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 October 20, 12 pm: Tammo Reichgelt, PhD student, University of Otago, New Zealand. Host: Billy d'Andrea 

"Antarctic influence in Miocene New Zealand—the changing of the seasons."


Modern day climate of southern New Zealand is subject to strong ocean moderation. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, and there is a modest seasonal temperature gradient. The moderating force in southern New Zealand climate is the westerly wind belt, which strongly influences the terrestrial climate year-round, whereas seasonal forcing is mostly due to a mid-latitudinal light regime.
    Sedimentary and paleobotanical proxies suggest more pronounced seasonal climatic gradients in the early Miocene of southern New Zealand, particularly in the precipitation regime. Southward shifting of the westerly wind belt and the subtropical high pressure cell during summer is the most likely cause for this. Quantitative paleoclimatic estimates in combination with a theoretical model for evapotranspiration shows that even in a highly ocean-moderated climate, summer dry-spells versus mesic conditions in winter are possible.
    The amplitude of Miocene interannual climatic variability in southern New Zealand could be linked to orbital cycles. The Foulden Maar core spans ~120 kyr of early Miocene varved lake sediments. Investigation of the sedimentary sequences and the organic geochemistry revealed that tropical precession cycles influenced the paleohydrology of the lake. Palynology and palynofacies will be revisited for the Foulden Maar core to constrain vegetation response to variation in seasonality.

  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.
  • Monday November 17, 12 pm: Dr. Heather Graham, Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA/GSFC. Host: Pratigya Polissar
  • SPECIAL SEMINAR: Wednesday November 19, 12 pm: filming of “Antarctica: Beyond the Ice.” Film is about Hugh Ducklow's Antarctic work, and filmmaker Dena Seidel will attend. 
  • 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


Additional talks can be seen on the

google calendar.