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Karolina Leszczynska BA MPhil PhD


Cambridge Quaternary
Department of Geography
University of Cambridge
Downing Place
Cambridge CB2 3EN


Telephone: +44 7447596531


Karolina studied both physical geography and archaeology at the University of Lodz from 2001-2005 completing her BA and MPhil degrees. 2006 she was awarded with 'A Medal for the outstanding achievements in studies' by the resolution of Academic Senate of the University of Lodz. After completing her MPhil in Quaternary Science, at the University of Cambridge in 2007, she embarked on a PhD at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, which has been successfully completed in April 2012. She was working under the supervision of Prof. Philip Gibbard, Dr Philip Hughes and Dr Steve Boreham. Amongst main research project which allowed her to accomplish MPhil and PhD theses, Karolina took part in numerous smaller undertakings. For description see Research interests.

Research interests

Karolina's research interests focuses on multi-disciplinary desk, laboratory and field-based methods to establish palaeoenvironmental changes during the Quaternary, within periods of variable timescale and areas of variable size.

Currently her work centres on the reconstruction of the spatial and temporal evolution of palaeo-ice sheets. During her PhD Karolina has been working on the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the Anglian ice marginal zone in the Danbury-Tiptree area, in Essex. There, the substantial London Clay bedrock ridge (Danbury-Tiptree ridge) formed a major, insurmountable barrier to the Anglian ice sheet (Middle Pleistocene, Anglian Stage, 480-420 ka BP) at its southern margin. This is also the area where outwash deposition and ice-bedrock interaction alternated.

The main achievement of this PhD research is the establishment of a model of the evolution of the palaeo-ice sheet marginal zone, which step by step, in time-slices presents events, which formed the geological environment seen today in the Danbury-Tiptree area. For full abstract of Karolina's PhD thesis see Abstract.

Past research projects

Beside the PhD research, using her expertise, Karolina has already accomplished several other research projects.

During her MPhil project at the University of Lodz, she developed a model of the pattern between palaeoenvironmental conditions and human occupation of river valleys in Middle Poland. Extensive desk based study supported by field survey allowed her to identify main factors influencing the location of medieval and later settlement in this very unique area of big river valleys.

Palaeoreconstruction of the evolution of floodplain of the River Cam at Hauxton, Cambridgeshire accomplished using multi-disciplinary methods, amongst which the most important was palinology along with sediment descriptions techniques including e.g. particle size, loss-on-ignition and chemical analyses, was a main outcome of Karolina's MPhil research in Quaternary Science at the Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Group.

Karolina also (jointly with Julie Boreham) has been working on micromorphological project entitled 'Hidden Ice Worlds'. For latest news about it go to Facebook page designed by Julie Boreham and look for group 'Hidden Worlds - Off The Bench'.

Publication list


Conference publications

Other career experience

External activities