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  James C Zachos

James C Zachos

Distinguished Professor



Physical & Biological Sciences Division

Earth & Planetary Sciences Department
Institute of Marine Sciences

Distinguished Professor


Crown College
Ocean Sciences Department


Climate Change
Earth Sciences

Earth & Marine Sciences
Earth & Marine Sciences A260

Earth & Marine Sciences D218

Earth and Planetary Sciences

B.S., State University of New York, College at Oneonta
M.S., University of South Carolina
Ph.D., Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island
Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan

Paloeoceanography, Paleoclimatology, Stratigraphy, Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Jim Zachos's research interests encompass a wide variety of problems related to the biological, chemical, and climatic evolution of late Cretaceous and Cenozoic oceans. He measures the chemical composition of shells from marine sediments to reconstruct past changes in ocean temperature & circulation, continental ice-volume, productivity, and carbon cycling. His research is oriented toward identifying the mechanisms responsible for driving long and short-term changes in global climate.

Zachos, his students, and colleagues are currently participating in several projects oriented toward understanding the nature of rapid and extreme climate transitions in earth's past. These projects involve the application of stable isotope and trace metal ratios to reconstruct the ocean temperature and chemistry and hydroclimate for several episodes of extreme climates including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (~56 mya), the middle- and early Eocene Climatic Optimums, as well as subsequent long-term cooling trends. This also includes work to quantify rare episodes of ocean acidification (acid oceans) that accompanied several of the transient warmings. He is also involved in projects designed to establish the tiiming and scale of mid-Cenozoic glaciations on orbital time scales.

Oceanography, Stable Isotope Geochemistry, Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, Oceans and Climate, Deep Time Paleoclimates, Paleoceanography

  • National Young Investigator Award
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • American Geophysical Union Emiliani Lecture
  • Humboldt Research Award
  • Fellow, Geologic Society of America
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Fellow, California Academy of Sciences
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Rhode Island
  • Milutin Milankovic Medal, European Geosciences Union
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • Ida Benson-Lynn Endowed Chair of Ocean Health
  • Member, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, State University of New York
  • Richard Foster Flint Lectureship, Yale University
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge

EART 110A - Evolution of Earth
EART 128 - Stable Isotopes: Theory and Applications
EART 258 - Deep Time Paleoclimates

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