Biology & Paleo Environment Events

For upcoming seminars, see our calendar here.

Current Seminar Organizers: Cassaundra Rose and Samuel Phelps 

Our new seminar day and time: Mondays at 12 pm, Comer Seminar Room



Monday November 24, 12 pm: Dr. Etienne Boucher, Professor, Department of Geography and GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal. Host: Laia Andreu

"Data-model fusion in dendroclimatology: general ideas, applications, and research perspectives."



Tree rings often form the backbone of large-scale climate reconstructions spanning the last millennia. However, in many contexts where trees grow far from environmentally-stressful conditions, relationships with climate are rather complex, multivariate and non-stationary (e.g. the divergence problem) - a situation that fragilizes reconstructions and interpretations of past climate instabilities. Here, I intend to show that process-based models that represent climate-growth relationships using ecophysiologically-sound rules and equations can be of great help to overcome some of the most important difficulties that plagued the science of dendrochronology over the last decades. This is because rather than focussing on linear correlation, process models focus on causation. Thus, they are well adapted to the modelling of complex and non-linear imbrications of meteorological factors that represent “the rule rather than the exception” at the surface of the forested planet. Based on examples and datasets from France and northeastern North America, I will attempt to show that, given an adequate target network of tree ring proxies (ring widths, densities, stable isotopes), process-models used in the forward mode can help decipher proxy-climate relationships even in regions where trees are not obvious candidates for dendroclimatological analysis. Based on this successful modelling, I will also discuss the potential to run process models in the inverse mode, so to retrieve a set of plausible meteorological combinations able to generate observed tree ring parameters and contribute to a broader understanding of past climatic instabilities, based on sound ecophysiological knowledge.

  Future Talks:

  • SPECIAL SEMINAR: Wednesday August 27th @ 11:00 am, Comer Seminar Room, Dr. Fulvio Boatta, University of Palermo. Visiting scientist at LDEO. Host: Joaquim Goes  
  • Monday September 8, 12 pm: Dr. Chris Brierley, UCL. "Pliocene Tropical Dynamics." Host: Peter deMenocal.
  • Monday September 15, 12 pm: Jessica Moerman, PhD Student at Georgia Tech, "Improving tropical paleoclimate interpretations by monitoring modern water isotopes". Host: Maureen Raymo
  • Monday September 22, 12 pm: Sloan Coats, PhD Candidate LDEO
  • Monday September 29, 12 pm: Dr. Natalie Burls, Postdoctoral Associate, Yale, "A cloud albedo control on ocean temperature gradients and implications for early Pliocene warmth". Host: Heather Ford
  • Monday October 6, 12 pm: Dr. Carly Buchwald, WHOI. Host: Kim Popendorf "Nitrogen cycling in the primary and secondary nitrite maxima of the Costa Rica Upwelling Dome."
  • Monday October 13, 12 pm: Dr. Liz Corbett, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, LDEO. Host: Dorothy Peteet. "Quantifying the Microbial Utilization of Methanogenesis and Methane Loss from Northern Wetlands"
  • Monday October 20, 12 pm: Tammo Reichgelt, PhD student, University of Otago, New Zealand, "Seasonal climatic gradients of Early Miocene New Zealand". Host: Billy d'Andrea 
  • Monday October 27, 12 pm: Dr. Paola Moffa Sanchez, Postdoctoral fellow, Rutgers University. Host: Billy d'Andrea
  • Monday November 3, 12 pm: Dr. Kevin Uno, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, LDEO. Host: Peter deMenocal
  • Monday November 10, 12 pm: Dr. Bethany Jenkins, Associate Professor, University of Rhode Island. Hosts: Hugh Ducklow and Sonya Dyhrman. "Anaerobes getting their fix: a new source of nitrogen in estuarine sediments."
  • Monday November 17, 12 pm: Dr. Heather Graham, Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA/GSFC. Host: Pratigya Polissar.  
  • Monday November 24, 12 pm: Dr. Etienne Boucher, Professor, Department of Geography and GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal. "Data-model fusion in dendroclimatology: general ideas, applications, and research perspectives." Host: Laia Andreu
  • Monday December  1, 12 pm: Dr. Dan Ohnemus, Postdoctoral Researcher, Bigelow Labs. "" Host: Kim Popendorf
  • Monday December  8, 12 pm: Dr. Alessio Rovere, MARUM & Dr. Daniel Harris, postdoctoral researcher at MARUM. Host: Maureen Raymo
  • End of Fall BPE Seminar Series -AGU Annual Meeting


Additional talks can be seen on the

google calendar.