Maria Dance

Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Geography and the Environment

Supervisors: Professor Marc Macias-Fauria and Dr Erin Saupe (Earth Sciences)

The influence of Holocene sea-ice variability on Arctic biota: using the past to predict the future

Academic Profile

Maria is interested in the impacts of past and future climate change on Arctic ecosystems. Her DPhil research aims to understand the influence of sea ice variability on Arctic species since the last glacial by using panarctic sea ice reconstructions and phylogeographic data. This work aims to contribute to our understanding of the potential impacts of present-day sea ice loss on species throughout the Arctic.

Maria is a member of the Oxford NERC DTP and a guest PhD student at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). In 2019 Maria completed a NERC Policy Internship at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) where she researched a policy brief summarising climate change-biodiversity interactions and their place in international environmental policy. Maria holds an MRes in Ecosystem and Environmental Change from Imperial College London, and a BA (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford.

Awards and Funding

  • 2018 - Wolfson College Steward's Award
  • 2017 - GCEE Prize, Imperial College London
  • 2016 - College Prize & Adam's Bursary, St John's College

Selected Publications


Conference Papers

  • Dance, M., Harrison, S.P. and Prentice, I.C. (2018) The velocity of vegetation response to rapid climate changes in the past. Abstract EGU2018-5509 presented at 2018 General Assembly, European Geosciences Union. Vienna, 8-13 Apr.
Maria Dance