Marine Biogeochemistry and Paleoceanography group

Elisabeth L. Sikes
Associate Professor
Paleoceanography, Marine Organic Geochemistry

Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
71 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

The blog from my last New Zealand cruise in Jan/Feb 2009 is here.

phone: 732-932-6555 ext 518

Office: Room 114C Marine and Coastal Sciences Building

Directions: By train and Rutgers bus, driving and parking from north off Turnpike, from south off US-1.  Google maps directions

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Research groups

Academic programs

Education and Outreach

Apply to the Graduate Program in Oceanography
My research interests are principally in the field of paleoceanography - the study of long-term (thousands of years) climate variability in the ocean. Within this broad field I employ isotopic (δ13C, δ18O, and 14C ) and organic biomarker (Uk37) geochemical techniques to address questions of how sea surface temperature and global circulation change on these very long time scales.

The unifying theme in my research is the interconnection of carbon cycling, ocean circulation, and global climate. I work in both modern environments and ancient sedimentary settings, primarily the late Quaternary. My modern work focuses on determining carbon pathways in both coastal environments and open ocean settings, while my paleoclimatic work investigates the Southern Ocean’s influence in glacial and interglacial regimes.

Research themes:

Using 14C as a tracer for carbon partitioning between atmospheric and oceanic reservoirs to determine water mass ventilation in the past, I examine the changing influence of the Southern Ocean on glacial climate and carbon cycling on long time scales.
I maintain a long-term focus on improving paleo-sea surface temperature estimates using the organic geochemical technique, Uk37, in conjunction with stable isotopes (δ13C and δ18O) and traditional faunally-based estimators.
In coastal environments, I trace the sources and sinks of organic matter with biomarkers and the δ13C of individual compounds. We are also investigating the transport of terrestrial organic matter to marine environments.

Teaching Outreach

Pulse of the Planet:  
Public lecture and professional development at the Liberty Science Center.  Missing SINK: Carbon Dioxide and the Ocean Connection  

Salutations from the Southern Ocean: A Scientist's Web Log Reached Further than Expected

R/V Roger Revelle in Wellington
Earthquakes and Tsunamis: 4th grade Scientist in Residence program at Community Park School, Princeton, NJ