Dr James Rae

Dr James Rae
Research Fellow


My research focuses on Earth's carbon cycle and climate. I am particularly interested in major environmental change in Earth's past, including rapid CO2 and climate change during the ice ages, the long-term chemical evolution of Earth's ocean and atmosphere, and the enivornmental perturbations that led to mass extinction.

To address these questions I use novel geochemical measurements on fossils, sediments, water, and ice, with a focus on the boron isotope proxy for pH and CO2. I am a PI of the St Andrews isotope Geochemistry labs (STAiG), a state-of-the-art clean room and mass spectrometry facility. I also use a variety of numerical tools to explore mechanisms of environmental change, including the cGENIE Earth System model.

I'm also fascinated by biomineralisation processes in corals and foraminifera, and the insights that geochemistry offers into calcification and ocean acidification.

I give regular public shows, lectures, and teacher development workshops on climate change. I am currently developing a series of teaching resources with Geobus and serve on the board of the Royal Meteorological Society's MetLink outreach programme.

You can follow me on Twitter @mudwaterclimate

PhD projects for 2018 entry

If you are interested in joining my group as a PhD student please take a look at the projects below and get in touch!

60 million years of CO2

Ocean acidification and mass extinction

Snowguns, seesaws, and CO2: million-year to millennial climate and productivity change in the Arctic

Modelling rapid CO2 and climate change in the Southern Ocean

Research Group


Dr William Gray

Dr Rosanna Greenop

Dr Rhian Rees-Own

PhD Students

Ben Taylor

Jess Crumpton-Banks

Eloise Littley

source: symbiosis


Recent publications

24  (of 24 published available) for jwbr. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))
2018 (24/10)
vol.562 pp.569-573
CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales
James William Buchanan Rae, Andrea Burke, L. F. Robinson, J. F. Adkins, T. Chen, Catherine Sarah Cole, Rosanna Greenop, T. Li, Dan Constantin Nita, J. A. Stewart,  

Nature Geoscience

Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean
William Robert Gray, James William Buchanan Rae, Robert C. J. Wills, Amelia E. Shevenell, Andrea Burke, Gavin L. Foster, Caroline H. Lear 
2018 (1/7)
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol.191 pp.256-274
Distribution and ecology of planktic foraminifera in the North Pacific
James William Buchanan Rae, William Robert Gray, Kate Darling, Andrea Burke, Rainer Gersonde, Andrea Abelmann, Edith Maier, Oliver Esper, Patrizia Ziveri 
2018 (10/10)
Chemical Geology
vol.497 pp.162-169
The effect of ocean acidification on tropical coral calcification
Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, James William Buchanan Rae, Adrian Anthony Finch 
Keywords: B/Ca, Dissolved inorganic carbon, Coral, Calcification, Calcification fluid, δ11B
2018 (21/6)
vol.15 pp.3779-3794
2017 (6)
vol.32 pp.580-599
Calibration of the B/Ca proxy in the planktic foraminifer Orbulina universa to Paleocene seawater conditions
Laura L. Haynes, Bärbel Hönisch, Kelsey A. Dyez, Kate Holland, Yair Rosenthal, Carina R. Fish, Adam V. Subhas, James William Buchanan Rae 
Keywords: O. universa, B/Ca, Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Ocean acidification, Planktic foraminifera
2016 (5)
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences
Biogeochemical significance of pelagic ecosystem function
Michael Henehan, Pincelli Hull, Donald Penman, James William Buchanan Rae, Daniela Schmidt 
Keywords: LOSCAR, Ecosystem Function, Bolide Impact, Biogeochemical Cycling, Cretaceous-Palaeogene Extinction, Mass extinction
2016 (10)
Marine Micropaleontology
vol.128 pp.28-38
2016 (6)
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Reconstructing ocean pH with boron isotopes in foraminifera
Gavin Foster, James William Buchanan Rae 
2015 (12/2)
vol.518 pp.219-22
Boron isotope evidence for oceanic carbon dioxide leakage during the last deglaciation
M A Martínez-Botí, G Marino, G L Foster, P Ziveri, M J Henehan, James William Buchanan Rae, P G Mortyn, D Vance 
2015 (4)
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
vol.16 pp.1052-1069
Evaluating the utility of B/Ca ratios in planktic foraminifera as a proxy for the carbonate system
M.J. Henehan, G.L. Foster, James William Buchanan Rae, K.C. Prentice, J. Erez, H.C. Bostock, B.J. Marshall, Paul Joseph Wilson 
Keywords: Globigerinoides ruber, B/Ca ratios, Planktic foraminifera, pH proxy, Trace elements, Proxy calibration
Nature Geoscience
vol.8 pp.420
Reply to 'Pliocene warmth and gradients'
Charlotte O'Brien, Gavin Foster, James William Buchanan Rae, Richard Pancost 
2014 (6)

Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO2 rise
James William Buchanan Rae, Michael Sarnthein, Gavin Foster, Andy Ridgwell, Pieter Grootes, Tim Elliott 
Keywords: radiocarbon, boron isotopes, North Pacific, deglacial CO2, deep water formation, atmospheric teleconnections
2014 (8)
Nature Geoscience
vol.7 pp.606-611
High sea surface temperatures in tropical warm pools during the Pliocene
Charlotte O'Brien, Gavin Foster, Miguel Martinez-Boti, Richard Abell, James William Buchanan Rae, Richard Pancost 
2013 (6)
vol.28 pp.237-252
2013 (15/2)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
vol.364 pp.111-122
Calibration of the Boron Isotope Proxy in the Planktonic Foraminifera Globigerinoides ruber for use in palaeo-CO2 reconstruction
Michael J. Henehan, James William Buchanan Rae, Gavin L. Foster, Jonathan Erez, Katherine C. Prentice, Michal Kucera, Helen C. Bostock, Miguel A. Martinez-Boti, J. Andy Milton, Paul A. Wilson, Brittney J. Marshall, Tim Elliott 
Keywords: boron isotopes, Globigerinoides ruber, MC-ICPMS, culture calibration, pCO2 reconstruction, planktic foraminifera
Chemical Geology
vol.358 pp.1-14
Interlaboratory comparison of boron isotope analyses of boric acid, seawater and marine CaCO3 by MC-ICPMS and NTIMS
G. L. Foster, B. Hoenisch, G. Paris, G. Dwyer, James William Buchanan Rae, T Elliott, J. Gaillardet, G. Hemming, P. Louvat, A. Vengosh 
2013 (15/9)
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol.76 pp.39-52
Responses of the deep ocean carbonate system to carbon reorganization during the last glacial-interglacial cycle
J Yu, R. F. Anderson, Z. Jin, James William Buchanan Rae, B. N. Opdyke, S. Eggins 
2012 (8)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
vol.341-344 pp.243-254
The evolution of pCO2, ice volume and climate during the middle Miocene
Gavin L. Foster, Caroline H. Lear, James William Buchanan Rae 
Keywords: boron isotopes, middle Miocene, pCO2, climate change
2011 (1/2)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
vol.302 pp.403-413
Boron isotopes and B/Ca ratios in benthic foraminifera
James William Buchanan Rae, Gavin L. Foster, Daniela N. Schmidt, Tim Elliott 
Keywords: boron isotopes, B/Ca, foraminifera, pH, proxy, pore water

CO2SYS v 1.1
S. van Heuven, D. Pierrot, James William Buchanan Rae, E. Lewis, D. W. R. Wallace 
2010 (8)
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Boron and magnesium isotopic composition of seawater
G. L. Foster, P. A. E. Pogge von Strandmann, James William Buchanan Rae 

Contact Details:

Dr James Rae
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

tel: 01334 463910
room: 502
email: jwbr@st-andrews.ac.uk



Scottish Oceans Institute
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
STAIG Principle Investigators

edit jwbr details