Ice Core Analytical Scientist
Currently seconded to the Department of Energy & Climate Change as a Geoengineering and Climate Change Adaptation Science Advisor, I am also a member of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy Fellows Network
As an Ice Core Analytical Scientist, I develop and use a continuous flow analysis (CFA) system for measuring chemicals present in ice cores which have been drilled in Antarctica and Greenland. This work is part of the Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate work-package. I use techniques such as spectrofluorometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) and fast ion chromatography (FIC), to analyse the chemical constituents of polar ice cores and reveal information about the environmental conditions of the past.
I use new analytical methods to improve our understanding of ice core dating, weather patterns, climatic change and pollution events on sub-annual to multi-millennial timescales. Some of my current research focuses on warming records in and around the Antarctic Peninsula; and the development of analytical techniques for tracing organic markers of biomass burning.
Prior to joining BAS my academic work centred on trace gases in both urban and marine atmospheres, the development of analytical techniques for measuring atmospheric composition; and modelling of the oxidative capacity of the lower atmosphere.
2010-Present: Ice Core Analytical Scientist, British Antarctic Survey.
2015: Geoengineering and Climate Change Adaptation Science Advisor, Department of Energy & Climate Change (Secondment).
2014: Visiting Fellow, Early Human Impact Programme, Università Ca’Foscari, Venice, Italy.
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, 2010; Studies of trace gases in the troposphere using broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy.
M.Chem., University of Leeds, 2005; Laboratory studies of atmospheric iodine chemistry.
My field deployments include the following multinational projects:
-PALMER Land Drilling. Science leader for a 3 month project to drill three 140m cores at separate sites along the South of the Antarctic Peninsula.
-NEEM: North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling. A comprehensive 2.5 km deep ice core drilling and analysis campaign at 77 degrees north.
–RHAMBLE: Reactive Halogens in the Marine Boundary Layer. -NERC ship “Discovery” scientific cruise in the mid Atlantic.
-BIOFLUX II: Biogenic Aerosol and Gas Fluxes, Mace Head Atmospheric Research Centre, Co. Galway, Ireland.
C.Barbante, P. Zennaro, C. Giorio, N. Kehrwald, A. K. Benton, E. W. Wolff, M. Kalberer, T. Kirchgeorg, R. Zangrando, E. Barbaro, A. Gambaro,. Organic molecules in the polar ice: from chemical analysis to environmental proxies, Vol. 17, EGU2015-10730, 2015 EGU General Assembly 2015.
A.K. Benton, L.G. Fleet, R. Tuckwell, R. Mulvaney. An improved high-resolution chromatographic technique for continuous flow analysis of major organic and inorganic anions in ice cores. Env. Sci. Tech. (in prep. 2015).
A. K. Benton, R.Mulvaney, J. Triest, N. Abram, Glacial-interglacial sea ice proxies from the Antarctic Peninsula using the James Ross Island ice core. EOS. Trans. AGU. Fall. Meet. Suppl., PP23B-1397, 2014.
A.K. Benton, E. R. Thomas, L. Fleet, J. Triest, L. Sime, R. Mulvaney; The chemical record of the past 300 years from the Bryan Coast, West Antarctica., International Partnerships in Ice Cores Sciences Conference Proceedings, 2012.
L.C. Sime, N. Lang, E. R. Thomas, A. K. Benton, R. Mulvaney; On high resolution sampling of short ice cores: Dating and temperature information recovery from Antarctic Peninsula pseudo cores, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D20117, 2011 doi:10.1029/2011JD015894.
Harrison, R. M., Dall’Osto, M., Beddows, D. C. S., Thorpe, A. J., Bloss, W. J., Allan, J. D., Coe, H., Dorsey, J. R., Gallagher, M., Martin, C., Whitehead, J., Williams, P. I., Jones, R. L., Langridge, J. M., Benton, A. K., Ball, S. M., Langford, B., Hewitt, C. N., Davison, B., Martin, D., Petersson, K. F., Henshaw, S. J., White, I. R., Shallcross, D. E., Barlow, J. F., Dunbar, T., Davies, F., Nemitz, E., Phillips, G. J., Helfter, C., Di Marco, C. F., and Smith, S.: Atmospheric chemistry and physics in the atmosphere of a developed megacity (London): an overview of the REPARTEE experiment and its conclusions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3065-3114, doi:10.5194/acp-12-3065-2012, 2012.
A. K. Benton, Studies of trace gases in the troposphere using broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy, Ph.D. Thesis, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, 2010.
A. K. Benton, J. M. Langridge, S. M. Ball, W. J. Bloss, M. Dall’Osto, E. Nemitz, R. M. Harrison, and R. L. Jones; Night-time chemistry above London: measurements of NO3 and N2O5 from the BT Tower, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 9781-9795, 2010, doi:10.5194/acp-10-9781-2010.
J. D. Lee, G. McFiggans, J. D. Allan, A. R. Baker, S. M. Ball, A. K. Benton, et al.; Reactive Halogens in the Marine Boundary Layer (RHaMBLe): the tropical North Atlantic experiments, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1031-1055, 2010, doi:10.5194/acp-10-1031-2010.
A. K. Benton, J. M. Langridge, O. Dessens, S. M. Ball, R. L. Jones, Measurements of the sum of NO3 and N2O5 in the urban, nocturnal boundary layer and studies of urban nighttime chemistry, EOS. Trans. AGU. 90(52), Fall. Meet. Suppl. Abstract A22B-07, 2009.
Harrison, R.M., Dall'Osto, M., Beddows, D.C.S., Thorpe, A.J., Bloss, W.J., Allan, J.D., Coe, H., Dorsey, J.R., Gallagher, M., Martin, C., Whitehead, J., Williams, P.I., Jones, R.L., Langridge, J.M., Benton, A.K., Ball, S.M., Langford, B., Hewitt, C.N., Davison, B., Martin, D., Petersson, K.F., Henshaw, S.J., White, I.R., Shallcross, D.E., Barlow, J.F., Dunbar, T., Davies, F., Nemitz, E., Phillips, G.J., Helfter, C., Di Marco, C.F., Smith, S.. (2012) Atmospheric chemistry and physics in the atmosphere of a developed megacity (London): an overview of the REPARTEE experiment and its conclusions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12. 3065-3114. 10.5194/acp-12-3065-2012
Sime, Louise, Lang, Nicola, Thomas, Elizabeth, Benton, Ailsa, Mulvaney, Robert. (2011) On high-resolution sampling of short ice cores: dating and temperature information recovery from Antarctic Peninsula virtual cores. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116. 17 pp. 10.1029/2011JD015894