Brooke Snoll



I am a first year PhD student working with the School of Earth and Environment with an interest in the causal mechanisms of abrupt climate changes in the last deglaciation. I have previously studied mathematics, with a BA in mathematics and minors in chemistry and computer science in the United States. For my Bachelors’ dissertation, I focused on understanding the physics behind radiative convective models.

At Leeds, I completed a Master’s in Research of climate and atmospheric science working with Dr Ruza Ivanovic. This project introduced me to paleoclimate modelling and the puzzle that is the last deglaciation. I investigated transient simulations of the last deglaciation from the HadCM3 climate model to determine the causal mechanism of a simulated abrupt event, requiring in-depth model analysis as well as a clear understanding of climate physics and dynamics. 

The MRes project allowed me to combine my interest and background in climate studies and computer programming, while also providing a new outlet of interest in the paleoclimate. I am happy to have the opportunity to continue to pursue a further understanding of the enigmatic last deglaciation and build upon my experience as a programmer and environmental researcher. 

PhD Project

The last deglaciation is a period consisting of largescale ice sheet melt, rising summer solar insolation, increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, and warming surface air temperatures. This relatively smooth transition from the Last Glacial Maximum is also accompanied by well-documented abrupt events such as Heinrich Stadial 1, Meltwater Pulse 1a, the Bølling Warming, and the Younger Dryas. However, despite the ability to identify these events in temperature proxy records, precisely how these events occurred, what triggered them, and if they are linked is still debated. 

Regardless of the disagreement on the causal mechanisms of these events, the importance of understanding how these events transpired to predict their potential reoccurrence is widely agreed upon.

My PhD project will provide critical insight into the abrupt climate changes through analysis of complex numerical earth system models, comparisons to observational data, and establishment of links between climate feedbacks and their outcomes. Comparing results of multiple models as well as observational data will assist with not only evaluating model performance but also verifying or refuting previous explanations for the events, laying a foundation for testing and building new hypotheses. 

These conclusions will be beneficial not only towards those piecing together the past but also to the understanding of potential catastrophic future events, especially in light of current climate change. 


Funded by Panorama NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. 

Research interests

  • The last deglaciation
  • Abrupt climate change triggers
  • Climate dynamic changes surrounding abrupt events


  • MRes in Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, UK, 2020
  • BA in Mathematics, Saint Leo University, USA, 2019

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Earth Surface Science Institute