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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: 

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

  

Exploration of open ocean seaweed cultivation selected for inaugural Dean for Research fund for the Sustainability of Our Planet award
Sept. 30, 2022
Author
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

An exploratory project to investigate the benefits of farming seaweed in the open ocean has been selected for funding from Princeton’s Dean for Research Innovation Fund for the Sustainability of Our Planet

CBS News: Climate change making hurricanes more intense
Sept. 30, 2022
Author
Written by CBS News

As climate change progresses, reports show it makes hurricanes more destructive and intense. Gabriel Vecchi, a geoscience professor, director of The High Meadows Environmental Institute and deputy director of the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System at Princeton University, joins "CBS News Mornings" to detail how…

Newsy Evening Debrief: How climate change fuels monster storms
Sept. 29, 2022
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Written by Newsy

It took less than 3 hours for Hurricane Ian to strengthen from a Category 3 to a Category 4 and was almost a Cat 5 when it made landfall and scientists are warning storms are going to become more frequent and more intense in the years to come. The question is why? Professor of geosciences…

How climate change is making storms such as Hurricane Ian stronger explained by Prof. Gabriel Vecchi
Sept. 29, 2022
Author
Written by NPR Morning Edition

Hurricane Ian and Typhoon Noru strengthened quickly before landfall. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Princeton University professor Gabriel Vecchi about climate-fueled intensification. (4-Minute Listen)

Rapidly intensifying hurricanes hitting US on the rise
Sept. 26, 2022
Author
Written by AccuWeather's Climate Central

AccuWeather's Climate Central speak with Princeton climate scientist Prof. Gabe Vecchi, and other climate experts, about warmer oceans that led to more tropical systems that rapidly intensity and cause more damage along America's coastline.

Volcanic ‘Mega-Eruptions’ Have Been The Key Driver Of Mass Extinctions, New Study Claims
Sept. 21, 2022
Author
Written by David Bressan, Forbes Science

A new Dartmouth College-led study reports that volcanic activity appears to have been the key driver of mass extinctions for most of Earth's history. (Green, Keller *16)
 

Congratulations to Dr. John Tracey for successfully defending his Ph.D. Thesis
Sept. 12, 2022

The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. John Tracey on successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis: "Biogeochemistry of Nitrogen Cycling in Low O2 Waters From Oxygen Minimum Zones, Soda Lakes, to Cultures" on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The Gem and Mineral Collection of The Department of Geosciences curates a new 2nd floor mineral display
Sept. 7, 2022

Do get a chance to stop-by the new 2nd floor mineral display curated by Hanna Szabo ’22 (pictured above).

During her summer internship Hanna created a display that focuses on the many varieties and forms of silica, drawing from our department’s extensive collection that includes donations from many Princeton…

Climate change and ocean oxygen: Oxygen-poor zones shrank under past warm periods, scientists discover
Aug. 31, 2022
Author
Written by Office of Communication, Princeton University

In the last 50 years, oxygen-deficient zones in the open ocean have increased. Scientists have attributed this development to rising global temperatures: Less oxygen dissolves in warmer water, and the tropical ocean’s layers can become more stratified.

But now... (SigmanAuderset)


 

More recent articles

Exploration of open ocean seaweed cultivation selected for inaugural Dean for Research fund for the Sustainability of Our Planet award
Sept. 30, 2022
Author
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

An exploratory project to investigate the benefits of farming seaweed in the open ocean has been selected for funding from Princeton’s Dean for Research Innovation Fund for the Sustainability of Our Planet

CBS News: Climate change making hurricanes more intense
Sept. 30, 2022
Author
Written by CBS News

As climate change progresses, reports show it makes hurricanes more destructive and intense. Gabriel Vecchi, a geoscience professor, director of The High Meadows Environmental Institute and deputy director of the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System at Princeton University, joins "CBS News Mornings" to detail how…

Newsy Evening Debrief: How climate change fuels monster storms
Sept. 29, 2022
Author
Written by Newsy

It took less than 3 hours for Hurricane Ian to strengthen from a Category 3 to a Category 4 and was almost a Cat 5 when it made landfall and scientists are warning storms are going to become more frequent and more intense in the years to come. The question is why? Professor of geosciences…

How climate change is making storms such as Hurricane Ian stronger explained by Prof. Gabriel Vecchi
Sept. 29, 2022
Author
Written by NPR Morning Edition

Hurricane Ian and Typhoon Noru strengthened quickly before landfall. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Princeton University professor Gabriel Vecchi about climate-fueled intensification. (4-Minute Listen)

Rapidly intensifying hurricanes hitting US on the rise
Sept. 26, 2022
Author
Written by AccuWeather's Climate Central

AccuWeather's Climate Central speak with Princeton climate scientist Prof. Gabe Vecchi, and other climate experts, about warmer oceans that led to more tropical systems that rapidly intensity and cause more damage along America's coastline.