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Frederick (Fred) Richards

PhD Institution: University of Cambridge Class: 2018 Fellow Postdoctoral institution and lab:

Mitrovica Group, Harvard University

Specialism: Geophysics

Fred trained as a geophysicist at the University of Cambridge where he worked to understand changes in Earth’s topography caused by the flow of hot rock within our planet’s interior. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, he has crossed the Atlantic to Harvard University where he is studying prehistoric sea-level to develop new insights into how climate change may affect coastal communities. He is passionate about strengthening the role of scientific evidence in policymaking, especially in climate and energy policy.

Fred is working in Prof Jerry Mitrovica’s group to determine how high global sea-level was during the Pliocene epoch. This period, around three million years ago, was the last time atmospheric CO2 levels were as elevated as they are today. The potential impact of Fred’s work will come from combining this study of prehistoric precedent with his previous insights into the behavior of Earth’s interior to create new, more accurate predictions of future sea level rise.

Read Fred’s perspective on the importance of scientists engaging in public policy engagement and his thoughts on the skills he has learned as a Schmidt Science Fellow – ‘Of Laws and Sausages’