Reader, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


I am a climate scientist in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews.  

My research uses the chemistry of sediments, ice, and fossils to reconstruct past climate change.  I am particularly interested in the drivers of the ice ages, the climates of the dinosaurs, and reconstructing CO2 over geological time.  

Before coming to St Andrews, I held a NOAA Climate and Global Change fellowship at Caltech. I studied at the University of Oxford as an undergraduate, and did my PhD at the University of Bristol.  

I currently hold a ERC starting grant to investigate long-term CO2 change, and am a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland.  

Outside work, you can find me running, cycling, or surfing around Scotland, and occasionally playing the bagpipes. 

Selected publications

Rae, J.W.B., Zhang, Y., Foster, G.L., Stoll, H..  CO2 reconstructions from marine archives, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences accepted

Rae, J.W., Gray, W.R., Wills, R.C.J., Eisenman, I., Fitzhugh, B., Fotheringham, M., Littley, E.F.M., Rafter, P.A., Rees-Owen, R., Ridgwell, A. and Taylor, B., 2020. Overturning circulation, nutrient limitation, and warming in the Glacial North Pacific. Science advances6(50), p.eabd1654.

Henehan, M.J., Ridgwell, A., Thomas, E., Zhang, S., Alegret, L., Schmidt, D.N., Rae, J.W., Witts, J.D., Landman, N.H., Greene, S.E. and Huber, B.T., 2019. Rapid ocean acidification and protracted Earth system recovery followed the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub impact. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(45), pp.22500-22504.

Rae, J.W., Burke, A., Robinson, L.F., Adkins, J.F., Chen, T., Cole, C., Greenop, R., Li, T., Littley, E.F.M., Nita, D.C. and Stewart, J.A., 2018. CO 2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales. Nature562(7728), pp.569-573.

Rae, J.W., 2018. Boron isotopes in foraminifera: Systematics, biomineralisation, and co 2 reconstruction. Boron Isotopes, pp.107-143.