Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Vera Pospelova


Tate Hall, 370



PhD, 2003, McGill University


Research Interests

My research is motivated by fundamental questions: how human activity affects estuarine ecosystems, how the changing climate impacts coastal environments, how past abrupt climatic changes impacted marine primary productivity, and how to reliably extract quantitative information on paleoenvironments from marine sediments. To fully answer these questions, and define the baseline and range for natural variability, we need to have long-term time series of biological and environmental change, obtained from proxy data and monitoring efforts.

I use organic-walled microfossils (palynomorphs: dinoflagellate cysts, foraminiferal organic linings, pollen and spores, etc.) and geochemical proxies as indicators of past and present environmental conditions. Marine palynomorphs can be well preserved in sediments, and their records contain information about environmental conditions at the time of deposition, which can be used to investigate sea-surface conditions, ocean circulation, climate, pollution and eutrophication, both now and in the geological past. In particular, I focus my research on the calibration of dinoflagellate cysts as biological indicators of environmental conditions and on high-resolution reconstructions of paleoenvironments in the late Quaternary.


Selected publications: