Figuring out the environment in the past is difficult to say the least. You only have the rock record to go on and this is incomplete and even worse, is time-averaged. I employ numerical modelling to try and augment the rock record and understand ancient environments better. I’m currently focussing on epicontinental seas. These are vast seaways 10-100 times bigger than the North Sea and hence learning how they worked is difficult as we have no modern analogues to use. I’m currently using a mix of global and regional tidal models, 1D ocean models and field data (from places like Lyme Regis) to build up a much more detailed picture on how these seas worked.
I have also created modelling technology to simulate very detail biogeochemical models of the modern ocean. These models could also be applied to the past climate to get a better handle on how ancient ecosystems functioned.