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Professor Daniela Schmidt

Professor Daniela Schmidt

Professor Daniela Schmidt
Ph.D. (E.T.H.Zurich)

Professor in Palaeobiology

Area of research

Biotic response to climate change

Office G29
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 5414


My research focuses on understanding the causes and effects of global warming and ocean acidification, both in the modern era and in geological time. I am recognised as an expert in the biotic reactions of marine calcifiers to climate change. Our assessment of historical and geological records of ocean acidification covers a range of organisms from bryozoans, bivalves and corraline algae to marine plankton. My group and I are using tools from a wide range of fields including isotope geochemistry, material testing, tomography to fluid dynamics. We have applied a wide range of in-situ analytical methods such as the ion probe and electron probe, Electron backscatter diffraction and Atomic force microscopy to assess crystal growth, Synchrotron tomography, and Nano indentation for material properties to a wide range of organism potentially threatened by ocean acidification. I have contributed as a lead author of the 2014 IPCC report WGII and am currently an Expert Group Member of EU SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) of the European Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) on the topic "Food from the Oceans"

My research highlights were:

  • Linked the rate of ocean acidification to the magnitude of impact on marine ecosystems
  • Characterised past intervals of rapid environmental change and determined the biotic response to these global changes
  • Described the unique nature of our ongoing ocean acidification in a geological context
  • Developed methodologies to assess calcification response to past ocean acidification events, applied these to the best geological analogue and highlighted species specific responses to OA in the past


Wolfson Merit Scholar, Royal Society

Royal Society University Research Fellowship, University of Bristol

NERC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol

Dr. sc. nat., Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland,
Diplom in Geology/Palaeontology, Dep. of Geosciences, University Bremen.

2012     Lyell Fund (The Geological Society)
2005     W. Storrs Cole Award  (GSA)
2005     Charles Downie Award (TMS)
2003     Silver medal              (ETH Zurich)

Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change WGII, Chapter 6 Ocean Systems, AR5

Editorial Board Marine Micropalaeontology
Associated Editor Paleoceanography

Book Editorial Board, The Geological Society of London


My courses combine understanding of climate and the ecosystems exposed to changes in climate. The micropalaeontolgy course covers the main groups of marine fossilsied plankton. Students will be introduced to state of the art literatures, challenges and questions. The practical sessions of both courses expose students to generation of environmental data based on marine sediments and their biota. In the Micropalaeontology course, these methods will be applied to major transitions in Earth history (e.g. initiation of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, Pliocene warmth, Paleocene-Eocene Boundary) aiming to introduce the students to uncertainties in reconstructing past climates and limitations of the methods.

During the Spain field course, I will introduce students to sequences of biotic and abiotic response to climate change in carbonates and clastic sediments. You will be mapping an area with igneous and sedimentary features and assess how they are interlinked. 

I am supervising final year projects in our degree streams with a focus of quantitative assessment, using the new methologies my group has established, of reactions of marine calcifiers to climate change. Examples from the last years are coralline algae in Marine Protected Areas, plasticity in response to climate change and evolutionary development and its link to the environment. 


  • Marine Ecosystems
  • climate change
  • calcification

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Schmidt currently teaches 6 courses:

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