Dr Ruza Ivanovic

Dr Ruza Ivanovic


I am a palaeoclimate modeller interested in the physical climate system (atmosphere, ice sheets and oceans) and the carbon cycle. I use general circulation models and in the past, isotope geochemistry, to understand climate-ice-ocean-carbon interactions at a fundamental level. The primary focus of my research is to investigate mechanisms of abrupt climate change during deglaciations; transitions to warmer, higher CO2 worlds. For this, I use versions of the UK Met Office's Unified Model (mainly FAMOUS and HadCM3) and ice sheet models (Glimmer-CISM and BISICLES).

In the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, I co-lead the Climate-Ice Research Group; and am a part of the Physical Climate and Cryosphere; Leeds Quaternary and Palaeo@Leeds Research Groups; which are within the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS) and the Earth Surface Science Institute (ESSI).

Internationally, I lead the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) Deglaciations and Abrupt Climate change (DeglAC) Working Group.


  • Co-leader of the Climate-Ice Research Group
  • Programme Leader for MSc 'Climate Futures: Science, Society and Politics'

Research interests

I am particularly interested in climate-ice sheet-ocean interactions taking place during past deglaciations (when large ice sheets melted, sea levels rose and climate warmed). As well as the long term (~10 ka) transitions from cold glacial conditions to the warm interglacial period, these periods encompasses several abrupt climate changes (annual-centennial), including:

  • The onset of Heinrich Stadials, when Northern Hemisphere temperatatures cooled and Atlantic ocean circulation slowed
  • Heinrich Events, when armadas of icebergs rafted out across the North Atlantic
  • Abrupt warming and sudden strenghtening of Atlantic Ocean circulation (including the Bolling Warming, when Northern Hemisphere temperatures rose by as much as 10 degrees C in just a few decades)
  • Rapid sea level rises (i.e. ‘Meltwater pulses’), including Meltwater Pulse 1a, which is the fastest major sea level rise ever recorded (global sea level rose by 12-22 m in less than 350 years)
  • Cold reversals that bucked the ambient warming trend, such as the Antarctic Cold Reversal (Southern Hemisphere cooling), the Younger Dryas (Norhtenr Hemisphere cooling and glacial readvance), and the 8.2 kyr event (when catastrophic freshwater drainage from North America disrupted Atlantic Ocean circulation and caused widespread cooling, probably as a result of ice sheet collapse)
  • ~15 ppmv jumps in atmospheric CO2, likely from the sudden release of carbon stored in the deep ocean

My work focuses on understanding the triggers for these events, their impact on climate, and the role of ice sheets and the oceans in the surface climate changes.

<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, University of Bristol
  • BSc, University of Bristol
  • FHEA (Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy under the UK Professional Standards Framework)

Professional memberships

  • Leader of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) Deglaciations and Abrupt Climate change (DeglAC) Working Group (2013-)
  • Lifelong member of the European Geosciences Union (EGU, 2018-)
  • Lifelong member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU, 2017-)

Student education

Current teaching roles at University of Leeds:

  • Programme leader for our MSc in Climate Futures: Science, Society and Politics
  • Module leader for SOEE5096M/3791 ‘Observing weather and climate: advanced field skills’
  • Field course leader for the final year and postgraduate climate and environmental science ‘Dale Fort’ field course
  • Member of the teaching team for module SOEE5866M ‘Climate Security’
  • Superviser/mentor for final year research projects

I also teach at international summer schools for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as well as other Early Career Networking events.

Research groups and institutes

  • Climate Science and Impacts
  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Earth Surface Science Institute
  • Palaeo@Leeds

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>