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Dr Alexander Farnsworth

Dr Alexander Farnsworth

Dr Alexander Farnsworth
BSC(Cardiff), MSc(Bristol), PhD(Uni.Reading)

Senior Research Associate

Area of research


University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 3318352


My current research focus is investigating large-scale controls on past climate change through the Cretaceous-Palaeogene-Neogene and how changes in past environments can inform us on future climate change. Through using a comprehensive modelling approach we can examine the role perturbations in topography, bathymetry, solar insolation, ice sheets and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) through time have driven the changing dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere, redistributing energy and momentum, seen in the proxy-data records seen in many oceanic and terrestrial proxy datasets.

My particular interests centres on the role of the hydrological cycle in climate change, specifically on precipitation dynamics and the role of monsoon systems.

My previous research looked into the dynamics of the central African monsoon system and interannual variability in the monsoon using model and observational data. The role of land surface – atmospheric interactions on precipitation resulting from land surface change under future climate regimes was a key focus of this research.   


BSc. University of Cardiff - Atmosphere and Ocen Science (2001-2004).

MRes. University of Bristol - Natural Hazards investigating Atlantic tropical cyclones in an AOGCM, past, present and future (2005-2007).

P.hD - University of Reading, Meteorology - central African meteorology/climatology (2008-2014).


I am a senior research associate currently involved in wide ranging projects from paleoclimate model reconstructions, monsoon and atmopsheric dynamics to extinction events. I am part of the BETR-UMBRELLA project investigating monsoon and biodiversity evolution through the Cenoziic developing new methods to better understand their behaviour. Previously is was the lead post-doctoral scientist on the Cretaceous-Palaeogene-Eocene NERC funded project between the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford, which is investigating climate sensitivity to changing CO2 concentrations and tectonic shifts and the evolution of the global monsoon system.

My PhD looked into the dynamics of central African tropical meteorology and climatology, specifically focussing upon rainfall dynamics and variability.


  • Tropical meteorology Central African meteorology Rainfall dynamics Paleaoclimatology

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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