 110, pp. 18407-18412 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305304110
  • Sabatino, N, Scopelliti, G, Neri, R, Vlahović, I, Jenkyns, HC, Prtoljan, B and Velić, I, (2013) 'Carbon-isotope record and palaeoenvironmental changes during the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event in shallow-marine carbonates of the Adriatic carbonate platform in Croatia', Geological Magazine. Vol. 150, pp. 1085-1102 doi: 10.1017/S0016756813000083
  • Dal Corso, J, Angelini, I, Giaretta, A, Roghi, G, Ragazzi, E, Soriano, C, Delclòs, X and Jenkyns, HC, (2013) 'Physico-chemical analysis of Albian (Lower Cretaceous) amber from San Just (Spain): Implications for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological studies', Geologica Acta. Vol. 11, pp. 359-370 doi: 10.1344/105.000001871
  • Pogge Von Strandmann, PAE, Jenkyns, HC and Woodfine, RG, (2013) 'Lithium isotope evidence for enhanced weathering during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2', Nature Geoscience. Vol. 6, pp. 668-672 doi: 10.1038/ngeo1875
  • Zheng, X-Y, Jenkyns, HC, Henderson, GM, Gale, AS and Ward, DJ, (2013) 'Changing ocean circulation and hydrothermal inputs during Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (Cenomanian–Turonian): Evidence from Nd-isotopes in the European shelf sea', Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 375, pp. 338-348 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.05.053
  • Jenkyns, HC and Weedon, GP, (2013) 'Chemostratigraphy (CaCO3, TOC, δ13C) of Sinemurian (Lower Jurassic) black shales from the Wessex Basin, Dorset and palaeoenvironmental implications', Newsletters on Stratigraphy. Vol. 46, pp. 1-21 doi: 10.1127/0078-0421/2013/0029


  • Blättler, CL, Henderson, GM and Jenkyns, HC, (2012) 'Explaining the Phanerozoic Ca isotope history of seawater', Geology. Vol. 40, pp. 843-846 doi: 10.1130/G33191.1
  • Bottini, C, Cohen, AS, Erba, E, Jenkyns, HC and Coe, AL, (2012) 'Osmium-isotope evidence for volcanism, weathering, and ocean mixing during the early Aptian OAE 1a', Geology. Vol. 40, pp. 583-586 doi: 10.1130/G33140.1
  • Voigt, S, Gale, AS, Jung, C and Jenkyns, HC, (2012) 'Global correlation of Upper Campanian - Maastrichtian successions using carbon-isotope stratigraphy: development of a new Maastrichtian timescale', Newsletters on Stratigraphy. Vol. 45, pp. 25-53 doi: 10.1127/0078-0421/2012/0016
  • Petrizzo, MR, Huber, BT, Gale, AS, Barchetta, A and Jenkyns, HC, (2012) 'Abrupt planktic foraminiferal turnover across the Niveau Kilian at Col de Pre-Guittard (Vocontian Basin, southeast France): new criteria for defining the Aptian/Albian boundary', Newsletters on Stratigraphy. Vol. 45, pp. 55-74 doi: 10.1127/0078-0421/2012/0013
  • Hermoso, M, Rickaby, REM, Hesselbo, SP, Jenkyns, HC, Minoletti, F and Baudin, F, (2012) 'Dynamics of a stepped carbon-isotope excursion: Ultra high-resolution study of Early Toarcian environmental change', Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 319-320, pp. 45-54 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.12.021
  • Jenkyns, HC, Schouten-Huibers, L, Schouten, S and Damste, JSS, (2012) 'Warm Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous high-latitude sea-surface temperatures from the Southern Ocean', Climate of the Past. Vol. 8, pp. 215-226 doi: 10.5194/cp-8-215-2012


  • Blättler, CL, Jenkyns, HC, Reynard, LM and Henderson, GM, (2011) 'Significant increases in global weathering during Oceanic Anoxic Events 1a and 2 indicated by calcium isotopes', Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 309, pp. 77-88 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.06.029
  • Jarvis, I, Lignum, JS, Gröcke, DR, Jenkyns, HC and Pearce, MA, (2011) 'Black shale deposition, atmospheric CO2 drawdown, and cooling during the Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event', Paleoceanography. Vol. 26, doi: 10.1029/2010PA002081
  • Kafousia, N, Karakitsios, V, Jenkyns, HC and Mattioli, E, (2011) 'A global event with a regional character: the Early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event in the Pindos Ocean (northern Peloponnese, Greece)', Geological Magazine. Vol. 148, pp. 619-631 doi: 10.1017/S0016756811000082
  • Gill, BC, Lyons, TW and Jenkyns, HC, (2011) 'A global perturbation to the sulfur cycle during the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event', Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 312, pp. 484-496 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.10.030
  • Dal Corso, J, Preto, N, Mietto, P, Roghi, G, Kustatscher, E and Jenkyns, HC, (2011) 'Carbon-isotope variability of Triassic amber, as compared with wood and leaves (Southern Alps, Italy)', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Vol. 302, pp. 187-193 doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.01.007
  • Sabatino, N, Neri, R, Bellanca, A, Scopelliti, G, Jenkyns, HC and Masetti, D, (2011) 'Petrography and high-resolution geochemical records of Lower Jurassic manganese-rich deposits from Monte Mangart, Julian Alps', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Vol. 299, pp. 97-109 doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.10.039
  • Nielsen, SG, Goff, M, Hesselbo, SP, Jenkyns, HC, LaRowe, DE and Lee, CTA, (2011) 'Thallium isotopes in early diagenetic pyrite - A paleoredox proxy?', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Vol. 75, pp. 6690-6704 doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.07.047

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Other Information

Contributor to the Shell-Oxford Research Collaboration