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Department of Earth Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Lisa M. Baldini, MSc, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41943
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: S110
Assistant Professor, Hazards and Surface Change
Assistant Professor, Ice Sheets and Sea Level

Contact Dr Lisa M. Baldini (email at


I am a palaeoclimatologist, specialising in the use of stable isotopes and trace elements in stalagmite carbonate to reconstruct past climate. To strengthen palaeoclimate proxy interpretations, my research includes investigation of modern climate-isotope systematics including the influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation, hurricanes, and ITCZ migration on circum-North Atlantic precipitation isotopes. To quantify how the climate signal is emplaced in speleothem carbonate geochemistry, I also study the hydrology and geochemistry of cave drip water. Through long-term reconstructions of past climate, I hope to contribute to our understanding of the relative influence of internal (atmosphere/ocean/volcanic) versus external (solar) forcings on Earth's climate on timescales ranging from annual to millennial. I am also keen to apply insights gleaned from my palaeoclimate research to enhance prediction of and increase resilience to future climate change.

2016-Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Durham University

2010-2016: Postdoctoral Research Associate, ERC HURRICANE Project, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University

2008-2010: Marie Curie Research Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University

2008: PhD, Holocene Palaeoclimate and Low-Temperature Geochemistry, University College Dublin, Ireland

2006-2008: Re-Os Isotope Technician, Durham University

2001: MSc, Stable Isotope Geochemistry and Palaeoecology, Department of Geology, University of Georgia, USA

1995-1998: Research Fellow, Oakridge Research Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), US Army Environmental Center, Maryland, USA

1995: BSc, Geology, James Madison University, Virginia, USA

Indicators of Esteem

  • Fellowships:

    2008-2010: Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellowship

    1996-1998: Oakridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship

  • Invited Presentations:

    2017 - AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, USA

    2017 - Reece Summer School Climate Workshop, Northumbria University, UK

    2017 - Widening Participation Teacher's Conference, Durham University, UK

    2017 - Physical Geography Research Group Internal Seminar, Durham University, UK

    2015 - Great North Museum Natural Catastrophes Event, Newcastle, UK

    2012 - North Eastern Geological Society meeting, Durham, UK

    2009 - DAPHNE Project Workshop, Heidelberg, Germany

    2009 - Annual NERC Rapid Climate Change meeting, Edinburgh, UK

    2009 - 1st Cave Monitoring Workshop, Gibraltar, UK

    2008 - Goldschmidt 2008, Vancouver, British Columbia

    2005 - UCD Sesquicentennial Celebration Seminar, UCD, Ireland

  • Membership of Professional Bodies:

    2017-Present: International Journal of Speleology Editorial Board

    2008-Present: European Geosciences Union

    2008-Present: Geochemical Society

    2017-Present: American Geophysical Union

Research Groups

Department of Geography

Research Projects

Department of Earth Sciences


Research Interests

  • Quantifying the impacts of climate change on modern Maya subsistence farming communities in Belize
  • Unravelling the nature of, and the human response to, the extreme climate events that led to the 11th C Classic Maya civilisation collapse
  • Palaeoclimate reconstruction using geochemical proxies in stalagmites
  • North Atlantic Oscillation and European climate
  • Precipitation stable isotope and back trajectory analysis
  • Cave environment and hydrochemistry
  • Isotope ecology of land snails for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
  • ENSO variability and ITCZ migration
  • Long-term reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity
  • Natural and anthropogenic forcing of climate

Teaching Areas

  • GEOG1251: Understanding Earth's Principles

  • GEOG2651: Geochemistry of the Environment

  • GEOG3827: Geochemical Applications

  • GEOG2462: Scientific Research in Geography
  • GEOG2661: Climate Change Geographical Perspectives
  • GEOG3927: Past Climates of the Low Latitudes
  • L1 Academic Advisor
  • L2 Dissertation Supervisor
  • L3 Dissertation Supervisor
  • MSci Research Project Supervisor
  • PhD Supervisor


Selected Publications

Conference Paper

  • Lechleitner, F.A., Fohlmeister, J., McIntyre, C., Baldini, L.M., Jamieson, R.A., Hercman, H., Gasiorowski, M., Pawlak, J., Stefaniak, C., Socha, P., Eglinton, T.I. & Baldini, J.U.L. (2016), Construction of reliable radiocarbon-based chronologies for speleothems, EGU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria.
  • Baldini, L.M., Baldini, J.U.L., McElwaine, J., Frappier, A.B., Asmerom, Y., Liu, K.B., Prufer, K., Ridley, H.E., Polyak, V., Kennett, D.J., Macpherson, C.G., Aquino, V.V., Awe, J. & Breitenbach, S.F.M. (2016), Natural and anthropogenic forcing of North Atlantic tropical cyclone track position since 1550 A.D, EGU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria.
  • Baldini, J., McDermott, F., Baldini, L., Ottley, C., Linge, K., Clipson, N. & Jarvis, K. (2015), Automatically collected drip water data reveals daily-scale variability in cave drip water trace element concentrations, EGU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria.
  • Ridley, H., Asmerom, Y., Baldini, J., Breitenback, S., Aquino, V., Prufer, K., Culleton, B., Polyak, V., Lechleitner, F., Kennet, D., Zhang, M., Marwan, N., Macpherson, C., Baldini, L., Xiao, T., Awe, J. & Haug, G. (2014), Effects of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on ITCZ position, Goldschmidt 2014. Sacramento, California, Sacramento CA.
  • Baldini, L.M., McDermott, F., Arias Cabal, P., Baldini, J.U.L., Mattey, D., Hoffmann, D. & Muller, W. (2010), High resolution, precisely dated speleothem record of the Younger Dryas and Holocene from La Garma Cave, Northern Spain, 74: Goldschmidt 2010: Earth, Energy, & Environment Conference. Knoxville, Tennessee, Elsevier, A44.

Journal Article

  • Lechleitner, F.A., Fohlmeister, J., McIntyre, C., Baldini, L.M., Jamieson, R.A., Hercman, H., Gąsiorowski, M., Pawlak, J., Stefaniak, K., Socha, P., Eglinton, T.I. & Baldini, J.U.L. (2016). A novel approach for construction of radiocarbon-based chronologies for speleothems. Quaternary Geochronology 35: 54-66.
  • Baldini L.M., Baldini J.U.L., McElwaine J., Frappier A.B., Asmerom Y., Liu K.B., Prufer K., Ridley H.E., Polyak V., Kennett D.J., Macpherson C.G., Aquino V.V., Awe J. & Breitenbach, S.F.M. (2016). Persistent northward North Atlantic tropical cyclone track migration over the past five centuries. Scientific Reports 6: 37522.
  • Walczak, I.W., Baldini, J.U.L., Baldini, L.M., McDermott, F., Marsden, S., Standish, C.D., Richards, D.A., Andreo, B. & Slater, J. (2015). Reconstructing high-resolution climate using CT scanning of unsectioned stalagmites: A case study identifying the mid-Holocene onset of the Mediterranean climate in southern Iberia. Quaternary Science Reviews 127: 117-128.
  • Baldini, L. M., McDermott, Frank, Baldini, J. U. L., Arias, P., Cueto, M., Fairchild, I. J., Hoffmann, D. L., Mattey, D. P., Müller, W., Nita, D. C., Ontañón, R., Garciá-Moncó, C. & Richards, D. A. (2015). Regional temperature, atmospheric circulation, and sea-ice variability within the Younger Dryas Event constrained using a speleothem from northern Iberia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 419: 101-110.
  • Baldini, J.U.L., McDermott, F., Baldini, L.M., Ottley, C.J., Linge, K.L., Clipson, N. & Jarvis, K.E. (2012). Identifying short-term and seasonal trends in cave drip water trace element concentrations based on a daily-scale automatically collected drip water dataset. Chemical Geology 330-331: 1-16.
  • Fischer, M. & Baldini, L. M. (2011). A Climate-isotope regression model with seasonally-varying and time-integrated relationships. Climate Dynamics doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1009-1.
  • McDermott, F., Atkinson, T. C., Fairchild, I. J. Mattey, D. P. & Baldini, L. M. (2011). A first evaluation of the spatial gradients in d18O recorded by European Holocene speleothems. Global and Planetary Change 79(3-4): 275-287.
  • Rudzka, D., McDermott, F., Baldini, L. M., Fleitmann, D., Moreno, A. & Stoll, H. (2011). The coupled d13C-radiocarbon systematics of three Late Glacial/early Holocene speleothems; insights into soil and cave processes at climatic transitions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75(15): 4321-4339.
  • Baldini, L., McDermott, F., Baldini, J.U.L., Fischer, M.J. & Möllhoff, M. (2010). An investigation of the controls on Irish precipitation δ18O values on monthly and event timescales. Climate Dynamics 35(6): 977-993.
  • Baldini, L.M., McDermott, F. & Foley, A. (2008). Spatial variability in the European winter precipitation d18O-NAO relationship: Implications for reconstructing NAO-mode climate variability in the Holocene. Geophysical Research Letters 35(4): L04709.
  • Baldini, L. M., Walker, S.E., Railsback, L. B., Baldini, J.U.L. & Crowe, D.E. (2007). Isotopic ecology of the modern land snail Cerion, San Salvador, Bahamas: Preliminary advances toward establishing a low-latitude island paleoenvironmental proxy. Palaios 22(2): 174-187.
  • Baldini, J.U.L., Baldini, L.M., McDermott, F. & Clipson, N. (2006). Carbon dioxide sources, sinks, and spatial variability in shallow temperature zone caves: evidence from Ballynamintra Cave, Ireland. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 68(1): 4-11.
  • Baldini, J.U.L., McDermott, F, Baker, A., Baldini, L.M., Mattey, D.P. & Railsback, L.B. (2005). Biomass effects on stalagmite growth and isotope ratios: A 20th century analogue from Wiltshire, England. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 240(2): 486-494.

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