Dr Gordon Inglis

Gordon Inglis with less hair

Postdoctoral Research Associate


I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science. My undergraduate dissertation was completed within the Glasgow Molecular Organic Geochemistry Laboratory (G-MOL) under the supervision of Dr. James Bendle. The aim of the project was to elucidate the palaeoenvironment of Wilkes Land, Antarctica during the Early Eocene (c. 56-48 million years ago) using terrestrial-derived biomarkers, specifically bacterial hopanes and higher plant n-alkanes. I was also awarded two undergraduate bursaries (Carnegie Trust and NERC UK-IODP) during this interval and spent 12 further weeks working within G-MOL.

My PhD was completed within the Organic Geochemistry Unit at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Professor Rich Pancost. The aim of my thesis was to assess the key drivers of long-term Eocene cooling using a biomarker approach (Title: ‘From Greenhouse to Icehouse: reconstructing temperature change during the Eocene using a biomarker approach’). In particular, I focused upon the application of glycerol ether lipids in the marine and terrestrial realm.  This was part of a larger NERC-funded project entitled ‘Descent into the Icehouse’ and involved researchers from Bristol, Southampton (NOC), Cardiff and Imperial.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the OGU working on the ERC-funded T-GRES project (the Terrestrial Greenhouse Earth System; see below for more details).


The early Eocene ‘greenhouse’ interval is characterised by high atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2), high sea surface temperature (SST) and the absence of continental ice sheets. However, our understanding of continental climate and biogeochemistry during past warm intervals is poorly constrained. The goal of T-GRES is to develop a better understanding of i) continental temperatures; ii) precipitation and the global hydrological regime; and iii) terrestrial biogeochemical processes (with an emphasis on carbon and methane cycling) during the early Eocene.

This will be primarily achieved using an organic biomarker approach. The MBT'/CBT palaeothermometer (and related indices) will be employed to reconstruct mean annual air temperature. The hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf waxes will be used for delineating the past changes in the hydrological cycle and the carbon isotopic composition of bacterial-derived hopanoids will be used to reconstruct relative changes in terrestrial methane cycling.


  • Early Cenozoic climate change
  • Glycerol ether lipids and their application as temperature proxies (e.g. MBT'/CBT)
  • Biogeochemistry of modern and ancient terrestrial environments
  • Hyphenated techniques (i.e. HPLC-MS and GC-C-IRMS)



19. Inglis, G.N., Naafs, B.D.A., and Pancost, R.D. Distribution of geohopanoids in peat: implications for the use of hopanoid-based proxies in natural archives. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 224, 249-261.

18. Naafs, B.D.A., Rohrssen, M, Inglis, G.N., Lahteenoja., Feakins, S., Collinson, M.E., Kennedy, E.M., Singh, P.K., Singh, M.P., Lunt, D.J. and Pancost, R.D. Tropical peatlands at the mid/high latitudes during the early Paleogene. Nature Geoscience. Accepted.

17. Lengger, S., Sutton, P.A., Rowland, S.J., Hurley, S.J., Pearson, A., Naafs, B.D.A., Inglis, G.N. and Pancost, R.D. Archael and bacterial glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in environmental samples by high temperature-gas chromatography with flame ionisation and time-of-flight mass spectrometry detection. Organic Geochemistry. 121, 10-21.

16.  Naafs, B.D.A., McCormack, D., Inglis, G.N. and Pancost, R.D. The influence of temperature and pH on the abundance of archaeal and bacterial H-GDGTs in terrestrial settings. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 227, 156-170


15. Inglis, G.N., Collinson­, M.E., Riegel, W., Wilde, V., Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D., Valdes, P., Robson, B., Scott, A., Lenz, O., Naafs, B.DA and Pancost, R.D (2017)  Early Paleogene continental temperature change in western-central Europe. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 460, 86-96

14. Chaves-Torres, L., Melbourne, L.A., Hernandez-Sanchez, M., Inglis, G.N. and Pancost, R.D. Insoluble prokaryotic membrane lipids in continental shelf sediments offshore Cape Town: implications for organic matter preservation. Marine Chemistry. 197, 38-51

13. Carmichael, M.J., Inglis, G.N., Badger, M.P.S., Naafs, B.D.A., Behrooz, L., Remmelzwaal, S., Montiero, F., Rohrssen, M., Farnsworth, A., Buss, H., Dickson, A.J., Valdes, P.J., Lunt, D.J and Pancost, R.D. Hydrological and associated biogeochemical consequences of rapid global warming during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Global and Planetary Change. 157, 114-138

12. O’Brien, C., Robinson, S.A., Pancost, R.D., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. Schouten, S., Lunt, D.J., Alsenz, H., Bornemann, A., Botini, C., Brassell, S.C., Farnsworth, A., Forster, A., Huber, B.T., Inglis, G.N., Jenkyns, H.C., Linnert, C., Littler, K., Markwick, P., McAnena, A., Mutterlose, J., Sluijs, A., van Helmond, N.A.G.M., Vellekoop, J., Wagner, T and Wrobell, N.E. Proxy data constraints on Cretaceous sea-surface temperature evolution. Earth Science Reviews. 172, 224-247

11. Naafs, B.D.A., Gallego-Sala, A., Inglis, G.N. and Pancost, R.D. Refining the global branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (brGDGT) soil temperature calibration. Organic Geochemistry. 106, 48-56

10. Naafs, B.D.A., Inglis, G.N., et al. Branched GDGT distributions in peats: introducing global peat-specific temperature and pH proxies. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta. 208, 285-301

9. Lunt, D.J., Huber, M., Anagnostou, E., Baatsen, M., Caballero, R., DeConto, R., Dijkstra, H., Donnadieu, Y., Evans, D., Feng, R., Foster, G., Gasson, E., von der Heydt, A., Hollis, C., Inglis, G.N., Jones, S., Kiehl, J., Kirtland Turner, S., Korty, R., Kozdon, R., Krishnan, S., Ladant, J-B., Langebroek, P., Lear, C., LeGrande, A., Littler, K., Markwick, P., Otto-Bliesner, Pearson, P., Poulsen, C., Salzmann, U., Shields, C., Snell, K., Starz, M., Super, J., Tabor, C., Tierney, J., Tourte, G., Tripati, A., Upchurch, G., Wade, B., Wing, S., Winguth, A., Wright, N., Zachos, J and Zeebe, R (2017) DeepMIP: experimental design for model simulations of the EECO, PETM, and pre-PETM. Geoscientific Model Development Discussion

8. Inglis, G.N., Pancost, R.D and Harrison, T.G. (2017) Reconstructing Past Climates Using Molecular Fossils. Chemistry Review. 26 (3)


7. Talbot, H.M,. McClymont, E., Inglis, G.N., Evershed, R.P. and Pancost, R.D (2016) Origin and preservation of bacteriohopanepolyol and geohopanoid signatures in Sphagnum peat. Organic Geochemistry97, 95-110

6. Anagnostou, E., John, E., Edgar, K., Foster, G., Ridgwell, A., Inglis, G.N., Pancost, R.D., Lunt, D. and Pearson, P (2016) Atmospheric CO2 concentrations were the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate. Nature533, 380-384

5. Talbot, H.M., Bischoff, J., Inglis, G.N., Collinson, M.E. and Pancost, R.D (2016) Polyfunctionalised bio- and geohopanoids in the Eocene Cobham Lignite. Organic Geochemistry. 96, 77-92


4. Inglis, G.N., Collinson, M.E., Riegel, W., Wilde, V., Robson, B and Pancost, R.D. (2015) Ecological and biogeochemical change in an early Paleogene peat-forming environment: linking biomarkers and palynology. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology438, 245-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.08.001

3. Inglis, G.N., Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D., Foster, G.L., Hollis, C.J., Pagani, M., Jardine, P., Pearson, P.N., Markwick, P., Galsworthy, A., Raynham, A., Taylor, K.W.R and Pancost, R. D (2015) Descent towards the Icehouse: Eocene sea surface cooling inferred from GDGT distributions. Paleoceanography. 30, 1000-1020. DOI: 10.1002/2014PA002723


2. Seki, O., Bendle, J., Harada, N., Kobayashi, M., Sawada, K., Inglis, G., Nagao, S., and Sakamoto, T., (2014) Assessment and calibration of TEX86 paleothermometry in the Sea of Okhotsk and sub-polar North Pacific region: implications for paleoceanography. Progress in Oceanography. 126, 254-266. DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2014.04.013


1. Pancost, R.D., Taylor, K.W.R., Inglis, G., Kennedy, L., Handley, L., Hollis, C., Crouch, E., Pross, J., Huber, M., Schouten, S., Pearson, P., Morgans, H., and Raine, J (2013) Early Paleogene evolution of terrestrial climate in the SW Pacific, Southern New ZealandGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems14, 5413-5429. DOI: 10.1002/2013GC004935

Further details of publications can be found in the University of Bristol publications system

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