China and Central Asia


My work in China, which has developed over the past decade, has involved close links with Lanzhou University, where I am a visiting professor. Our work has involved reconstruction of effective moisture histories over the past millennium for western China based on lake sediment records from the Tibetan Plateau and the Badain Jaran Desert. UK-based collaborators include Andy Henderson (Newcastle) and Mike Edmunds (Oxford). My main Chinese collaborators are Fahu Chen, Jiawu Zhang and Xiaozhong Huang. In 2009, I organised, with colleagues at Lanzhou, an Advanced summer school on lake-sediments and arid-zone climate change, funded by RCUK, NSFC, UCL and LZU. Much earlier in my career, my doctoral work was undertaken in Kashmir, NW Himalaya. More recently, I have become involved in collaborative work on lake-sediment sequences in Iran with Matt Jones (Nottingham)


Lake-sediment exposure, Pattan, Kashmir

Front cover of an English-Mandarin brochure for water managers, one outcome of a British Council project, led by Rick Battarbee (UCL) and Fahu Chen (Lanzhou)

Selected Publications

Henderson, A.G.C. Holmes, J. A., Leng, M. J. (2010) Late Holocene isotope hydrology of Lake Qinghai, NE Tibetan Plateau: effective moisture variability and atmospheric circulation changes. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 2215-2223.

Kramer, M. Holmes, J. A. (2009) Taxonomy and Palaeoecology of Ostracoda from the middle-to-late Pleistocene upper Karewa formation of Kashmir Valley, Northern India. Journal of Micropalaeontology 28, 25-36.

Holmes,J.A., Zhang,J., Chen,F., Qiang,M. (2007). Paleoclimatic implications of an 850-year oxygen-isotope record from the northern Tibetan Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters  34, L23403, doi:10.1029/2007GL032228.