Paleoenvironments enable to understand the Earth system during major changes and crises.
Paleoenvironments provide analogues to foresee the destiny of our changing Earth.
Paleoenvironments have shaped human evolution and now we shape paleoenvironments.
My research projects focus on understanding how geodynamics, climate and life interact during major crises. I combine transdisciplinary datasets with models to determine the cause and consequences of these crises. Geodynamic, environmental and fossil data are gathered to reconstruct past geographies of our Earth and compared to climate models (see recent ERC project MAGIC Monsoons in Asia caused Greenhouse-Icehouse Cooling).
I work on the India-Asia collision region at large, including widely different geological and ecological environments such as the subarctic steppe of Central Asia or the tropical monsoonal forests of Southeast Asia. This region combines some of the most biogeographically diverse and tectonically active areas on Earth, as it straddles across the highest mountains and plateaus resulting from a complex geodynamic history throughout Phanerozoic times.
My favourite timeframe is the greenhouse to icehouse transition when the world turned from the warm greenhouse state of big mammals and dinosaurs to the icehouse state governed by ice-caps. Constraining environments in this period with enigmatic hyperthermal events and transient ice sheets is key to understand high pCO2 climate and its thresholds.
Integrate proxies into geodynamic, paleogeographic and climate models.
These results are integrated to make paleoenvironmental maps using a QGis Plugin called Terra Antiqua that we are developing. The produced maps are shared onto Map.Paleoenvironment, an interactive platform to share and discuss.
Today, this field is bringing science at the heart of the societal and economical debates defining our responsibility in preserving and sharing our planet’s fragile environments and resources.
My goals are therefore to better understand Earth processes by exploring the interfaces with other scientific fields and communicate the implications of these scientific discoveries to society through teaching and outreach projects.
Hopefully this will contribute helping us live in harmony with Nature!
2023-01 New dating of the classic Trinil Homo Erectus by Sander Hilgen
2023-01 Proto-Monsoons 38 Myrs ago evidenced by pollen fossil in Myanmar by Huasheng Huang
2022-12 First collaboration paper on Tibet Surface modelling with Xiaoping Yuan’s group at CUG wuhan
2022-05 A huge carbon sink of the PETM found in the Eurasian epicontinental sea
Mustafa’s iconic paper from his PhD thesis
2022-04 Unraveling the link between Indian Monsoons and Arabian sea upwelling
Anta-Clarisse Sarr from CEREGE finally discovers that missing link: It is the East African uplift and Arabian emergence that increased the deflection of the Somali Jet responsible for upwelling and monsoons. This result from numerical simulations of upwelling and climate works perfectly with the timing of proxies.
2022-03 Climate freaked out when the Earth turn cold!
Agathe’s paper tells you about the behaviour of climate variability under Climate change with a comparison of global climate model to a compilation of paleoenvironmental data. Nice also to understand biases in local datasets and their limitations.
2022-02-01. Deepest drilling at -500m
Deepest paleomagnetic drilling in the Potash mines of south Alsace, as part of the project on the Eocene Oligocene Transition in the Rhine Graben.
2022-01-19. Proposal Green-Ice funded!
The interdisciplinary MITI initiative from CNRS “Evènements Rares” has funded the GREEN-ICE project that will focus on the Eocene-Oligocene transition with an interdisciplinary team or 19 French researcher from 9 institution from transdisciplinary backgrounds.
Session EP14B Reconstructing Mountain Belt Tectonics and Climate
Diego Ruiz, Thomas van der Linden, Fernando Poblete, Jovid Aminov, Douwe van Hinsbergen, Mustafa Kaya, Niels Meijer, Alexis Licht, Pierrick Roperch, Carina Hoorn, Frederic Fluteau, Delphine Tardif, Yannick Donnadieu
2021-11-25. Transition climatique dans le fossé Rhénan
Emile Simon publie une bonne synthèses des enregistrements de la transition Eocène-Oligocène dans le fossé rhénan.
Emile prépare son doctorat à l’Université de Strasbourg sous la direction de Mathieu Schuster.
Emile Simon reports a nice review of the records of the Eocene-Oligocene transition in the Rhine Graben (fossé rhénan).
Emile is working on his PhD at the Strasbourg University under the guidance of Mathieu Schuster
2021-10-22. Climate variability and biome distribution
Delphine Tardif used climate models to explore the greenhouse to icehouse transition when the world turned cold 50 to 34 million years ago. She finds that short astronomical (“Milankovitch”) cycles, although usually not considered, have had a strong effect. They have radically changed the geographic distributions of climates and biomes. This can explain major changes such as the famous “Grande Coupure” that completely redefined Europe and Asian fauna and flora.
Tardif, D., Toumoulin, A., Fluteau, F., Donnadieu, Y., Le Hir, G., Barbolini, N., Licht, A., Ladant, J.B., Sepulchre, P., Viovy, N., Hoorn, C., and Dupont-Nivet, G. (2021). Orbital variations as a major driver of climate and biome distribution during the greenhouse to icehouse transition. Science Advances, 7(43), p.eabh2819. 10.1126/sciadv.abh2819
2021-09-01. Une préface pour un beau livre sur les Steppes d’Asie Centrale
Steppes Secrètes A travers les paysages du Kazakhstan, de l’Ouzbékistan, de la Mongolie et de la Chine, il vous offre une sélection de plus de 200 photographies documentaires de nature et de voyage, commentées par nombre d’anecdotes naturalistes.
2021-07-01. Terra Antiqua plugin officially released
Check out the highlight of Huansheng’s PhD on vegetation evolution during the accretion of the Burma terrane and associated paleogeographic changes. The accomplishment of years of work and the fruit of trans-disciplinary collaboration.
Huang, H., Pérez-Pinedo, D., Morley, R.J., Dupont-Nivet, G., Philip, A., Win, Z., Aung, D.W., Licht, A., Jardine, P.E. and Hoorn, C., 2021. At a crossroads: The late Eocene flora of central Myanmar owes its composition to plate collision and tropical climate. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2021.104441
2021-04-28-29. EGU presentations on MAGIC results.
Toumoulin, A., Tardif, D., Donnadieu, Y., Licht, A., Ladant, J.-B., Kunzmann, L., and Dupont-Nivet, G.: Evolution of continental temperature seasonality from the Eocene greenhouse to the Oligocene icehouse – A model-data comparison, Clim. Past Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-27, in review, 2021.
Enjoy Niel’s cutting edge thesis work including the age of the onset of Asian dust production, a new hypothesis for this dust generation and a reappraisal of grain size methods for dust interpretations. See also Niel’s great review on interpreting dust in the sedimentary record.
Meijer, N., Dupont‐Nivet, G., Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., Rohrmann, A., Zhang, Y., Liu, X.J., Licht, A., Abels, H.A., Hoorn, C. and Tjallingii, R., 2020. Loess‐like dust appearance at 40 Ma in central China. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, doi.org/10.1029/2020PA003993
The accomplishment of years of work for Fernando’s masterpiece (monsterpiece?). It includes revisions of the geologic literature over the main orogens and a new approach to making paleoreconstructions with an associated interactive website including database and updates. Check it out!
Poblete, F., Dupont-Nivet, G., Licht, A., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Roperch, P., Mihalynuk, M.G., Johnston, S.T., Guillocheau, F., Baby, G., Fluteau, F., Robin, C., Van der Linden*, T.J.M., Ruiz*, D. and Baatsen, M., (2021), Towards interactive global paleogeographic maps, new reconstructions at 60, 40 and 20 Ma, Earth Science Reviews , v. 214, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103508
The topographic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau is essential for understanding its construction and its influences on climate, environment, and biodiversity. The timing of uplift is a hugely controversial topic that is resolved in our recent paper:
Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Silvestro, D., Tardif, D., Coster, P.M.C., Meijer, N., Chang, C., Zhang, H.X., Licht, A.,Rydin, C., Koutsodendris, A., Han, F., Rohrmann, A., Liu, X-J., Zhang, Y., Donnadieu, Y., Fluteau, F., Ladant, J-B., Le Hir, G. and Hoorn, C., (2020), Cenozoic evolution of the steppe-desert biome in Central Asia, Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.abb8227
Amazing and surprising results from Jan’s thesis constrain the position of Burma to very low latitudes showing it was not part of Asia with huge implication on the India-Asia collision as well as on Asian biodiversity evolution.
Westerweel*, J., Roperch, P., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Win, Z., Poblete, F., Ruffet, G., Swe, H.H., Thi, M.K., Aung, D.W. (2019). Burma Terrane part of the Trans-Tethyan arc during collision with India according to palaeomagnetic data. Nature Geoscience. 10.1038/s41561-019-0443-2
Beautiful tools from the in the Afar of Ethiopia(Ledi-Geraru area) are finally dated and turn out to be the oldest ever found!
Braun, D. R., Aldeias, V., Archer, W. A., Arrowsmith, JR., Baraki, N., Campisano, C. J., Deino, A.L., DiMaggio, E.N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Engda, B., Feary, D.A., Garello, D.I., Kerfelew, Z., McPherron, S.P., Patterson, D.B., Reeves, J.S., Thompson, J.C., Reed, K. E., (2019), The Oldest Oldowan Artifacts at >2.58 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia Highlights Pliocene Technological Diversity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.1820177116