Reed Scherer

Research Interests

Using evidence recorded in siliceous microfossils, notably diatoms, the chief focus of my research relates to history of the Antarctic ice sheet and other studies of climate change through time. I have documented past collapse events of the West Antarctic ice sheet and East Antarctic ice sheet variation. A new area of focus is study of early Paleogene records of North Atlantic/Arctic history, including the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). With support from the National Science Foundation over the last 35 years, I have participated in four International Ocean Discovery Program expeditions and 10 expeditions to Antarctica.

Selected Recent Publications

Coenen, J., Scherer, R., Baudoin, P., Warny, S., Castañeda, I., and Askin, R., 2020. Paleogene marine and terrestrial development of the West Antarctic Rift System. Geophysical Research Letters.

Kingslake*, J., Scherer*, R., Albrecht*, T., Coenen, J., Powell, R., Reese, R., Stansell, N., Tulaczyk, S., and Whitehouse, P., 2018. Extensive retreat and re-advance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Holocene. Nature. (*Co-lead authors)

Scherer, R.P., DeConto, R., Pollard, D. and Alley, R.A., 2016. Windblown Pliocene diatoms and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat. Nature Communications.


  • Introduction to ocean science
  • Paleogeography, paleoclimatology, paleoecology
  • Environments and life through time
  • Upper level and graduate courses in invertebrate paleontology, micropaleontology, scientific writing and presentation and seminar courses in paleoceanography, diatom paleoecology and biostratigraphy

Reed Scherer

Board of Trustee Professor
Distinguished Research Professor

Micropaleontology and Biostratigraphy
Davis Hall 301A


  • Ph.D. The Ohio State University
  • M.S. University of South Carolina
  • B.S. Southampton College (Long Island University)

Contact Us

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
Davis Hall, Room 312

815-753-0631 (undergraduate)
815-753-1943 (graduate)

815-753-1945 (fax)

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