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Department of Geography

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

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 (Lecturer), 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

Research Groups

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

Indicators of Esteem

  • Fellowships:

    2008-2010: Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellowship

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

  • Invited Presentations:

    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

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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. Construction of reliable radiocarbon-based chronologies for speleothems. Vienna, Austria: EGU General Assembly; 2016.
  • 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. Natural and anthropogenic forcing of North Atlantic tropical cyclone track position since 1550 A.D. Vienna, Austria: EGU General Assembly; 2016.
  • Baldini, J., McDermott, F., Baldini, L., Ottley, C., Linge, K., Clipson, N. & Jarvis, K. Automatically collected drip water data reveals daily-scale variability in cave drip water trace element concentrations. Vienna, Austria: EGU General Assembly; 2015.
  • 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. Effects of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on ITCZ position. Sacramento, California: Goldschmidt 2014; 2014.

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Co-Change Research Project Grant (Collaborator)
  • 2009: NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities (NIGSFC) Grant
  • 2008: Marie Curie Research Fellowship
  • 2006: Goldschmidt 2006 (Geochemical Society) Travel Grant
  • 2005: UCD Research Seed Funding Scheme Grant
  • 2000: The Paleontological Society Research Grant
  • 2000: UGA John Sanford Levy Memorial Fund Grant
  • 1999: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Research Grant
  • 1999: UGA Wheeler-Watts Fund Grant
  • 1996: Oakridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship