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February 7, 2018 | 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Biological Sciences #1167 | Map
5047 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Prospective Students, Staff

The Earth and Environmental Science Seminar Series presents:  "Lessons from Corals about Environmental Change –Past, Present, and Future" with Dr. Julia Cole, PhD, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, where she just joined the faculy in Fall 2017.  Her work explores past environmental change by developing paleoclimatic data from corals, caves, and other sources. She also investigates ways to combine analyses of paleodata with climate models to refine interpretations of both. Current projects focus on areas and systems with substantial ecological or human impacts, including El Niño and Indo-Pacific variability, drought in western North America, monsoons, and coral reef environments.

Abstract: Massive coral skeletons preserve a rich history of the multivariate ways in which their environment, the tropical ocean, has changed over their lifetime. In this talk I’ll highlight what we have learned from corals about past climate variability and recent climate trends. My lab’s work on paleorecords from tropical Pacific corals has extended our knowledge of El Niño, the mechanism and pattern of recent warming, and multidecadal variability that is poorly captured in the limited instrumental record. We are also examining how the Pacific influences extratropical climate on these scales, including drought. Coral reefs are experiencing major declines worldwide, and paleoclimate records can only go so far in helping us understand those. To address solutions to this ecological crisis, and expand local understanding of the ocean and coral reefs, I am working to revitalize the ocean at the Biosphere 2 to create an experimental reef where solutions to the coral reef crisis can be developed and tested.


For more information about this event, please contact Shirley A Papuga at 313-577-9436 or