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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

  

Update: Deep Learning Poised to ‘Blow Up’ Famed Fluid Equations (podcast)
Aug. 5, 2022
Author
Written by Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine

Related article: Announcing the latest Quanta Science podcast which features the work from the Lai Research Group in collaboration with colleagues in math at Princeton. (Lai, Wang, Cowen-Breen mention) 

Without human-caused climate change temperatures of 40°C in the UK would have been extremely unlikely
July 29, 2022

Scientists from South Africa, Germany, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, United States of America (including Gabe Vecchi and Wenchang Yang) and the United Kingdom, collaborated to assess to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the heatwave.

World Weather Attribution Study: Climate change made UK heat wave hotter, more likely
July 29, 2022

A team of international scientists, that includes Gabe Vecchi and Wenchang Yang, found that the heat wave that set a new national record high at 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit) was made stronger and more likely by the buildup of heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil…

Shark Week was every week for megalodon
July 26, 2022

New Princeton research shows that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the biggest sharks that ever lived, were apex predators at the highest level ever measured. Featured video a YouTube video with Prof. Daniel Sigman and Emma Kast *20.

UK forecasters issue first-ever 'red' warning for exceptional heat with all-time records poised to topple
July 18, 2022

Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist and geosciences professor at Princeton University, told CNN that this is a signal of the climate crisis, and hot extremes outpacing cool extremes has been a notable trend in recent years.

A novel crystal structure sheds light on the dynamics of extrasolar planets
July 18, 2022

Scientists use Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source to study large, extrasolar planets that can shed light on how planets in our galaxy form and evolve. (Duffy, Dutta mention)

Princeton University launches an environmental newsletter titled "The Charge"
July 13, 2022

Princeton University just launched The Charge, a new energy and environmental (E/E) newsletter. This month features research on hurricanes from Ning Lin, threats to marine life from Curtis Deutsch and colleagues, and commentary on the price at the pump from Alan Blinder, to name a few highlights. Also includes insights from Michael Oppenheimer and Stephen Pacala on the Supreme court's recent ruling that limits the EPA policies.

Srijan Bharati Das recipient of the 2022 Elisabeth H. and F. A. Dahlen Fund
June 27, 2022

The Department of Geosciences has named Srijan Bharati Das as the recipient of the 2022 Elisabeth H. and F. A. Dahlen Fund. The fund was established in 2010 to advance the theoretical…

What did Megalodon eat? Anything it wanted — including other predators
June 23, 2022

New Princeton research shows that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the biggest sharks that ever lived, were apex predators at the highest level ever measured. (Kast, Sigman, Rao, Akhtar mention)


 

More recent articles

Update: Deep Learning Poised to ‘Blow Up’ Famed Fluid Equations (podcast)
Aug. 5, 2022
Author
Written by Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine

Related article: Announcing the latest Quanta Science podcast which features the work from the Lai Research Group in collaboration with colleagues in math at Princeton. (Lai, Wang, Cowen-Breen mention) 

Without human-caused climate change temperatures of 40°C in the UK would have been extremely unlikely
July 29, 2022

Scientists from South Africa, Germany, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, United States of America (including Gabe Vecchi and Wenchang Yang) and the United Kingdom, collaborated to assess to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the heatwave.

World Weather Attribution Study: Climate change made UK heat wave hotter, more likely
July 29, 2022

A team of international scientists, that includes Gabe Vecchi and Wenchang Yang, found that the heat wave that set a new national record high at 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit) was made stronger and more likely by the buildup of heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil…

Shark Week was every week for megalodon
July 26, 2022

New Princeton research shows that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the biggest sharks that ever lived, were apex predators at the highest level ever measured. Featured video a YouTube video with Prof. Daniel Sigman and Emma Kast *20.

UK forecasters issue first-ever 'red' warning for exceptional heat with all-time records poised to topple
July 18, 2022

Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist and geosciences professor at Princeton University, told CNN that this is a signal of the climate crisis, and hot extremes outpacing cool extremes has been a notable trend in recent years.