Dr Julie Jones

School of Geography and Planning

Director of Research

Dr Julie Jones
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+44 114 222 7967

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Dr Julie Jones
School of Geography and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I am a climate scientist with an interest in reconstructing and understanding past climate variability, with a particular interest in the Antarctic and the Southern Hemisphere.  I obtained my BSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich.  I then moved to the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA for my PhD research, looking at the Implications of Climate Change for Acidic Deposition over Europe, which I completed in 1997.  Following a short period of postdoctoral research in CRU, I moved to a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Coastal Systems at the Helmholz-Zentrum Hereon, Geesthacht, Germany, where in 2005 I became group leader of the Palaeoclimate research group.

I took up a lectureship in Climate Science in the Department of Geography in Sheffield in August 2006, and am now Senior Lecturer in Climate Science.  I have acted as an external examiner for PhDs in the UK and Germany, and am currently the external examiner for the MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Birmingham.

I have supervised 10 PhD students, many of whom have continued into posts in academia or industry.

I am a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Research interests

A common theme to my research is the use of long instrumental and historical observations to reconstruct and to investigate past climate variability and change.  My research currently focusses on the Antarctic and High Latitude Southern Hemisphere, where for large regions regular meteorological observations did not start until the mid-Twentieth Century, and I have used statistical reconstructions to extend this record back in time.

I have developed reconstructions of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), using mid-latitude station observations back to the late 19th and early 20th century.  This index represents the strength of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The reconstructions can be downloaded here.

My work has frequently involved intercomparison of observations with palaeoclimate proxy data, reanalysis and climate model (GCM) simulations to further understanding of the causes of this past climate variability and change.

Together with PhD students, I have developed reconstruction methodologies using data from ships’ logbooks, for Southern African rainfall for El Nino Southern Oscillation.  Previous students have also used archival data to explore past changes in the Northeast Indian Monsoon.  Current research students are exploring causes of recent trends in relative humidity, current and future climate drivers of Arctic vegetation browning, and the interaction between climate change and rural livelihoods in Western Zambia.

I was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2018 to use ships’ logbooks to reconstruct the Southern Annular mode, in collaboration with scientists at the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand.

Other research interests throughout my career include:

  • The design and analysis of global climate model (GCM) simulations for the mid- and late-Holocene and development of methodologies for systematic comparison of these simulations with proxy data
  • Regional climate modelling with a focus on the European Alps
  • Links between atmospheric circulation and transport of air pollution

Journal articles


  • Turner F, Wilkinson R, Buck C, Jones J & Sime L (2019) Ice Cores and Emulation: Learning More About Past Ice Sheet Shapes, Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics (pp. 175-182). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Christensen JH, Kanikicharla KK, Aldrian E, An SI, Albuquerque Cavalcanti IF, de Castro M, Dong W, Goswami P, Hall A, Kanyanga JK , Kitoh A et al (2013) Climate phenomena and their relevance for future regional climate change, Climate Change 2013 the Physical Science Basis: Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 1217-1308). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Schneider DP, Steig EJ, Ommen TDV, Dixon DA, Mayewski PA, Jones JM & Bitz CM (2009) Antarctic Temperatures Over the Past two Centuries from Ice Cores (pp. 1-5). Wiley RIS download Bibtex download
  • Widmann M, Groll N & M. Jones J (2007) 34. Simulated teleconnections during the Eemian, the last glacial inception and the preindustrial period, The Climate of Past Interglacials (pp. 517-526). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Widmann M, Groll N & Jones JM (2006) Simulated teleconnections during the Eemian, the last interglacial inception, and the preindustrial period. In Sirocco F, Litt T & Claussen M (Ed.), The climate of past interglacials (pp. 517-525). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Jones JM & Widmann M (2004) Reconstructing large-scale variability from palaeoclimatic evidence by means of Data Assimulation through Upscaling and Nudging (DATUN). In Fischer H, Kumke T, Lohmann G, Miller H & Negendank J (Ed.), The Climate in Historical Times: towards a synthesis of Holocene proxy data and climate models (pp. 171-193). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. RIS download Bibtex download



Teaching interests

I have taught at all levels from undergraduate through to postgraduate taught.  I currently teach on the following modules:

GEO113 Earth, Wind, Ice and Fire

GEO11005 Geographical skills, Methods and Techniques

GEO21011 Understanding the Climate System (module convenor)

GEO412: Current issues in Geography and Environmental Science

GEO3100 Employing Geography Skills in Sustainability and Social Justice (module convenor)

GEO356: Dissertation for Geography and Environmental Science

I also regularly teach on:

GEO11004: Why Geography Matters

GEO21012: Unlocking Past Environmental Changes

GEO6807: Understanding Environmental Change

GEO6809: Managing Climate Change

GEO6669 Polar and Alpine Change Research Project