Dr. Jennifer Wurtzel

Postdoctoral Researcher


2018        Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

                Specialty: Paleoclimatology


2012        M.S. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, United States

                 Specialty: Marine Paleoclimatology


2008        B.S. in Earth Systems Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

                 Focus: Atmospheric Science, Minor: Japanese Language, University Honors (2005, 2007)


Click here to see my full CV

Research interests

PhD Research

Ph.D. Thesis: “Reading the Rain in Rocks: A late deglacial speleothem record from Sumatra, Indonesia”      

Advisor: Associate Professor Nerilie Abram

My PhD research uses cave samples (speleothems) from Sumatra to evaluate tropical climate variability in the Indo-Pacific region over the last 16,000 years.  I have approached this work from three main angles.  First, I have used the conventional stable oxygen isotope proxy in speleothem carbonate to reconstruct changes in precipitation changes on multidecadal to centennial timescales.  Secondly, I have used phase changes in the mineralogy of the speleothem to make inferences on how rainfall variability interacts with the cave system, and ultimately, the growth of my speleothem. Lastly, I have used modern observational data and output from climate models to delve deeply into the regional climatology affecting my site.


Wurtzel, J. B., N. J. Abram, S. C. Lewis, P. Bajo, J. C. Hellstrom, U. Troitzsch, and D. Heslop (2018), Tropical Indo-Pacific hydroclimate response to North Atlantic forcing during the last deglaciation as recorded by a speleothem from Sumatra, Indonesia, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 492, 264-278, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.001.

Wurtzel, J. B., D. E. Black, R. C. Thunell, L. C. Peterson, E. J. Tappa and S. Rahman (2013), Mechanisms of southern Caribbean SST variability over the last two millennia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, doi:10.1002/2013GL058458.