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Durham University

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Dr Lisa 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 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 natural (atmosphere/ocean/volcanic/solar) versus anthropogenic (greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions) 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, Palaeoclimatology 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

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 and the environment

Indicators of Esteem

  • Fellowships:
    • 2008 - 2010: Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellowship
    • 1996 - 1998: Oakridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship
  • Invited Presentations:
    • 2019: Speleothem Summer School, Cluj, Romania
    • 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
    • 2017 - Present: American Geophysical Union
    • 2017 - Present: Yorkshire Palaeo Group
    • 2017 - Present: The UK Palaeoclimate Society
    • 2008 - Present: European Geosciences Union
    • 2008 - Present: Geochemical Society

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Weather & climate:


Selected Grants

  • 2019: GCRF Centre for Doctoral Training Grant (PI) (£146,487)
  • 2018: PalaeoSub Research Project Grant (Co-I) (€60,000)
  • 2018: SimTIC Research Project Grant (Co-I) (€220,220)
  • 2016: Durham University Grant Seedcorn Fund Award (PI) (£1,651)
  • 2015: CoChange Research Project Grant (Co-I) (€220,000)
  • 2009: NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities (NIGFSC) Grant (PI) ($13,100)
  • 2008: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (PI) (£119,382)
  • 2006: Goldschmidt 2006 (Geochemical Society) Travel Grant
  • 2005: UCD Research Seed Funding (PI) (£9,624)
  • 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 Fellowship (PI) (£38,927)