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Elizabeth Niespolo, Assistant Professor of Geosciences

Research Summary:  Niespolo combines field work with applications in isotope geochemistry to anchor climatic, fossil, and archaeological records to precise timescales and in relation to environmental changes. The “tool kit” of her group emphasizes radioisotopic dating with additional activities in light stable isotope geochemistry, petrology, field geology, and archaeological excavation. A major focus of her research addresses outstanding questions on the timing and tempo of human evolution, including the development of modern human behaviors and the timing of global-scale human colonization. Other research foci include using petrology and isotopes to understand paleoenvironments, crustal processes, development of new isotopic applications, and in situ measurements to investigate geochemical heterogeneity in natural materials. Niespolo is setting up a laser ablation ICP-MS and U-series geochronology laboratory at Princeton.

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Elizabeth Niespolo
Assistant Professor
of Geosciences

Biography:  Elizabeth Niespolo is an Assistant Professor in Geosciences. She is also Associated Faculty of the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), a member of the Executive Committee for the Certificate in Archaeology program (Art & Archaeology), and is a Research Associate with the Human Evolution Research Institute (HERI) based at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Elizabeth completed her undergraduate study (2009) at the University of California Berkeley with a double major in Astrophysics and Classics. After traveling for field work, and teaching, she returned to school to complete a M.S. (2014) in Geology at California State University Long Beach and a Ph.D. (2019) in Earth & Planetary Science at Berkeley. She is from Oakland, California

Related News: 

What Dinosaur eggshells can teach us about forgotten ecosystems Princeton Research (2022)

Discarded ostrich shells provide timeline for our early African ancestorsThe Leakey Foundation (2021)

How a geochronologist learns to “read rocks,” The Human Evolution Research Institute (HERI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) (2020)

In The News

  

Viral Tweet Misrepresents NOAA Report on Rising Global Temperature
Jan. 27, 2023
Author
Written by Saranac Hale Spencer, FactCheck.org

The warming trend in global temperature continued in 2022, which was the sixth-warmest year on record, according to a recent report from the NOAA. But a viral tweet — using just a small segment of a NOAA graph — wrongly claimed the agency had announced a “global cooling” trend. Professor of geosciences Gabriel Vecchi explains…

Congratulations to Dr. John Geary Murphy for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis
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Congratulations to Dr. Xuyuan Ellen Ai for successfully defending her Ph.D. Thesis
Jan. 24, 2023

Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Ai on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis! The title of her thesis was "On the Role of the Southern Ocean in the Glacial-Interglacial Cycles of the Past 460,000 Years: Changes in Wind-Driven Upwelling and Ocean Front Position Revealed by Reconstructed Surface Ocean Nutrient Conditions and Temperatures."

Bering Land Bridge formed surprisingly late during last ice age
Dec. 27, 2022
Author
Written by Alaina O'Regan, Office of the Dean for Research

Princeton scientists found that the Bering Land Bridge, the strip of land that once connected Asia to Alaska, emerged far later during the last ice age than previously thought. (Sigman, Farmer, Pico ’14 mention)

Modeling Earth’s future: Princeton researchers project a planet affected by climate change
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Author
Written by High Meadows Environmental Institute

The work of climate modelers informs public policy and influences strategies for mitigating risks and adapting to change.

Michael Oppenheimer writes chapter in Greta Thunberg’s new book
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Author
Written by Molly Seltzer, Office of Communications

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Special Event: Space: The Final Frontier of Microbial Communities
Nov. 4, 2022

Jan 18, 2023, 9:00 am – Jan 20, 2023, 2:30 pm
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Current Issue of the Fall 2022 "Smilodon" Published
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The current issue of the Fall 2022 Smilodon Newsletter has been published to the Geosciences website.

Emily Wild announced as 2022 Geoscience Information Society’s Mary B. Ansari Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Oct. 19, 2022

Emily C. Wild, the Chemistry, Geosciences and Environmental Studies Librarian at Princeton University Library (PUL), is the recipient of the 2022 Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) Mary B. Ansari Distinguished Service Award. The award was announced by the GSIS and will be presented virtually at the GSIS Annual Business Meeting on November 3, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.


 

More recent articles

Viral Tweet Misrepresents NOAA Report on Rising Global Temperature
Jan. 27, 2023
Author
Written by Saranac Hale Spencer, FactCheck.org

The warming trend in global temperature continued in 2022, which was the sixth-warmest year on record, according to a recent report from the NOAA. But a viral tweet — using just a small segment of a NOAA graph — wrongly claimed the agency had announced a “global cooling” trend. Professor of geosciences Gabriel Vecchi explains…

Congratulations to Dr. John Geary Murphy for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis
Jan. 24, 2023

Congratulations to Dr. John Geary Murphy on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis! The title of his thesis was "Carbonate Archives of Seawater Lithium: Element and Isotope Ratios, Diagenesis, and the History of Seawater Chemistry."

Congratulations to Dr. Xuyuan Ellen Ai for successfully defending her Ph.D. Thesis
Jan. 24, 2023

Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Ai on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis! The title of her thesis was "On the Role of the Southern Ocean in the Glacial-Interglacial Cycles of the Past 460,000 Years: Changes in Wind-Driven Upwelling and Ocean Front Position Revealed by Reconstructed Surface Ocean Nutrient Conditions and Temperatures."

Bering Land Bridge formed surprisingly late during last ice age
Dec. 27, 2022
Author
Written by Alaina O'Regan, Office of the Dean for Research

Princeton scientists found that the Bering Land Bridge, the strip of land that once connected Asia to Alaska, emerged far later during the last ice age than previously thought. (Sigman, Farmer, Pico ’14 mention)

Modeling Earth’s future: Princeton researchers project a planet affected by climate change
Dec. 13, 2022
Author
Written by High Meadows Environmental Institute

The work of climate modelers informs public policy and influences strategies for mitigating risks and adapting to change.