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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Melissa Chipman

Chipman portrait

Assistant Professor: Arctic Paleoecology & Paleoclimate

Earth and Environmental Sciences

317 Heroy Geology Laboratory


I am a paleoecologist specializing in both climate and environmental reconstructions in the Arctic. Specifically, I examine geologic and biological material from lake sediment cores. Many lakes in the Arctic are thousands of years old, and sediment cores extracted from these lakes contain abundant information about how these sensitive systems have changed through time, in response to both natural variability and recent human influences. My lab group combines ecological analyses of fossil material, such as insect remains and charcoal particles, with geochemical techniques such as X-Ray Fluorescence and stable isotopes to reconstruct past environments. I am particularly interested how disturbances such fire and thermoerosion are changing in tundra and boreal areas, and incorporate both paleoecological methods and remote sensing tools to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of these processes.

For more information about my research group, a list of publications, and opportunities for students, please visit my research page here (