Dr Jacopo Dal Corso

Dr Jacopo Dal Corso


I am a geologist working on major climate and biological changes linked to the eruption of large igneous provinces using a multidisciplinary approach that ranges from geochemistry to stratigraphy and palaeontology.

I received my PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Padova (Italy) in 2011 with a thesis on “The Middle – Late Triassic d13Cplant trend and the Carnian Pluvial Event C-isotope signature”. I was awarded a UNESCO Dolomites Foundation prize for my PhD thesis study, which contributed to 'raising the profile of the entire Dolomites territory'.

I have a 6+ years of postdoctoral research experience. From 2011 to 2013 I was a Research Fellow at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Padova to study the C-cycle perturbations during the Carnian Pluvial Episode and the end-Triassic mass extinction. In 2013 I was awarded a “Young Research Grant” to study Late Triassic changes in marine carbonate production and climate. After, I was Research Fellow at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at the University of Ferrara, Italy, from 2015-2016 where I studied the relationship between “humid” phases and C-isotope perturbations during the Carnian.

From September 2016 until August 2017 I was a Junior Fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Study (HWK, Delmenhorst, Germany) together with the Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT, Bremen, Germany) as a joint host institution. The research theme of this fellowship was to model the Late Triassic carbonate systems and palaeoclimate in collaboration with Prof. Agostino Merico (ZMT).

I joined the University of Leeds in October 2017 to work as a Research Fellow with Dr. Rob Newton and Prof. Paul Wignall to investigate the causes of the terrestrial mass extinction at the Permian–Triassic boundary.

Please visit my personal webpage to find out more about my research.

Research interests

My research aims to study past major perturbations of the climate using geochemical proxies to contribute understanding today climate change. My research goes from the evaluation of palaeoclimate proxies to the application of these proxies for the reconstruction of past climate and environments. My approach is multidisciplinary and includes stable isotope geochemistry, organic geochemistry, stratigraphy, sedimentology, and palaeontology.

I'm currently working on:

  • The end-Permian mass extinction.
  • The Carnian Pluvial Episode (Late Triassic). The CPE is a major climate change that happened in the early Late Triassic. This climate change is characterised by a sudden enhancement of the global hydrological cycle, increased in sea-surface temperatures, and biotic turnover in the ocean and on land. I study the relationships between the CPE and the global carbon-cycle by coupling carbon-isotope geochemistry to sedimentological, stratigraphic, and palaeontological data.
  • The end-Triassic mass extinction. At the end of the Triassic one of the 'big five' mass extinctions in Earth's hystory occurred. About 50% of marine genera disappeared and a major floral turnover occurred on land. This extinction is sinchronous with increasing pCO2 in the atmosphere probably linked to the emplacement of the Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP). In collaboration with a number of scientists from Europe, North Africa and North America I explore the timing and cause-and-effect relationship between the end-Triassic carbon-cycle perturbation, the mass extinction and environmental disruption, and the CAMP volcanism using geochemical, palynological, and mineralogical proxies.
  • The Sinemurian-Pliensbachian boundary event (Early Jurassic). The S-P Event is a perturbation of the global carbon-cycle marked by a prominent negative excursion in the carbon-isotope composition of the oceans and the atmosphere. I am involved in a project that aims to understand the links between the carbon-cycle perturbation and the environmental changes that are observed at the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian boundary.
  • Plants' carbon. Since my PhD I've studied the carbon-isotope geochemistry of the terrestrial plant remains, from macroscopic to molecular scale, with the aim to reconstruct the isotopic composition of the past atmosphere. My research included the evaluation of the diagenetic and environmental processes that cause carbon-isotope fractionation and variability in fossil plants' remains. I've studied wood, leaf, and amber from the Triassic and the Cretaceous, in addition to the modern analogues.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Earth Sciences (University of Padova, Italy)
  • MSc in Geology cum laude (University of Padova, Italy)
  • BSc in Earth Sciences (University of Padova, Italy)

Professional memberships

  • European Association of Geochemistry - Member
  • Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study, Alumni Club - Member

Research groups and institutes

  • Earth Surface Science Institute
  • Palaeo@Leeds
  • Cohen Geochemistry