Professor Ros Rickaby

External partner

Co-Investigator, University of Oxford

A photo of Ros Rickaby
Profile

Ros has pioneered an interdisciplinary blend of biology and chemistry to resolve questions of past climates, evolution, and the future of the phytoplankton.

Ros is currently the Chair of Geology, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, having been Professor of Biogeochemistry since 2010, on the dark side (of blue!). Ros has pioneered an interdisciplinary blend of biology and chemistry to resolve questions of past climates, evolution, and the future of the phytoplankton. The feedback between biology and climate is inescapable, and requires investigation of both biological innovation and environmental change over Earth history. Ros’ distinctive approach is to read geological history from signals of adaptation within genes of modern organisms, which play out in the evolving affinity and kinetics of the expressed enzymes, or isotopic signals of adaptation that leave a footprint in fossils and biomolecules. This background lends itself to understanding how biota and the carbonate cycle may respond to intended manipulations of the environment to sequester CO2. Ros has authored over 100 papers and co-authored a book “Evolution’s Destiny: Co-evolving chemistry of the environment and life”. 

Ros received her PhD with Harry Elderfield from Cambridge University in 1995 and studied at Harvard for her post-doc with Dan Schrag. Ros has been awarded European Geosciences Union’s Outstanding Young Scientist award, the American Geophysical Union’s James B. Macelwane Award, The Rosenstiel Medal, the Lyell Award of the Geological Society of London and a Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society.