Earth & Planetary Sciences Faculty

James Zachos
  • Title
    • Professor
    • Department Chair
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences
  • Department
    • Earth & Planetary Sciences Department
    • Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Affiliations Crown College
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location Earth & Marine Sciences A260
  • Office Hours TBA
  • Mail Stop Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Climate Change, Earth Sciences, Geochemistry
  • Courses Taught EART 110A - Evolution of Earth; OCEA 102 - Oceans and Climate: Past, Present, and Future; EART 128 - Stable Isotopes: Theory and Applications; EART 258 - Deep Time Paleoclimates; EART 290T - Research Seminar; EART 120 - Sedimentology/Stratigraphy; EART 1 - Oceanography

Summary of Expertise

Paloeoceanography, Paleoclimatology, Stratigraphy, Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Research Interests

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 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 utilizing sediment archives to establish the approximate timing and extent of continental glaciations during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs (between 15 to 35 million years ago).

Biography, Education and Training

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

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • National Young Investigator Award
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • AGU 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
  • 2016 Milutin Milankovic Medal, European Geosciences Union
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences

Selected Publications

Complete list of Publications

Teaching Interests

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