dr. Peter Bijl
P.K.Bijl@uu.nl
Gegenereerd op 2017-10-20 12:24:00


Profile

Peter Bijl's (1983) personal research interests can be summarized in the theme "Climatic and environmental evolution of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean". During his PhD research, Peter focused on the reconstruction of the climatological evolution of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the transition from the hot early Eocene to the middle- and late Eocene cooling. The role of plate tectonic changes in the Southern Hemisphere on one hand, specifically the opening of critical ocean gateways around Antarctica, and on the other hand the role of declining atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Eocene were investigated. During postdoctoral research, Peter shifted focus towards icehouse climates of the Southern Hemisphere, starting at the consequences for ecosystems, sea level and oceanography at the installation of the Antarctic ice sheet in the early Oligocene, and subsequent fluctuations. In this research the role of the evolving plate tectonic configurations in the Southern Ocean and the climate- and ice sheet sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing are crucial aspects in this research. From October 2013 onwards, Peter started an NWO-sponsored VENI postdoctoral program focusing on the Paleocene paleoclimate evolution. Peter joined the permanent staff of the Research Group Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography in December 2015, with a specific research and education line in applied biostratigraphy.

 

For his research, Peter uses predominantly sedimentary archives that are drilled with the successive drilling programs now known as the Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). The methods Peter applies are focused towards the organic fossils preserved in the sediments: palynology (dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) and pollen and spores) combined with organic geochemical biomarker tools. The palynology is foremost used as stratigraphic tool: dinocysts are often the only stratigraphic tool in polar sediments. Peter also uses the dinocyst assemblages to reconstruct palaeo-environmental conditions. The biogeography of dinocysts, caused by the high sensitivity to small changes in their environment, provides a solid means to reconstruct oceanographic changes, sea level dynamics, nutrient availability and salinity; hence a good tool to reconstruct the paleoecology of continental shelfs. The organic geochemical biomarker proxies provide independently of the palynology, additional quantitative information about a suit of environmental conditions: sea- and air temperature, oxygen concentration of water, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

 

Peter is, alongside his research, also detached tot the LPP Foundation, a foundation embedded in Utrecht University, that facilitates the fields of palaeobotany and palynology and organic geochemistry by measn of contract research. Through the this contract research, Peter has developed a wide network of commercial contacts, at, e.g., oil companies and consultancies. For more information visit the website: www.lpp-foundation.nl

Scientific expertise
dinoflagellate cyst taxonomy
Antarctica
Southern Ocean
Applied biostratigraphy

Peter about to board the Joides Resolution in 2010, for IODP Expedition 318 to Wilkes Land, Antarctica

Peter and his colleagues investigate a colorful core from IODP Site U1356
Gegenereerd op 2017-10-20 12:24:01
Curriculum vitae

International activities
Many of my publications were the result of intense collaboration with many research groups all over the world. I strongly believe that the best way to do science in my field is with focussed collaboration with experts in different sub-fields.

IODP Expedition 318
I was invited to participate in a 2.5 months ocean drilling expedition to Wilkes Land, Antarctica, organized by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (Leg 318), in a team of 30 scientists from over 10 countries. I am currently involved in the aftermath of the expedition, in which the first results are (to be) published by international shipboard scientists plus shore-based participants. I am currently active contributor on ten published, submitted, or nearly submitted manuscripts related to the results of this
expedition.

Other academic activities

Current teaching

  • Coordinator of the m-profiles within the Earth Sciences MSc programmes.
  • Coordinator of MSc course 'Fossil Resources' at the Energy and Resources MSc
  • Teacher of Paleoceanography and 'sediments of the sea' in “Marine Sciences 1”
  • Teacher 'Southern Ocean Paleoceanography and ice' in MSc course Introduction to Marine Sciences
  • Teacher at the first year geology excursion to the Belgian Ardennes.
  • Teacher of 1st years course 'Earth and Environment' at Liberal Arts and Sciences, University College Utrecht

Past teaching

  • Teaching assistant at the Biology excursion to Limburg
  • Teacher in 2nd years biogeology field work Tremp, Spain
  • I assisted the Master’s course “Extreme Climate Transitions”.
  • Tutor for Bachelor students in Biology in 2008/2009, including a five week course
  • Since I started my PhD, I give ~10 guest lectures each year about my research at junior high schools, geological societies and museums.

LPP Foundation

  • From January 1st 2012, I became the director of the LPP Foundation, a Utrecht University-based consultancy in Earth Sciences, Biostratigraphy and Energy. Among the focal points of the LPP Foundation is to bring academia and industry closer together. Moreover, we investigate the potential of mass production of the fresh-water fern Azolla to mitigate industrial waste streams and provide added business opportunities from the biomass.
  • In the function of director at the LPP Foundation, I organized the “advanced course in organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts”, and set up the “Oil Industry Master Class: Bridging academia and oil industry”, to be held for the first time next summer.

Committee service

  • Career services within the Earth Science department. This includes organisation of activities which help students to shape their career path, visibility, comparison and evaluation of transferrable skill training in the MSc programmes, an advisory role for students about career development and organisation of the MSc introduction.

Conferences

  • I presented the results of my research on numerous international conferences, special meetings and symposia, some of which were by invitation.
  • I organise together with colleagues a session on EGU called 'Antarctic paleoclimate dynamics in warm icehouse climates: marrying data and models' since 2015
  • I’ve been asked to co-convene a session on Cenozoic Greenhouse Climates and Carbon Cycle Dynamics at European Geophysical Union meeting in Vienna in spring 2012, and a session entitled ‘Deciphering the Polar greenhouse: Geochemical reconstructions of temperature, weathering, and ice volume in the Cretaceous and early Paleogene’ in Goldschmidt conference, Montreal, June 2012.

Boards and memberships

  • Active member of the Past Antarctic Ice Sheets (PAIS) programme of the Scientific
    Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR), particularly involved in activities related to
    (bio)stratigraphy);
  • Member of the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynology (AASP).
  • European Geophysical Union (EGU) member since 2007;
  • Board member of the Palaeobotanical and Palynological Society Utrecht (2007-2011)
  • Treasurer of the Palaeobotanical and Palynological Society Utrecht (2011)
  • Organising committe of the anniversary activities of the LPP (2013-2014)

Scholarships, grants and prizes

  • European Geophysical Union Arne richter Award (Outstanding Young Scientist) 2014
  • I was part of the Utrecht team Beneker that won the ‘Academische Jaarprijs 2007’, a 100k euro grant for the best plan to translate fundamental scientific discoveries to the general public. With this award, I helped developing a website on greenhouse Earth climate, geological time scales and carbon cycle, educative video clips and practical exercises for junior high schools.
  • I received an NWO cruise participation grant for IODP Expedition 318.
  • For the LPP Foundation, I successfully raised sponsorships at oil companies, e.g. for the 2012 dinocyst course and for the development of the new PALSYS.org database
  • I successfully did acquisition of consultancy projects for the LPP Foundation
  • Received as co-PI several Climate-KIC pathfinder grant (about 450 keuro) for the Azolla Farming System (AzoFaSt), a proposal in collaboration with Wageningen and Utrecht Univeristy.
  • PI on an NWO VENI grant (250keuro) for 3 years fulltime postdoctoral research.
  • IODP-NL Person of the year 2009.

 

Publications see scopus sciverse

 

Gegenereerd op 2017-10-20 12:24:01
All publications
  2017 - Scholarly publications
Hollis, Christopher J., Stickley, Catherine E., Bijl, Peter K., Schiøler, Poul, Clowes, Christopher D., Li, Xun & Campbell, Hamish (20.03.2017). The age of the Takatika Grit, Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Alcheringa, 41, online first (14 p.).
Passchier, Sandra, Ciarletta, Daniel J., Miriagos, Triantafilo E., Bijl, Peter K. & Bohaty, Steven M. (2017). An antarctic stratigraphic record of stepwise ice growth through the eocene-oligocene transition. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 129 (3-4), (pp. 318-330) (13 p.).
Strother, Stephanie L., Salzmann, Ulrich, Sangiorgi, Francesca, Bijl, Peter K., Pross, Jorg, Escutia, Carlota, Salabarnada, Ariadna, Pound, Matthew J., Voss, Jochen & Woodward, John (24.04.2017). A new quantitative approach to identify reworking in Eocene to Miocene pollen records from offshore Antarctica using red fluorescence and digital imaging. Biogeosciences, 14 (8), (pp. 2089-2100) (12 p.).
  2016 - Scholarly publications
Baatsen, M., van Hinsbergen, D. J. J., von der Heydt, A. S., Dijkstra, H. A., Sluijs, A., Abels, H. A. & Bijl, P. K. (2016). Reconstructing geographical boundary conditions for palaeoclimate modelling during the Cenozoic. Climate of the Past, 12, (pp. 1635-1644) (10 p.).
Bijl, Peter K., Brinkhuis, Henk, Egger, Lisa M., Eldrett, James S., Frieling, Joost, Grothe, Arjen, Houben, Alexander J P, Pross, Jörg, Śliwińska, Kasia K. & Sluijs, Appy (18.10.2016). Comment on ‘Wetzeliella and its allies – the ‘hole’ story - a taxonomic revision of the Paleogene dinoflagellate subfamily Wetzelielloideae’ by Williams et al. (2015). Palynology, online first, (pp. 1-7) (7 p.).
Fensome, R.A., Bijl, P.K., Grothe, A., Head, M.J., Sangiorgi, F. & Williams, Graham (24.06.2016). (2450-2451) Proposals to conserve the names Selenopemphix against Margosphaera, and Selenopemphix nephroides against Margosphaera velata (Dinophyceae). Taxon, 65 (3), (pp. 636-637).
Sijp, Willem P., von der Heydt, A.S. & Bijl, P.K. (2016). Model simulations of early westward flow across the Tasman Gateway during the early Eocene. Climate of the Past, 12 (4), (pp. 807-817).
  2015 - Scholarly publications
Bijl, Peter K. & Brinkhuis, Henk (01.09.2015). A new genus and two new species of dinoflagellate cysts from lower Eocene marine sediments of the Wilkes Land Margin, Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 220, (pp. 88-97) (10 p.).
van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J., de Groot, Lennart V., van Schaik, Sebastiaan J., Spakman, Wim, Bijl, Peter K., Sluijs, Appy, Langereis, Cor G. & Brinkhuis, Henk (10.06.2015). A Paleolatitude Calculator for Paleoclimate Studies. PLoS One, 10 (6) (21 p.).
  2014 - Scholarly publications
Clyde, W.C., Wilf, P., Iglesias, A., Slingerland, R.L., Barnum, T., Bijl, P.K., Bralower, T.J., Brinkhuis, H., Comer, E.E., Huber, B.T., Ibañez-Mejia, M., Jicha, B.R., Krause, J.M., Schueth, J.D., Singer, B.S., Raigemborn, M.S., Schmitz, M.D., Sluijs, A. & Zamaloa, M.C. (21.01.2014). New age constraints for the Salamanca Formation and lower Río Chico Group in the western San Jorge Basin, Patagonia, Argentina: Implications for cretaceous-paleogene extinction recovery and land mammal age correlations. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 126 (3-4), (pp. 289-306) (18 p.). Source: Scopus.
Contreras, L., Pross, J., Bijl, P.K., O'Hara, R.B., Raine, J.I., Sluijs, A. & Brinkhuis, H. (24.07.2014). Southern high-latitude terrestrial climate change during the Palaeocene-Eocene derived from a marine pollen record (ODP Site 1172, East Tasman Plateau). Climate of the Past, 10 (4), (pp. 1401-1420) (20 p.).
Hollis, C.J., Tayler, M.J.S., Andrew, B., Taylor, K.W., Lurcock, P., Bijl, P.K., Kulhanek, D.K., Crouch, E.M., Nelson, C.S., Pancost, R.D., Huber, M., Wilson, G.S., Ventura, G.T., Crampton, J.S., Schiøler, P. & Phillips, A. (2014). Organic-rich sedimentation in the South Pacific Ocean associated with Late Paleocene climatic cooling. Earth-Science Reviews, 134, (pp. 81-97) (17 p.).
Patterson, M. O., McKay, R., Naish, T., Escutia, C., Jimenez-Espejo, F. J., Raymo, M. E., Meyers, S. R., Tauxe, L., Brinkhuis, H., Klaus, A., Fehr, A., Bendle, J. A P, Bijl, P. K., Bohaty, S. M., Carr, S. A., Dunbar, R. B., Flores, J. A., Gonzalez, J. J., Hayden, T. G., Iwai, M., Katsuki, K., Kong, G. S., Nakai, M., Olney, M. P., Passchier, S., Pekar, S. F., Pross, J., Riesselman, C. R., Röhl, U., Sakai, T., Shrivastava, P. K., Stickley, C. E., Sugasaki, S., Tuo, S., Van De Flierdt, T., Welsh, K., Williams, T. & Yamane, M. (26.10.2014). Orbital forcing of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. Nature Geoscience, 7 (11), (pp. 841-847) (7 p.).
Sijp, Willem P., von der Heydt, Anna S., Dijkstra, Henk A., Floegel, Sascha, Douglas, Peter M. J. & Bijl, Peter K. (2014). The role of ocean gateways on cooling climate on long time scales. Global and Planetary Change, 119, (pp. 1-22) (22 p.).
  2014 - Professional publications
Bijl, P.K. (2014). Antarctica expeditie. PanGeo, 2 (3), (pp. 39-41) (3 p.).
Brinkhuis, H. & Bijl, P.K. (2014). Fern of the future?. GeoQ, 10, (pp. 5-6) (2 p.). Interview by Julia Rosen.
  2013 - Scholarly publications
Bijl, P.K., Bendle, J.A.P., Bohaty, S.M., Pross, J., Schouten, S., Tauxe, L., Stickley, C.E., McKay, R.M., Röhl, U., Olney, M., Sluijs, A., Escutia, C. & Brinkhuis, H. (2013). Eocene cooling linked to early flow across the Tasmanian Gateway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (24), (pp. 9645-9650) (6 p.).
Bijl, P.K., Sluijs, A. & Brinkhuis, H. (2013). A magneto- and chemostratigraphically calibrated dinoflagellate cyst zonation of the early Palaeogene South Pacific Ocean. Earth-Science Reviews, 124, (pp. 1-31) (31 p.).
Contreras, L., Pross, J., Bijl, P.K., Koutsodendris, A., Raine, J.I., van de Schootbrugge, B. & Brinkhuis, H. (15.10.2013). Early to Middle Eocene vegetation dynamics at the Wilkes Land Margin (Antarctica). Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 197, (pp. 119-142) (24 p.).
Houben, A.J.P., Bijl, P.K., Pross, J., Bohaty, S.M., Passchier, S., Stickley, C.E., Röhl, U., Sugisaki, S., Tauxe, L., van de Flierdt, T., Olney, M., Sangiorgi, F., Sluijs, A., Escutia, C. & Brinkhuis, H. (2013). Reorganization of southern ocean plankton ecosystem at the onset of Antarctic glaciation. Science, 340 (6130), (pp. 341-344) (4 p.).
Sluijs, A., Zeebe, R., Bijl, P.K. & Bohaty, S.M. (2013). A middle Eocene carbon cycle conundrum. Nature Geoscience, 6 (6), (pp. 429-434) (6 p.).
Stocchi, P., Escutia, C., Houben, A.J.P., Vermeersen, L.L.A., Bijl, P.K., Brinkhuis, H., DeConto, R., Galeotti, S., Passchier, S. & Pollard, D. (2013). Relative sea-level rise around East Antarctica during Oligocene glaciation. Nature Geoscience, 6, (pp. 380-384) (5 p.).
  2013 - Professional publications
Bijl, P.K. (2013). Klimaatonderzoek rond Antarctica: hoe een groen, nat continent afkoelde tot een koude ijsklomp. Gea, 46 (3).
  2013 - Popularising publications
Bijl, P.K. (01.06.2013). Oude theorie over afkoeling Antarctica toch waar (article by Karel Knip). NRC Handelsblad
Bijl, P.K. (07.06.2013). Poolijs na losbreken Antarctica (news item). De Telegraaf
  2013 - Other output
  2012 - Scholarly publications
Pross, J., Contreras, L., Bijl, P.K., Greenwood, D.R., Bohaty, S.M., Schouten, S., Bendle, J.A., Röhl, U., Tauxe, L., Raine, J.I., Huck, C.E., van de Flierdt, T., Jamieson, S.S.R., Stickley, C.E., van de Schootbrugge, B., Escutia, C. & Brinkhuis, H. (2012). Persistent near-tropical warmth on the Antarctic continent during the early Eocene epoch. Nature, 488, (pp. 73-77) (5 p.).
Rohling, E.J., Sluijs, A., Dijkstra, H.A., van de Wal, R.S.W., von der Heydt, A.S., Bijl, P.K. & Zeebe, R. (2012). Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity. Nature, 491, (pp. 683-691) (9 p.). PALAEOSENS Project Members (35 auteurs, niet genoemd in PDF).
Tauxe, L., Stickley, C.E., Sugisaki, S., Bijl, P.K., Bohaty, S.M., Brinkhuis, H., Escutia, C., Flores, J.A., Houben, A.J.P., Iwai, M., Jiménez-Espejo, F., McKay, R., Passchier, S., Pross, J., Riesselman, C.R., Rhl, U., Sangiorgi, F., Welsh, K., Klaus, A., Fehr, A., Bendle, J.A.P., Dunbar, R., Gonzàlez, J., Hayden, T., Katsuki, K., Olney, M.P., Pekar, S.F., Shrivastava, P.K., van de Flierdt, T., Williams, T. & Yamane, M. (2012). Chronostratigraphic framework for the IODP Expedition 318 cores from the Wilkes Land Margin: Constraints for paleoceanographic reconstruction. Paleoceanography, 27 (2), (pp. PA2214-1-PA2214-19) (19 p.).
  2011 - Scholarly publications
Bijl, P.K., Pross, J., Warnaar, J., Stickley, C.E., Huber, H., Guerstein, R., Houben, A.J.P., Sluijs, A., Visscher, H. & Brinkhuis, H. (2011). Environmental forcings of Paleogene Southern Ocean dinoflagellate biogeography. Paleoceanography, 26, (pp. PA1202) (1 p.).
Houben, A.J.P., Bijl, P.K., Guerstein, R., Sluijs, A. & Brinkhuis, H. (2011). Malvinia escutiana, a new biostratigraphically important Oligocene dinoflagellate cyst from the Southern Ocean. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 165, (pp. 175-182) (8 p.).
Sluijs, A., Bijl, P.K., Schouten, S., Röhl, U., Reichart, G.-J. & Brinkhuis, H. (2011). Southern ocean warming, sea level and hydrological change during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. Climate of the Past, 7 (1), (pp. 47-61) (15 p.).
  2011 - Other output
P.K. Bijl (28.08.2011) Deep time’ dinoflagellate cyst paleoecology – state of the art.
  2010 - Scholarly publications
Bijl, P.K. (2010). Ocean drilling expedition to the Antarctic Margin: Reconstruct Antarctic Glaciation from Eocene- Oligocene inception to Holocene retreat. Annual report 2009 Netherlands Research School of Sedimentary Geology (NSG) (pp. 29-32). Netherlands Research School of Sedimentary Geology (NSG).
Bijl, P.K., Houben, A.J.P., Schouten, S., Bohaty, S.M., Sluijs, A., Reichart, G.-J., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. & Brinkhuis, H. (2010). Transient Middle Eocene atmospheric CO2 and temperature variations. Science, 330 (6005), (pp. 819-821, doi: 10.1126/science.1193654) (2 p.).
  2010 - Other output
P.K. Bijl (03.05.2010) Paleogene Temperature Evolution of the Southwest Pacific Ocean: Warming and Cooling the Greenhouse.
P.K. Bijl (03.12.2010) Parallel Trends in Middle Eocene Temperatures and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration?
P.K. Bijl (14.06.2010) Parallel Trends in Middle Eocene Temperatures and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration?
P.K. Bijl (07.07.2010) The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum and pCO2: warming the doubthouse.
  2009 - Scholarly publications
Bijl, P.K. & Brinkhuis, H. (2009). Reconstructing the Greenhouse to Icehouse transition in the Paleogene Southern Ocean. Annual report 2008 Netherlands Research School of Sedimentary Geology (NSG) (pp. 26-29). Amsterdam: Netherlands Research School of Sedimentary Geology (NSG).
Bijl, P.K., Schouten, S., Sluijs, A., Reichart, G.-J., Zachos, J.C. & Brinkhuis, H. (2009). Early Palaeogene temperature evolution of the southwest Pacific Ocean. Nature, 461 (7265), (pp. 776-779, doi: a0.1038/nature08399) (2 p.).
Warnaar, J., Bijl, P.K., Huber, M., Sloan, L., Brinkhuis, H., Röhl, U., Sriver, R. & Visscher, H. (2009). Orbitally forced climate changes in the Tasman sector during the middle Eocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 280, (pp. 361-370) (10 p.).
  2009 - Other output
Bijl, P.K., Schouten, S., Sluijs, A., Reichart, G.-J., Zachos, J.C. & Brinkhuis, H. (2009). Tropische Zuidpool 50 miljoen jaar geleden.
P.K. Bijl (05.01.2009) Increasing Eocene Equator-to-Pole sea surface temperature gradients.
P.K. Bijl (05.01.2009) The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) recorded in the surface waters of the Southern Ocean: A Dinoflagellate cyst and organic geochemical perspective.
  2008 - Other output
P.K. Bijl (28.11.2008) Increasing Eocene Equator-to-Pole sea surface temperature gradients.
  0 - Other output
P.K. Bijl () Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientist
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Gegenereerd op 2017-10-20 12:24:01

Brief summary of research over the last five years
By applying novel organic geochemical techniques I portrayed the early Paleogene temperature evolution of the Southwest Pacific Ocean. My temperature proxy records and data compilations led to quantification of latitudinal temperature gradients during the early and middle Eocene (Nature). I showed, that CO2 levels in the atmosphere rose dramatically during a Middle Eocene warming spike (Science). My paleoecological work has focused on dinoflagellate biogeography, notably the Paleogene Southern Ocean. I showed that productivity rather than temperature was responsible for biogeographical patterns (Paleoceanography). This study also allowed me to construct an integrated
Eocene dinocyst biostratigraphic zonation scheme (Earth-Science Reviews). I discovered the southernmost PETM section to date (Climate of the Past). The Wilkes Land Expedition benefited from my expertise in dinocyst stratigraphy: it provided the only biostratigraphic tool on the ship to date the Eocene sediments. I revealed tropical conditions on the Antarctic shelf (e.g., Nature), and that the Antarctic counter current flowed through the Tasmanian Gateway from 50 Ma onwards, and therewith helped cooling the Antarctic continent (PNAS). I am an active contributor on three high-impact papers on the Eocene-Oligocene transition that emerged from the Wilkes Land Expedition, on the onset of continental-scale Antarctic glaciation (Science and Nature Geoscience). I was part of an international effort to define climate sensitivity for paleoclimate research (Nature). Since a year I investigate the Southern Ocean surface water evolution in the Oligocene-Neogene Icehouse.

Project:
The role of warm oceans in past Antarctic ice-sheet variability
16.10.2017 to 15.10.2021
General project description 

On-going atmospheric and ocean warming is increasingly causing Antarctic ice-sheet volume imbalance
and melting. Effective mitigation and adaptation to the consequences of resulting sea-level rise require
accurate future projections. However, despite advances in spatial resolution and complex physics,
numerical model projections of ice sheet melt are too uncertain, mostly because the ice-ocean
interactions are poorly represented. Significant progress in numerical modeling can be obtained by
improving their adequacy in reproducing ice volume changes that occurred during past episodes of
warming. This requires accurate reconstructions of past ice sheet behaviour for crucial time periods.
Oligocene and Miocene (~34-5 Ma ago) atmospheric CO2 concentrations often exceeded that of presentday
and the few available paleo-records seem to suggest a dramatic response of the Antarctic ice sheet
to past climate changes, providing a prime target for fundamental improvements to future projections.
This project aims at reconstructing Oligocene-Miocene oceanographic and coupled ice-sheet variations
based on generating key data from circum-Antarctic marine sediments. Our recent key findings allow us
to (1) date Southern high latitudes sediments in unprecedented detail using microfossils and (2)
reconstruct past sea-ice cover, temperature and ocean structure using biological and geochemical
indicators preserved in these sediments. Quantification of such crucial parameters from critical locations
around Antarctica will provide the mechanistic understanding required to significantly improve coupled
climate-ocean-ice models. In addition, this work will highlight regions where the Antarctic ice-sheet is
most sensitive to climate warming, ultimately leading to more accurate sea level projections.

Role Co-promotor & Project Leader
Individual project description

On-going atmospheric and ocean warming is increasingly causing Antarctic ice-sheet volume imbalance
and melting. Effective mitigation and adaptation to the consequences of resulting sea-level rise require
accurate future projections. However, despite advances in spatial resolution and complex physics,
numerical model projections of ice sheet melt are too uncertain, mostly because the ice-ocean
interactions are poorly represented. Significant progress in numerical modeling can be obtained by
improving their adequacy in reproducing ice volume changes that occurred during past episodes of
warming. This requires accurate reconstructions of past ice sheet behaviour for crucial time periods.
Oligocene and Miocene (~34-5 Ma ago) atmospheric CO2 concentrations often exceeded that of presentday
and the few available paleo-records seem to suggest a dramatic response of the Antarctic ice sheet
to past climate changes, providing a prime target for fundamental improvements to future projections.
This project aims at reconstructing Oligocene-Miocene oceanographic and coupled ice-sheet variations
based on generating key data from circum-Antarctic marine sediments. Our recent key findings allow us
to (1) date Southern high latitudes sediments in unprecedented detail using microfossils and (2)
reconstruct past sea-ice cover, temperature and ocean structure using biological and geochemical
indicators preserved in these sediments. Quantification of such crucial parameters from critical locations
around Antarctica will provide the mechanistic understanding required to significantly improve coupled
climate-ocean-ice models. In addition, this work will highlight regions where the Antarctic ice-sheet is
most sensitive to climate warming, ultimately leading to more accurate sea level projections.

Funding
NWO grant
Project members UU

Completed projects

Project:
The Dawn of a Greenhouse Earth: climate and carbon cycle dynamics of the Paleocene 01.10.2013 to 30.06.2017
General project description

Uncertainties in the climatic responses to the current increase in atmospheric carbon
dioxide (CO2) concentrations threat economic stability and societal welfare. One way to
improve projections of the Earth’s response to increased CO2 is the study of past
episodes with high CO2 concentrations. While reconstructions of the very warm and high-
CO2 climates of the Eocene ‘hothouse’ (56-34 million years ago) have provided valuable
insights in a potential ‘end-member climate state’, we lack insight in the transition
towards such a ‘hothouse’ climate. The transition from the cold (and possibly glaciated)
mid-Paleocene (~60 Ma) to the ‘hothouse’ of the Eocene (~50 Ma), albeit on longer time
scales, bears similarities to the climatic transition of our future; mid-Paleocene CO2
concentrations were similar to today, while those of the Eocene approach the predicted
levels when all fossil fuels are combusted.



In this project I will reconstruct the paleo-climates of the sparsely studied and cold mid-
Paleocene and the subsequent late Paleocene to Eocene warming. I will estimate surface
paleotemperature (1) sea level changes (2) and global carbon cycle dynamics (3), by
integrating results from organic biomarker proxies (e.g., TEX86) dinoflagellate cyst
assemblages and carbon cycle box modelling. The results of my work will be evaluated
using ice-sheet- and fully coupled climate models, for an integrated perspective of the
climatic reversal that took place in the Paleocene. A better understanding of the
mechanisms causing the climatic transition during the Paleocene will help better
constrain the sensitivity of global climates to future CO2 forcing.

 
Role Project Leader Funding
NWO grant: ALW Vernieuwingsimpuls VENI
Project members UU
Project:
Reconstructing the evolution and dynamics of the Antarctic cryosphere from Ocean Drilling; a dinoflagellate perspective 01.05.2012 to 30.09.2013
General project description

Unraveling the stability of the Antarctic cryosphere from its inception during the Greenhouse–Icehouse transition (~34 Ma) through the subsequent periods of climate and atmospheric CO2 changes, is a major current scientific theme. Moreover, Southern Ocean dynamics and phytoplankton productivity is important for global biogeochemical cycling, including the sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the global carbon balance. The recent (2010) drilling of the Wilkes Land (WL) margin (East Antarctica) now provides an unprecedented long-term record of the Cenozoic East Antarctic climate history. Organic remains of dinoflagellates (dinocysts) are abundant throughout the record, and, importantly, are at times the sole microfossil group preserved. Preliminary analyses indicate that the dinocyst assemblages yield a strong paleoenvironmental signal that is likely strongly dependant from cryosphere dynamics, as (heterotrophic) dinoflagellates record sea-ice cover and oceanic polar fronts. Combined with organic geochemical analyses, and within a multidisciplinary context, the stratigraphic and environmental potential of Antarctic dinoflagellate cyst will serve to document trophic state, sea ice coverage and ocean circulation over critical intervals of the last 34 Ma. This information is crucial to quantify ice sheet dynamics and evaluate the vulnerability of Antarctic ecosystems under changing climate forcing.

 
Role Researcher Funding
NWO grant
Project members UU
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Co-promotor of Julian D Hartman MSc, together with co-promotor Dr. Francesca Sangiorgi, and promotoren Prof. Dr. Henk Brinkhuis and Prof. Dr. Ing. Stefan Schouten

Co-promotor of Margot Cramwinckel MSc, together with co-promotor Dr ing. Francien Peterse and Promotoren Prof. Dr. Appy Sluijs and Prof. Dr. ing. Stefan Schouten

MSc internship supervisor of (2016/2017):

Charlotte Rem, Emiel Huurdeman, Anja Bruls, Ilja Kocken, Mike Nikolai, Wilrieke Boterblom, Jorieke Nielen, Pam Vervoort.

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Additional functions and activities

Director of the LPP Foundation (0.2 fte, detachment from Utrecht University)

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Full name
dr. P.K. Bijl Contact details
Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room 507
3584 CS  UTRECHT
The Netherlands


Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 9318
Phone number (department) +31 30 253 2629
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Last updated 16.10.2017