Rachael Rhodes

Dr Rachael Rhodes

MGeol PhD

  • Position Governing Body Fellow
  • School Physical Sciences
  • Department Earth Sciences
  • Department link Earth Sciences

Rachael is a Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences and specialises in researching past climates using polar ice cores.

Rachael Rhodes

Rachael completed her doctoral degree at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, with a focus on trace element geochemistry of coastal Antarctic ice cores. Rachael then moved to Oregon State University, USA for postdoctoral research developing ultra-high resolution records of atmospheric methane variability in the past. A Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship at University of Cambridge brought Rachael back to the UK in 2015. She was subsequently awarded her first academic position at Northumbria University.

In 2019, Rachael returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences and now teaches at all levels of the Earth Sciences course within the Natural Sciences Tripos. She particularly enjoys introducing students to the curiosity-driven nature of geological fieldwork.

Rachael is a member of the European Geosciences Union, American Geophysical Society and collaborates with many international colleagues through Past Global Changes (PAGES) working groups. Thanks to a secondment at the journal Nature Geoscience in 2018, Rachael is now an Editorial Board Member at Communications Earth and Environment.

Rachael uses polar ice cores to reconstruct past changes in the Earth’s climate and biogeochemical cycles, with the goal that such palaeo-constraints may improve predictions of future climate change in our warming world. Her work combines geochemical analysis of ice and the ancient air bubbles trapped inside with numerical modelling. Current interests include the drivers of multi-decadal scale methane variability and the development of chemical tracers of past sea ice conditions.

Rachael is collaborating on a number of other projects, including one that aims to reconstruct the atmospheric history of carbon monoxide and another that is using fully-coupled global climate models to examine the different drivers of abrupt methane increase during the last ice age. Looking ahead, Rachael is excited to be involved in the upcoming Antarctic deep drilling project EPICA Oldest Ice and the associated Marie Curie Innovative Training Network DEEPICE, which aim to retrieve ice older than 1.4 million years.

What's on

Two nature photographs, one of someone hiking and one of a hare.

Open Call: Wolf Words Poetry Anthology 2024

27/11/2023 at 09.00

We are excited to launch an open call for the second edition of our Wolf Words Poetry Anthology; this year our theme is Wild. 

WRE 2023 - an audience member asking a question

Writing an abstract workshop

30/11/2023 at 19.00

This workshop is organised to help students prepare to be part of the Wolfson Research Event 2024.


A photo of a pocket watch open for repair

A Duty to Repair?

01/12/2023 at 18.00

How can you introduce protection of the environment into consumer contract law when this is detrimental to the protection of the consumer?

Artwork of white tree with an orange sky in the background by Tim Head.

Art Exhibition: 'How It Is'

02/12/2023 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'How It Is' featuring work by the influential British artist Tim Head.

Hand holding a lightbulb in front of the sky

Entrepreneurship Workshop for Students

02/12/2023 at 13.00

An interactive session during which students can gain insight into the sphere of entrepreneurship.