James C. zachos



B.S. 1981 State University of New York, Oneonta

M.S. 1983 University of South Carolina

Ph.D. 1988, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography

Post-Doctoral Fellow 1988-1990 University of Michigan


Email: jzachos@ucsc.edu

Phone: 831-459-4644

Fax: 831-459-3074

Other Information


Research Projects

Research Group



Lectures (public)


Research Links

GHG and Climate

Carbon and Ocean Acidification

World Without Ice - Natl. Geog. - PETM  [PDF]

If all the Ice Melted

  1. BulletPhotos/Figures

Expedition 342

Misc.  Links

Earth & Planetary Sciences

Stable Isotope Lab

Elemental Analysis Lab




  1. BulletAGU Webcast

  2. Bullet EGU Webcast

  3. Bullet Dark Seas




Jim Zachos's research interests encompass a wide variety of problems related to the biological, chemical, and climatic evolution of late Cretaceous and Cenozoic oceans. He measures the chemical composition of shells from marine sediments to reconstruct past changes in ocean temperature & circulation, continental ice-volume, productivity, and carbon cycling. His research is oriented toward identifying the mechanisms responsible for driving long and short-term changes in global climate.

Zachos, his students, and colleagues are currently participating in several projects oriented toward understanding the nature of rapid and extreme climate transitions in earths past. These projects involve the application of stable isotope and trace metal ratios to reconstruct the ocean temperature and chemistry for several episodes of extreme climates including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (~56 mya), the middle- and early Eocene Climatic Optimums, as well as subsequent long term cooling trends. This also includes work to quantify rare episodes of ocean acidification (acid oceans) that accompanied several of the transient warmings. They are also investigating the isotope and trace metal ratios of marine microfossils to establish the approximate timing and scale of continental glaciations during the Oligocene and Miocene, from 15 to 35 million years ago.

Zachos is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, California Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR), Earth System Evolution Program.