Biology & Paleo Environment Events

Current BPE seminar organizing committee: Lorelei CurtinFrancesco MuschitielloJan-Erik Tesdal

Time and Location: Mondays at 1 pm, Comer Seminar Room

01/23/17: Gerry Rustic, postdoctoral scholar, LDEO

"Means and Extremes: ENSO variability over the last 1000 (and 100,000) years from individual foraminifera." 


The tropical Pacific Ocean plays a significant role in global climate variability on interannual time scales, and possibly on longer centennial-to-millennial timescales. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dominates tropical Pacific variability and influences temperature and precipitation patterns across the globe. Understanding the response of ENSO to a changing climate is an important challenge for climate science, but the brevity of the instrumental record compels us to look to geologic record for clues about past ENSO behavior under changing climate conditions. Analysis of individual foraminifera from deep-sea sediments opens up new dimensions in paleoclimate reconstructions, allowing for the reconstruction of not only the mean state but also the variability of oceanic conditions. In this talk I present an eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperature variability reconstruction from individual foraminifera spanning the past millennium. We identified a shift in tropical Pacific dynamics near the beginning of the Little Ice Age at ~1500CE coeval with changes in tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures suggesting a relationship between the mean state of the tropical Pacific and ENSO variability. I’ll also present work in progress on ENSO variability at the glacial-to-interglacial timescale. Using laser ablation techniques on Line Islands foraminifera, we have begun to reconstruct ENSO under varying climatic boundary conditions at different points during the late Pleistocene.

Spring 2017:

  • 01/23/17: Gerry Rustic, LDEO, “Means and Extremes: ENSO variability over the last 1000 (and 100,000) years from individual foraminifera.”
  • 01/30/17: Karina Shafer
  • 02/06/17: Joshua Spodek, NYU
  • 02/13/17:
  • 02/20/17: Senjie Lin
  • 02/27/17: Pratigya Polissar 
  • 03/06/17: Jennifer Marlon
  • 03/13/17: Spring Break (no talk)
  • 03/20/17: Katie Snell
  • 03/27/17: Hilary Palevsky
  • 04/03/17: Andrew Griffith
  • 04/10/17: Matt Harke
  • 04/17/17: 
  • 04/24/17: Jennifer Hertzberg
  • 05/01/17: Pam McElwee
  • 05/08/17: Jennifer Cherrier