Dr Della Murton BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE
Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3EJ
Della is a Quaternary scientist working as an associated post-doctoral researcher. Research interests include: reconstructing palaeoenvironmental change and establishing land-sea correlations from glaciolacustrine and aeolian sediments.
British–Irish Ice Sheet during the Devensian Stage in the Vale of York
- PhD in Geography, University of Cambridge
- PGCE, University of Cambridge
- MSc in Quaternary Science, Royal Holloway, University of London
- BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science, University of Leicester
Current understanding of dynamics of the British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) in eastern England during the Devensian Stage is that ice lobes in the Vale of York and North Sea Basin were asynchronous. New sedimentological and geochemical data from four cores through the basin fill in the central part of the Vale of York, together with six, three-dimensional geological models developed from 3050 core logs of superficial deposits in the region, have provided critical new insights into the terrestrial response in central eastern England to climate forcing during the Devensian Stage. A new, high-resolution age model, determined from sediment colour, optically-stimulated luminescence dating and magnetic properties indicates that the basin-fill sediments were deposited from 41.00 to 15.80 ka. Glacial Lake Humber was initiated in the Vale of York at ~40.00 ka from meltwater flowing eastwards from an ice lobe situated in the eastern Pennines. Variations in sediment redness (a* reflectance and 570–560 nm) and end-member modelling have enabled glacially- and periglacially-derived inputs into Lake Humber to be differentiated. Between 38.20 and 33.00 ka, the dominant processes were periglacial, indicated by variations in the a* reflectance records that were broadly synchronous with the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles recognised in the Greenland ice-core 18O records. End-member modelling has demonstrated that Ca/Sr records provide a proxy for incursions of the North Sea Basin ice lobe of the BIS onto Holderness. These records indicate that this ice lobe first advanced westwards to Holderness at 33.00 ka, with three significant readvances at 22.51, 21.36 and 20.80 ka. In the Vale of York, ice extended no further south than the Escrick moraine ridge, attaining its maximum extent between 23.50 and 21.60 ka. The dynamics of the eastern sector of the BIIS between 41.00 to 15.80 ka were strongly coupled with movements of the North Atlantic Polar Front.
- Murton J.B., Goslar T., Edwards M.E., Bateman M.D., Danilov P.P., Savvinov G.N., Gubin S.V., Ghaleb B., Haile J., Kanevskiy M., Lozhkin A.V., Lupachev A.V., Murton D.K., Shur Y., Tikhonov A., Vasil'chuk A.C., Vasil'chuk Y.K., Wolfe S.A. 2015. Palaeoenvironmental interpretation of yedoma silt (Ice Complex) deposition as cold-climate loess, Duvanny Yar, northeast Siberia. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 26, 208–288.
- Belshaw R., Gibbard P.L., Murton J.B., Murton D.K. 2014. Early Middle Pleistocene drainage in southern central England. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 93, 135–145.
- Murton D.K. and Murton J.B. 2012. Middle and Late Pleistocene glacial lakes of lowland Britain and the southern North Sea Basin. Quaternary International, 260, 115–142.
- Murton D.K., Pawley S.M. and Murton J.B. 2009. Glaciolacustrine sediments in the Vale of York and the Late Devensian glacial history of eastern England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 120, 209–222.
- Farrow D.K. 2003. Schools and universities: a case of 'mind the gap' Quaternary Newsletter, 99, 14–18.
- Farrow D.K., Burnley M.G., Oxford S.P. and Palmer A. 2002. A thermal contraction crack in bedrock at Braithwaite, Cumbria. Proceedings of the Cumberland Geological Society, 6, 485–496.
- Murton D. 2011. INQUA 2001 Bern, Switzerland: a post excursion trip report. Quaternary Newsletter, 125, 20–23.
- Murton D. 2009. British Permafrost and Periglacial Association Field Meeting to Breckland, East Anglia, 27–29 March 2009. Quaternary Newsletter, 118, 15–18.
- Murton D.K., Crowhurst S.J., Bailey R.M. and Channell J.E.T. 2017. Middle–Late Devensian records from the Vale of York. Quaternary Research Association (QRA) Annual Discussion Meeting, University of Durham.
- Murton D.K. 2015 Reconstructing rates of palaeoenvironmental change during the last glacial period from glaciolacustrine sediments in the Vale of York. QRA Annual Postgraduate Conference, University of Cambridge.
- Murton D.K. 2013 Using GSI3D modelling to reconstruct Late Pleistocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Vale of York. Canadian Quaternary Association (CANQUA), Edmonton.
- Murton D.K. 2012. Future directions for reconstructions of Late Pleistocene glacial lakes in Britain. QRA Annual Discussion Meeting, Southampton.
- Murton J.B., Edwards M.E., Murton D., Bateman M. and Haile, J. 2010. Age and origin of ice-rich Yedoma silts at Duvanny Yar, northeast Siberia: a record of Beringian environmental change since the last interglacial. AGU, San Francisco.
- Murton D.K., Pawley S.M. and Murton J.B. 2008. Glaciolacustrine sediments in the Vale of York and the Late Devensian history of Eastern England. QRA Annual Discussion Meeting, London.
- 2016: Cambridge Philosophical Society
- 2014 & 2016: William Vaughan Lewis Fund and Philip Lake Fund, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
- 2014 Lucy Cavendish College Travel, Research and Conference Grant
Membership of learned societies
- Quaternary Research Association
- Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Undergraduate teaching and demonstrating
- 2016: Demonstrator for Part 1A Introduction to Statistical Methods
- 2015–2016: Demonstrator for Part 1A Geography Field Skills Class
- 2012–2013: Supervisor for Part II Quaternary Environments and Part 1B Glacial Processes
- 2016– Co-organiser of the Quaternary Discussion Group seminar series
- 2015: Initiated and was lead organiser of the inaugural Cambridge University Matured Students' Society (CUMSS) research conference held at Lucy Cavendish College (LCC). Successfully secured funding and support for this conference from LCC, CUMSS, Wolfson College, the Careers Service and the Office for External Affairs and Communication.
Outreach activities and public engagement
- 2015 & 2016: Sutton Trust Summer School in the Department of Geography, Cambridge University. Invited to give the physical geography lecture, which was titled: 'How can we determine rates of climate change'. Positive student feedback resulted in an invitation to give the physical geography lecture at one of the University of Cambridge Admissions' Masterclasses (April 2017).
- 2015–2016: Volunteer at University of Cambridge Science Festival and 'Twilight at the Museums' event.
- 2003–2006: Outreach Officer of the Quaternary Research Association. Initiated and co-ordinated the Undergraduate Dissertation Prize through negotiations with the Royal Geographical Society (in conjunction with the Institute of British Geographers), who administer this prize. With annual entries in excess of fifteen, this competition has successfully fulfilled its aim to promote Quaternary science within the undergraduate geography/earth science communities. Initiated a revision of the QRA's outreach webpage to include more information on local Quaternary-related events.