Matt Sutton

Matt Sutton


I am interested in the interaction of environmental and biological change over all timescales. The geological record offers us a means of observing the impact of ancient climate change on organisms – lessons which can teach us about the future response of life to anthropogenic change over the coming centuries.

My current research investigates marine food web and carbon cycle dynamics across the glacial-interglacial periods of the late Pleistocene. I am aiming to create the first high-resolution quantitative comparison of phytoplankton and fish populations during this interval, and use this data to simulate future fish stocks under different future climate change scenarios.

I have extensive experience teaching age groups from primary school to undergraduate level. Recently I have co-led UK geological fieldcourses (Dorset & Arran); designed and delivered tutorials on palaeobiology and climate change; and taught geological and palaeontological principles in practical classes. I’m passionate about expanding opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. To that end, I work with local secondary schools as a Brilliant Club tutor, and have delivered numerous outreach events for the St Anne’s ‘Aim for Oxford‘ programme.

Since 2019 I have been creating outreach materials the Black Country UNESCO Geopark and Black Country Geological Society. I write a bi-monthly article for the newsletter of the BCGS exploring the geological features of my home region. I’ve written articles for magazines including the Oxford Scientist, and I’m keen to expand this side of my work. Please feel free to contact me if you’re looking for a writer with expertise in my area.

I completed my undergraduate degree (Master’s in Earth Sciences) at the University of Oxford, looking into ecological selectivity during marine extinction events in the Mesozoic. I’ve also completed internships in ocean circulation change during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition at the University of Heidelberg, and in specimen conservation at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

My DPhil is funded through a NERC studentship. I am an Associate Researcher at the OUMNH.