Dr Marie Busfield

PhD Earth Sciences (Royal Holloway, University of London)MGeol Geology (University of Leicester)

Dr Marie Busfield


Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Contact Details


Marie joined DGES in Oct 2015 as a Welsh-medium Lecturer in Environmental Science. Marie’s interest in glaciation began during her undergraduate Masters at the University of Leicester, where her research focussed on the provenance of Pleistocene till in eastern Britain. She then moved to Royal Holloway, University of London, to conduct PhD research on the Neoproterozoic ice age (c. 700 million years ago) and its relation to the eponymous ‘Snowball Earth’ hypothesis. Marie's research focusses on the depositional processes and ice mass dynamics of ancient (pre-Pleistocene), Pleistocene and modern glacial environments.



My research uses detailed macro- and micro-scale sedimentology, geological mapping, structural geology and glacial sequence stratigraphy to understand the dynamic behaviour, scale and glacier thermal regime of ancient ice masses. I'm particularly interested in the Cryogenian glaciation, associated with the controversial 'Snowball Earth' hypothesis, and using detailed sedimentology to critically assess these models of extreme global glaciation. My work is predominantly field-based, involving extensive field seasons in northern Namibia, Zambia, South Australia and the Death Valley region in the western US. Current and future research involves continued interest in the Neoproterozoic glacial record throughout the western US, alongside examination of modern glacial depositional environments in regions such as the Swiss and Austrian Alps.

Research Groups


Le Heron, DP, Hogan, K, Phillips, E, Huuse, M, Busfield, M & Graham, AGC 2019, 'An Introduction to Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive' Geological Society Special Publications, vol. 475, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1144/SP475.12
Le Heron, D, Dietrich, P, Busfield, M, Kettler, C, Bermanschlager, S & Grasemann, B 2019, 'Scratching the surface: Footprint of a late Carboniferous ice sheet' Geology, vol. 47, no. 11, pp. 1034-1038. https://doi.org/10.1130/G46590.1
Le Heron, DP, Busfield, M, Ali, D, Vandyk, T & Tofaif, S 2018, 'A tale of two rift shoulders and two ice masses: the Cryogenian glaciated margin of Death Valley, California' Geological Society Special Publications, vol. 475. https://doi.org/10.1144/SP475.11
Vandyk, T, Le Heron, DP, Chew, D, Amato, J, Thirlwall, M, Dehler, C, Hennig, J, Castonguay, S, Knott, T, Tofaif, S, Ali, D, Manning, C, Busfield, M, Doepke, D & Grassineau, N 2018, 'Precambrian olistoliths masquerading as sills from Death Valley, California' Journal of the Geological Society, vol. 175, no. 3, jgs2017-002, pp. 377-395. https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2017-002
Busfield, M & Le Heron, DP 2018, 'Snowball Earth Under the Microscope' Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol. 88, no. 5, pp. 659-677. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2018.34
More publications on the Research Portal