Project Information
CAREER: Deciphering Antarctic Climate Variability during the Temperate/Polar Transition and Improving Climate Change Literacy in Louisiana through a Companion Outreach Program
Start Date:
End Date:
Intellectual Merit:
The PI proposes a high-resolution paleoenvironmental study of pollen, spore, fresh-water algae, and dinoflagellate cyst assemblages to investigate the palynological record of sudden warming events in the Antarctic as recorded by the ANDRILL SMS drill core and terrestrial sections. These data will be used to derive causal mechanisms for these rapid climate events. Terrestrial samples will be obtained at various altitudes in the Dry Valleys region. The pollen and spores will provide data on atmospheric conditions, while the algae will provide data on sea-surface conditions. These data will help identify the triggers for sudden climatic shifts. If they are caused by changes in oceanic currents, a signal will be visible in the dinocyst assemblages first as currents influence their distribution. Conversely, if these shifts are triggered by atmospheric factors, then the shifts will first affect plants and be visible in the pollen record.

Broader impacts:
The PI proposes a suite of activities to bring field-based climate change research to a broader audience. The PI will advise a diverse group of students and educators. The palynological data collected as part of this research will be utilized, in part, to develop new lectures on Antarctic palynology and these new lectures will be made available via a collaboration with the LSU HHMI program. In addition, the PI will direct three Louisiana middle-school teachers as they pursue a Masters of Natural Science for science educators. These teachers will help the PI develop a professional development program for science teachers. Community-based activities will be organized to raise science awareness and alert students and the public of opportunities in science.
Person Role
Warny, Sophie Investigator and contact
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 1048343
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Repository Title (link) Status
USAP-DC Palynological samples list exist
  1. Anderson, J.B., Warny, S., Askin, R.A., Wellner, J.S., Bohaty, S.M., Kirshner, A.E., Livsey, D.N., Simms, A.R., Smith, T.R., Ehrmann, W. and Lawver, L.A., 2011. Progressive Cenozoic cooling and the demise of Antarctica’s last refugium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(28), pp.11356-11360. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1014885108)
  2. Feakins, S.J., Warny, S. and Lee, J.E., 2012. Hydrologic cycling over Antarctica during the middle Miocene warming. Nature Geoscience, 5(8), p.557. (doi:10.1038/NGEO1498)
  3. Levy, R., Harwood, D., Florindo, F., Sangiorgi, F., Tripati, R., Von Eynatten, H., Gasson, E., Kuhn, G., Tripati, A., DeConto, R. and Fielding, C., 2016. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(13), pp.3453-3458. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1516030113)
  4. Warny, S., Askin, R., Anderson, J.B. and Wellner, J.S., 2011. Vegetation and organic-walled phytoplankton at the end of the Antarctic greenhouse world: Latest Eocene cooling events. Tectonic, climatic, and cryospheric evolution of the Antarctic peninsula, 63, pp.193-210. (doi:10.1029/2010SP000965)
  5. Warny, S. and Askin, R., 2011. Last remnants of Cenozoic vegetation and organic-walled phytoplankton in the Antarctic Peninsula’s icehouse world. In tectonic, climatic, and cryospheric evolution of the Antarctic peninsula (Vol. 63, pp. 167-192). Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. (doi:10.1029/2010SP000996)
  6. Bohaty, S.M., Kulhanek, D.K., Wise, S.W., Jemison, K., Warny, S. and Sjunneskog, C., 2011. Age assessment of Eocene–Pliocene drill cores recovered during the SHALDRIL II expedition, Antarctic Peninsula. Tectonic, Climatic, and Cryospheric Evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula, pp.63-113. (doi:10.1029/2010SP001049)
  7. Griener, K.W., Nelson, D.M. and Warny, S., 2013. Declining moisture availability on the Antarctic Peninsula during the Late Eocene. Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 383, pp.72-78. (doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.05.004)
  8. Griener, K.W., Warny, S., Askin, R. and Acton, G., 2015. Early to middle Miocene vegetation history of Antarctica supports eccentricity-paced warming intervals during the Antarctic icehouse phase. Global and Planetary Change, 127, pp.67-78. (doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.01.006)
  9. Gulick, S.P., Shevenell, A.E., Montelli, A., Fernandez, R., Smith, C., Warny, S., Bohaty, S.M., Sjunneskog, C., Leventer, A., Frederick, B. and Blankenship, D.D., 2017. Initiation and long-term instability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Nature, 552(7684), p.225. (doi:10.1038/nature25026)
  10. Griener, K.W. and Warny, S., 2015. Nothofagus pollen grain size as a proxy for long-term climate change: An applied study on Eocene, Oligocene, and Miocene sediments from Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 221, pp.138-143. (doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2015.06.003)
  11. Warny, S., Kymes, C.M., Askin, R.A., Krajewski, K.P. and Bart, P.J., 2016. Remnants of Antarctic vegetation on King George Island during the early Miocene Melville Glaciation. Palynology, 40(1), pp.66-82. (doi:10.1080/01916122.2014.999954)
  12. Feakins, S.J., Warny, S. and DeConto, R.M., 2014. Snapshot of cooling and drying before onset of Antarctic Glaciation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 404, pp.154-166. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.07.032)
  13. Smith, C., Warny, S., Shevenell, A.E., Gulick, S.P. and Leventer, A., 2018. New species from the Sabrina Flora: an early Paleogene pollen and spore assemblage from the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica. Palynology, pp.1-10. (doi:10.1080/01916122.2018.1471422)
  14. Fernandez, R., Gulick, S., Domack, E., Montelli, A., Leventer, A., Shevenell, A., & Frederick, B. (2018). Past ice stream and ice sheet changes on the continental shelf off the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica. Geomorphology, 317, 10–22. (doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.05.020)