Dr Katharine Grant

Post-doctoral Fellow
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Content navigation


  • BSc (Hons) Marine Science with French, University of Southampton, UK
  • MSc Earth Sciences, James Cook University, Australia
  • PhD Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, UK


science Research area

Research interests

I analyse marine sediment cores using a range of analytical techniques (stable carbon & oxygen isotopes in foraminifera, environmental magnetism, scanning XRF) to investigate the following:

  • Plio-Pleistocene sea-level/ice-volume variability
  • African monsoon/Green Sahara Periods
  • Mediterranean palaeoceanography and palaeoclimate
  • Australian monsoon variability over orbital timescales
  • Antarctic ice-sheet & climate variability

Current & previous projects & grants

2022-2025            ARC Centre of Excellence for Antarctic Science (ACEAS) post-doctoral research fellow

2022-2024            ARC Discovery project: Understanding the Geodynamo: Putting Australia on the Map (DP220102167). Lead CI: David Heslop

2020-2021            ANZIC-IODP legacy grant: Oxygen isotope stratigraphy of IODP Site U1464 (Australian Northwest Shelf)

2019-2022            ARC DECRA Fellowship: "Long-term variability of the Australian monsoon" (DE190100042)

2019-2020            ANZIC-IODP legacy grant: Australian monsoon variability through the Pleistocene

2019-2020            ANZIC-IODP legacy grant: African Humid Periods through the Pliocene

2016-2017            Paleo-temperature reconstructions in the Mediterranean Sea


Example: A North African ‘humidity/aridity index’ spanning the last 3 million years (0-3,000 ka BP)

wet-dry index-cropped.jpg
  • Blue shading = relatively more humid (compared to index mean). These intervals likely coincide with 'Green Sahara Periods'.
  • Orange shading = relatively more arid (compared to index mean)
  • Caution values in sediment slump interval (grey shading)

Dataset available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379117302044


Example: Probabilistic records of sea level and sea-level change rates for the last 500,000 years (0-500 ka BP)


Sea-level dataset available at https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms6076

Top panel: Relative sea level (RSL)

  • White line: maximum probability RSL curve
  • Pale blue envelope: ±2 standard deviations of the maximum probability RSL curve
  • Dark grey envelope: 68% confidence interval for all RSL data
  • Pale grey envelope: 95% confidence interval for all RSL data

Bottom panel: Rate of sea-level change

  • Blue line: maximum probability rates of sea-level change
  • Pale grey envelope: ±2 standard deviations of the maximum rates of sea-level change


The probabilistic data and chronology shown here are from Grant et al. (2012) [0-150 ky interval] and from Grant et al. (2014) [150-500 ky interval]. These data are based on a 500 ky Red Sea sea-level record which was first published in Rohling et al. (2009). Note that there are slight differences between the 0-150 ky data as published in Grant et al. (2012) and (2014); this is because there will always be some slight variations between successive Monte Carlo-style simulations.

Teaching information

EMSC3027 Palaeoclimatology


J4, room L6



Amarathunga, U., Brocks, J.J., Meijer, P.T.,Hope, J.M., Zachariasse, W.-J., Hennekam, R., van der Hoeven, I., Roehl, U., Rule, S., Troitzsch, U.,  Haberle, S., Sluijs, A., Grant, K.M., Roberts, A.P., Garcia-Castellanos, D., Hogg, A.M., Reichart, G.-J., Rohling, E.J. Transient oxygenation of the Mediterranean after the Zanclean megaflood. In revision for Nature Communications.

Myers, S.C, Negri, A., Rohling, E.J., Donders, T., Grant, K.M., Keller, J., Marino, G., Sangiorgi, F., Caridi, F., Morigi, C., Sabbatini, A. The “glacial” sapropel S6 (172 ka; MIS 6): a multiproxy approach to solve a Mediterranean “cold case”. Submitted to Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Amarathunga, U., Rohling, E.J., Grant, K.M., Francke, A., Hutchinson, D.K., Latimer, J., Klaebe, R.M., Heslop, D., Roberts, A.P. A 0.5 million-year North African humid period within the Pliocene. In revision for Nature Communications.

Zhao, S., Grant, K.M., Heslp, D. Early-Pleistocene orbital variability in Northwest Australian shelf sediments. Revision submitted to Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

Dumitru, O.A., Grant, K.M., Glueder, A., Peck, E.K. Geochemical studies of present and past sea level. Accepted in Treatise on Geochemistry.



Zhao, S., Grant, K.M., Opdyke, B.N., Williams, I.S. Diagenetic dolomite in planktonic foraminifera on the Australian northwest shelf. Sedimentology, https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.13191



Sadatzki, H., Opdyke, B., Menviel, L.,  Leventer, A., Hope, J.M., Brocks, J.J., Fallon, S., Post, A.L., O’Brien, P.E., Grant, K., Armand, L. Early sea ice decline off East Antarctica at the last glacial–interglacial climate transition. Science Advances 9, eadh9513, https://doi/10.1126/sciadv.adh9513

Piedrahita, V.A.,  Galeotti, S., Zhao, X., Roberts, A.P., Rohling, E.J., Rodriguez-Sanz, L., Heslop, D., Florindo, F., Grant, K.M. Accelerated light carbon sequestration following late Paleocene-early Eocene carbon cycle perturbations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 604, 117992, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2023.117992



Rohling, E.J., Foster, G.L., Gernon, T., Grant, K.M., Heslop, D., Hibbert, F.D., Roberts, A.P., Yu, J. Comparison and synthesis of sea level and deep-sea temperature variations over the past 40 million years. Reviews in Geophysics 60 (4), https://doi.org/10.1029/2022RG000775

Hennekam, R., Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J., Tjallingii, R., Heslop, D., Roberts, A.P., Lourens, L.J., Reichart, G.-J. Accurately calibrated XRF-CS record of Ti/Al reveals Early Pleistocene aridity/humidity variability over North Africa and its close relationship to low-latitude insolation. In revision with Climate of the Past 18, 2509–2521, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-18-2509-2022

Piedrahita, V., Galeotti, S., Zhao, X., Roberts, A.P., Rohling, E.J., Heslop, D., Florindo, F., Grant, K.M., Rodríguez-Sanz, L., Reghellin, D., Zeebe, R. Orbital phasing of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 598, 117839, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117839

Amarathunga, U., Hogg, A., Rohling, E.J., Roberts, A.P., Grant, K.M., Heslop, D., Hu, P., Liebrand, D., westerhold, T., Zhao, X., Gilmore, S. Sill-controlled salinity contrasts followed post-Messinian flooding of the Mediterranean. Nature Geoscience https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-022-00998-z

Cohen, A. et al. Plio-Pleistocene environmental variability in Africa and its implications for mammalian evolution. PNAS 119 (16) e2107393119. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2107393119 (see also https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220411160512.htm).

Bolton, C.T., Gray, E., Kuhnt, W., Holbourn, A.E., Lübbers, J., Grant, K.M., Tachikawa, K., Marino, G., Rohling, E.J., Sarr, A.-C., Andersen, N. Secular and orbital-scale variability of equatorial Indian Ocean summer monsoon winds during the late Miocene. Climate of the Past 18, 713–738. https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/18/713/2022/cp-18-713-2022-discussion.html

Grant, K.M., Amarathunga, U., Amies, J.D., Hu, P.X., Qian, Y., Penny, T., Rodriguez-Sanz, L., Zhao, X., Heslop, D., Hennekam, R., Westerhold, T., Gilmore, S., Lourens, L.J., Roberts, A.P., Rohling, E.J. Organic carbon burial in Mediterranean sapropels intensified during Green Sahara Periods since 3.2 Myr ago. Communications Earth & Environment 3: 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00339-9



Menviel, L., Govin, A., Avenas, A., Meissner, K.J., Grant, K.M., Tzedakis, P.C. Drivers of the evolution and amplitude of African Humid Periods. Communications Earth & Environment 2:237. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-021-00309-1

Qian, Y., Heslop, D., Roberts, A.P., Hu, P., Zhao, X., Liu, Y., Li, J., Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J. Low-temperature magnetic properties of marine sediments – quantifying magnetofossils, superparamagnetism, and maghemitization: eastern Mediterranean examples. Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth. 126, e2021JB021793. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JB021793

Wu, Y., Roberts, A.P.R., Grant, K.M., Heslop, D., Pillans, B., Zhao, X., Rohling, E.J.R., Ronge, T., Ma, M., Hesse, P., Palmer, A.S. Climatically modulated dust inputs from New Zealand to the Southwest Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean over the last 410 kyr. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 36, e2020PA003949. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020PA003949


Qian, Y., Roberts, A.P., Hu, P., Zhao, X., Heslop, D., Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J., Hennekam, R., Li, J. Assessment and integration of bulk and component-specific methods for identifying mineral magnetic components in environmental magnetism. Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 125, e2019JB019024, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JB019024

Satow, C., Grant, K.M., Bachmann, O., Lowe, J. Detection and Characterisation of Eemian Marine Tephra Layers within the Sapropel S5 Sediments of the Aegean and Levantine Seas. Quaternary 2020, 3, 6, http://doi:10.3390/quat3010006


Rohling, E.J., Hibbert, F., Grant, K.M., Galaasen, E., Irvali, N., Kleiven, K., Marino, G., Ninnemann, U., Roberts, A.P., Rosenthal, Y. , Schulz, H., Williams, F., Yu, J. Asynchronous Antarctic and Greenland ice-volume contributions to the last interglacial sea-level highstand. Nature Communications 10, 5040, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12874-3.

Wulf, S., Keller, J., Satow, C., Gertisser, R., Kraml, M., Grant, K., Appelt, O., Vakhrameeva, P., Koutsodendris, A., Hardiman, M., Schulz, H., Pross, J. Advancing Santorini’s tephrostratigraphy: new glass geochemical data and improved marine-terrestrial tephra correlations for the past ~360 kyrs. Earth Science Reviews 200, 102964. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.102964

Amies, J.D., Rohling, E.J., Grant, K.M., Rodríguez‐Sanz, L., Marino, G. Quantification of African Monsoon Runoff During Last Interglacial Sapropel S5. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology https://doi.org/10.1029/2019PA003652

Ellis, B., Grant, K.M., Mallela, J., Abram, N.  Is XRF core scanning a viable method for coral palaeoclimate temperature reconstructions? Quaternary International 514, 97-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2018.11.044

Rohling, E.J., Marino, G., Grant, K.M., Mayewski, P., Weninger, B. A model for archaeologically relevant Holocene climate impacts in the Aegean-Levantine region (easternmost Mediterranean). Quaternary Science Reviews 208, 38-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.02.009


Falster, G., Tyler, J., Grant, K.M., Tibby, J., Turney, C., Löhr, S., Jacobsen, G., Kershaw, A.P. Millennial-scale variability in south-east Australasian hydroclimate between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago. Quat. Sci. Rev. 192, 106-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.05.031


Rodríguez-Sanz, L., Bernasconi, S.M., Marino, G., Heslop, D., Müller, I.A., Fernandez, A., Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J. Strong west-to-east deglacial contrasts in the Mediterranean revealed by clumped isotopes. Scientific Reports 7, 16572. https://doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16528-6

Rohling, E.J., Hibbert, F.D., Williams, F.H., Grant, K.M., Marino, G., Foster, G.L., Hennekam, R., de Lange, G.J., Roberts, A.P., Yu, J., Webster, J.M., Yokoyama, Y. Differences between the last two glacial maxima and implications for ice-sheet, d18O, and sea-level reconstructions. Quaternary Science Reviews 176, 1-28. https://doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.09.009

Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J., Westerhold, T., Zabel, M., Heslop, D., Konijnendijk, T., Lourens, L.J. (2017). A 3 million year index for North African humidity/aridity and the implication of potential pan-African Humid periods. Quaternary Science Reviews 171, 100-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.07.005


Grant, K.M., Grimm, R., Mikolajewicz, U., Marino, G., Ziegler, M., Rohling, E.J. (2016). The timing of Mediterranean sapropel deposition relative to insolation, sea-level and African monsoon changes. Quaternary Science Reviews 140, 125-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.03.026


Lowe, J.J., Ramsey, C.B., Housley, R.A., Lane, C.S., Tomlinson, E.L., RESET Team and RESET Associates. (2015). The RESET project: constructing a European tephra lattice for refined synchronisation of environmental and archaeological events during the last c. 100 ka. Quat. Sci. Rev. 118, 1-17.        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.04.006

Rohling, E.J., Marino, G., Grant, K.M. (2015). Mediterranean climate and oceanography, and the periodic development of anoxic events (sapropels). Earth-Sci. Rev. 143, 62-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.01.008 

Marino, G., Rohling, E.J., Rodríguez-Sanz, L., Grant, K.M., Heslop, D., Roberts, A.P., Stanford, J.D., Yu, J. (2015). Bipolar seesaw control on last interglacial sea level. Nature 522, 197-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14499 

Satow, C., Tomlinson, E.L., Grant, K.M., Albert, P.G., Smith, V.C., Manning, C.J., Ottolini, L., Wulf, S., Rohling, E.J., Lowe, J.J., Blockley, S.P.E., Menzies, M.A. (2015). A new contribution to the Late Quaternary tephrostratigraphy of the Mediterranean: Aegean Sea core LC21. Quaternary Science Reviews 117, 96-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.04.005 

Grimm, R., Maier-Reimer, E., Uwe Mikolajewicz, U., Schmied, G., Müller-Navarra, K., Adloff, F., Grant, K.M., Ziegler, M., Lourens, L.J., Emeis, K.-C. (2015). Late glacial initiation of Holocene eastern Mediterranean sapropel formation. Nature Communications 6, 7099. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8099


Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J., Bronk Ramsey, C., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Florindo, F., Heslop, D., Marra, F., Roberts, A.P. Tamisiea, M.E., Williams, F. (2014). Sea-level variability over five glacial cycles. Nature Communications 5, 5076. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6076

Rohling, E.J, Foster, G.L., Grant, K.M., Marino, G., Roberts, A.P., Tamisiea, M., Williams, F. (2014). Sea-level and deep-sea temperature variability over the past 5.3 million years. Nature 508, 477-482. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13230


Rohling, E.J, Haigh, I.D., Foster, G.L., Roberts, A.P., and Grant, K.M. (2013). A geological perspective on potential future sea-level rise. Scientific Reports 3, 346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep0346

Rohling, E.J., Grant, K.M., Roberts, A.P., and Larrasoana, J.C. (2013). Palaeoclimate variability in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions during the last 500,000 years; implications for hominin migrations. Current Anthropology 54 (The Wenner Gren symposium June 2012), S183-S201. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/673882


Grant, K.M., Rohling, E.J., Bar-Matthews, M., Ayalon, A., Medina-Elizalde, M., Bronk Ramsey, C., Satow, C., Roberts, A.P. (2012). Rapid coupling between ice volume and polar temperature over the past 150 kyr. Nature 491, 744-747. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11593

RESET team and co-investigators (Lowe, J., Barton, N., Blockley, S., Bronk Ramsey, C., Cullen, V.L., Davies, W., Gamble, C., Grant, K., Hardiman, M., Housley, R., Lane, C.S., Lee, S., Lewis, M., .MacLeod, A., Menzies, M.A., Müller, W., Pollard, M., Price, C., Roberts, A.P., Rohling, E.J., Satow, C., Smith, V.C., Stringer, C., Tomlinson, E.L., White, D., Albert, P.G., Arienzo, I., Barker, G., Borić, D., Carandente, A., Civetta, L., Ferrier, C., Gaudelli, J.L., Karkanas, P., Koumouzelis, M., Müller, U.C., Orsi, G., Pross, J., Rosi, M., Shalamanov-Korobar, L., Sirakov, N., Tzedakis, P.C.). (2012). Volcanic ash layers illuminate the resilience of Neanderthals and early modern humans to natural hazards. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 13532–13537. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1204579109


Roberts, A.P., Rohling, E.J., Grant, K.M., Larrasoana, J.C., Liu, Q. (2011). Atmospheric dust variability from Arabia and China over the last 500,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 3537-3541. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.09.007

Trommer, G., Siccha, M., Rohling, E.J., Grant, K., van der Meer, M.T.J., Schouten, S., Baranowski, U., Kucera, M. (2011). Sensitivity of Red Sea circulation to sea level and insolation forcing during the last interglacial. Climate of the Past 7, 941-955. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/cp-7-941-2011


Trommer, G., Siccha, M., Rohling, E.J., Grant, K., van der Meer, M., Schouten, S., Hemleben, Ch., Kucera, M. (2010). Millennial scale variability in Red Sea circulation in response to Holocene insolation forcing. Paleoceanography 25, PA3203, 17pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009PA001826

Rohling, E.J., Braun, K., Grant, K., Kucera, M., Roberts, A.P., Siddall, M., Trommer, G. (2010). Comparison between Holocene and Marine Isotope Stage-11 sea-level histories. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 291, 97-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.054


Rohling, E.J., Grant, K., Bolshaw, M., Roberts, A.P., Siddall, M., Hemleben, Ch., Kucera, M. (2009). Antarctic temperature and global sea level closely coupled over the past five glacial cycles. Nature Geoscience 2, 500-504. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo557


Rohling, E.J., Grant, K., Hemleben, C., Siddall, M., Hoogakker, B.A.A., Bolshaw, M., Kucera, M. (2008). High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. Nature Geoscience 1, 38-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo.2007.28 

Rohling, E.J., Grant, K., Hemleben, C., Kucera, M., Roberts, A.P., Schmeltzer, I., Schulz, H., Siccha, M., Siddall, M., Trommer, G. (2008). New constraints on the timing and amplitude of sea level fluctuations during early to middle Marine Isotope Stage 3. Paleoceanography 23, PA3219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008PA001617


Grant, K.M. and Dickens, G.R. (2002). Coupled productivity and carbon isotope records in the southwest Pacific Ocean during the late Miocene–early Pliocene biogenic bloom. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 187, (1-2), 61-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(02)00508-4