Nathan D. Stansell

Research Interests

My research interests apply a wide range of methods to better understand past climatic changes on a range of timescales. Some of the highlights include:

  • Stable isotope geochemistry and paleolimnology in western North America, Central America and South America
  • Proglacial lake sediment stratigraphy in the tropical Andes
  • Cosmogenic radionuclide dating in the tropical Andes
  • Glacier mass-balance modeling
  • High latitude climate and carbon dynamics

I currently maintain an Associate Researcher position in the Long-term Ecology Lab at University of Oxford.

Selected Publications

Stansell, N.D., Klein, E.S., Fortney, C., Dodd, J., Finkenbinder, M.S., Terasmaa, J., Nelson, D.B. (in press). A stable isotope record of Holocene precipitation dynamics from Lake Nuudsaku, Estonia. Quaternary Science Reviews.

Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Stoner, J.S., Ortiz, J.D., Finney, B.P., Dorfman, J.M., Stansell, N.D. (in revision). Millennial-scale variability in Holocene climate from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews.

Stansell, N.D., Licciardi, J. Rodbell, D.T., Mark, B.G. (2017). Tropical ocean-atmospheric forcing of Late Glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Geophysical Research Letters (44). DOI: 10.1002/2016GL072408. Access data.

Mark, B.G., Stansell, N.D., Zeballos Castellon, G. (2017). The last deglaciation of Peru and Bolivia. Cuadernos de Investigación Geográfica 43 (2) pp. 591-628.

Steinman, B.A., Pompeani, D., Abbott, M.B., Ortiz, J., Stansell, N.D., Mihindukalasooriya, L, Hillman, A., Finkenbinder, M. (2016). Oxygen isotope records of Holocene climate variability in the Pacific Northwest. Quaternary Science Reviews 142: 40-60. DOI:10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.04.012

Stansell, N.D., Rodbell, D.T., Licciardi, J.M., Avriel D. Schweinsberg, Huss, E.G., Finkel, R.C., Zimmerman, S.R. (2015). Late Glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations at Nevado Huaguruncho in the Eastern Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. Geology. DOI:10.1130/G36735.1. Lake sediment data, data repository, radiocarbon and cosmogenic data.

Steinman, B.A., Abbott, M.B., Mann, M.E., Ortiz, J., Feng, S., Pompeani, D., Stansell, N.D. anderson, L.A., Finney, B.P., Bird, B.W.. (2014). Ocean-atmosphere forcing of centennial hydroclimate variability in the Pacific Northwest. Geophysical Research Letters 41: 7: 2553-2560. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059499.

Stansell, N.D., Polissar, P.J., Abbott, M.B., Bezada, M., Steinman, B.A., Braun, C. (2014). Proglacial lake sediment records reveal Holocene climate changes in the Venezuelan Andes. Quaternary Science Reviews 89: 44-55. Access data.

Stansell, N.D., Rodbell, D.T., Abbott, M.B., Mark, B.G. (2013). Proglacial lake sediment records of Holocene climate change in the western Cordillera of Peru (Invited Review). Quaternary Science Reviews 13: 1-14. Access data.

Stansell, N.D., Steinman, B.A., Abbott, M.B., Rubinov, M., Roman-Lacayo, M. (2013). Lacustrine stable isotope record of climate change in Nicaragua during the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Geology 41: 151-154. Access data.

Stansell, N.D. (2013). Radiocarbon ages for the timing of debris avalanches at Mombacho Volcano. Bulletin of Volcanology 75: 1: 1-4.

Klein, E.S., Booth, R.K.,Yu, Z, Mark, B.G., Stansell, N.D. (2013). Surficial geology influences the response of peatland carbon accumulation to climate variability: a comparative study of two peatlands in a glaciated valley in Southcentral Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 64: 61-75.

Steinman, B.A., Abbott, M.B., Stansell, N.D., Nelson, D.B., Finney, B.P., Rosenmeier, M.F. (2013). Isotopic and hydrologic responses of small closed basin lakes to climate variability: Comparison of measured and modeled lake level and sediment core oxygen isotope records. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 105: 455-471.

Steinman, B.A., Abbott, M.B., Mann, M.E., Stansell, N.D., Finney, B.P. (2012) 1500-year quantitative reconstruction of precipitation from the Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1201083109. Access data.

Bird, B.W., Abbott, M.B., Vuille, M., Rodbell, D.T., Stansell, N.D., Rosenmeier, M.F. (2011). A 2,300-year-long annually resolved record of the South American summer monsoon from the Peruvian Andes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1003719108. Access data.

Nelson, D.B., Abbott, M.B., Steinman, B.A., Polissar, P.J., Stansell, N.D., Ortiz, J. D., Rosenmeier, M.F., Finney, B., Riedel, J. (2011). A 6,000-yr Lake Record of Drought from the Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1009194108. Access data.

Montoya, E., Rull, V., Stansell, N.D., Bird, B., Nogue, S., Vegas-Vilarrubia, T., Abbott, M., Diaz, W. (2011). Vegetation changes in the Neotropical Gran Sabana (Venezuela) around the Younger Dryas Chron. Journal of Quaternary Science 26: 207-218.

Montoya, E., Rull, V., Stansell, N.D., Abbott, M.B., Nogue, S., Bird, B.W., Diaz, W.A.. (2011). Forest-savanna-morichal dynamics in relation to fire and human occupation during the last millennia. Quaternary Research 76: 335-344.

Stansell, N.D., Abbott, M.B., Rull, V., Rodbell, D., Bezada, M., Montoya, E. (2010). Abrupt Younger Dryas Cooling in the Northern Tropics Recorded in Lake Sediments from the Venezuelan Andes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 293: 154-162. Access data.

Rull, V., Stansell, N.D., Montoya, E., Bezada, M., Abbott, M.B. (2010). Palynological Signal of the Younger Dryas in the tropical Venezuelan Andes. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 3045-3056.

Stansell, N.D., Polissar, P.J. and Abbott, M.B. (2007a). Last Glacial Maximum Equilibrium-Line Altitude and Paleo-Temperature Reconstructions for the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuelan Andes. Quaternary Research 67: 115-127.

Stansell, N.D., Abbott, M. B., Polissar, P. J., Wolfe, A. P., Bezada, M., Rull, V. (2007b). Reply: Late Quaternary Deglacial History of the Mérida Andes, Venezuela: response to comment. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22(8) 823-825. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1109.

Stansell, N.D., Abbott, M. B., Polissar, P. J., Wolfe, A. P., Bezada, M., Rull, V. (2005). Late Quaternary Deglacial History of the Mérida Andes, Venezuela. Journal of Quaternary Science, Special Issue: Paleoclimate records from the Americas, in Memory of Geoffrey Owen Seltzer. 40(7-8), 801-812.


  • Introductory Physical Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Climate Change
  • Climatology
  • Geology of the National Parks
  • Stratigraphy

Assistant Professor
Paleoclimatology, Glacial Geology, Stable Isotope Geochemistry, Paleolimnology, Quaternary Stratigraphy, Radiometric Dating Methods

416B, Davis Hall

Paleoclimatology Lab

Stable Isotope Lab


Postdoctoral Researcher, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University

Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh

M.S. University of Pittsburgh

B.S., Geology, University of Idaho

B.S., Anthropology, University of Idaho

Contact Us

Geology and Environmental Geosciences
Davis Hall 312

815-753-1943 (tel)
815-753-1945 (fax)