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Department of Geography


Dr Francesco Muschitiello PhD

Associate Professor in Physical Geography

Paleoclimatology, Paleoceanography, Geochronology



  • 2018 – present: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • 2020-2021: Senior Researcher, Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE), Bergen (Norway)
  • 2016-2017: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York (USA)
  • 2017: Postdoctoral Researcher, Uni Research Climate, Bergen (Norway)


  • PhD Marine Geology: University of Stockholm
  • MSc in Geology: University of Perugia
  • BSc in Chemistry: University of Venice

Awards and honors

  • EGU Climate Division– Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award, European Geophysical Union (2017)
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016)


My research interests cover a broad spectrum of topics surrounding past climate dynamics. I am particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms behind rapid transitions in the climate system to create predictability for future climate change. I am also interested in better comprehending the exact sequence of events occurring across abrupt climate shifts of the past in order to discern cause-effect relationships between the different components of the global climate system (atmosphere, oceans, ice sheets, and the carbon cycle), as well as evaluating climate models in relation to past climate scenarios.

My research mainly involves the use of palaeo-climate proxy data from marine sediments and ice cores using stable and radiogenic isotopes to reconstruct changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation and to establish precise geochronologies.

Another key aspect of my work involves developing probabilistic models for automating the stratigraphic correlation of proxy records and assigning timescales to climate archives with poor chronological control.

Selected grants and recent research projects

  • 2022-2025 ASYNC – Resolving asynchronous responses of North Atlantic climate to deglacial changes in ocean circulation (NERC, £660,000; PI)
  • 2022-2023 Improving probabilistic models for automated alignment of Palaeoclimate records (Newton Trust, £55,000; PI)
  • 2022-2025 Machine Learning techniques for reconstructing AMOC during the Common Era (CCRC, £67,000; PI)
  • 2014-2019 Ice2Ice – Determining the causes and impacts of past abrupt climate change in Greenland
  • 2014 SWERUS C3 – Past and present interactions between climate, cryosphere, and carbon in the Arctic Ocean


Postdoctoral positions

I am seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Data Assimilation to join my team as soon as possible to work on a project funded by Downing College and in collaboration with the Centre for Climate Repair: Reconstructing the carbon cycle of the last 50,000 years using paleoclimate data assimilation. The project is collaborative with Dr Matthew Osman (University of Cambridge), Dr Laurie Menviel (University of New South Wales), Dr Taryn Noble (University of Tasmania), and Prof Andreas Schmittner (Oregon State University).

How to apply: To officially apply for the position, you must apply for admission through the University of Cambridge HR System but I encourage you to contact me first to ensure that this position is a good fit. The application closes October 31, 2023.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students

If you are an undergrad or a grad student at the University of Cambridge and interested in getting some experience in climate science and numerical techniques, please get in touch with me about potential opportunities. I am particularly interested in individuals with strong computing and quantitative skills, who might be interested in tackling climate and palaeo-climate problems.

Cambridge C-CLEAR DTP

The Cambridge Climate Life and Earth Doctoral Training Partnership (C-CLEAR DTP) awards around 12 3.5-year NERC-funded PhD studentships each year to start in October. This year, my colleagues and I offer a wide range of PhD projects in paleoclimatology, oceanography, ice core science, geochemistry and numerical modeling. You can find the list of projects below. If you wish to find out more about a project please get in touch with me or the co-supervisor.


For an up-to-date list of publications see my Google Scholar profile.

[Publications will load automatically from the University’s publications database, Symplectic…]