Dr Mary Elliot
Lecturer in Paleoclimatology, Paleoenvironments
School of GeoSciences
Tel: 44 (0) 131 650 8514
West Mains Road
Fax: 44 (0)
131 668 3184
Edinburgh EH9 3JW
My research principally focuses on the study of paleoceanography and
paleoclimatology with a special emphasis on understanding the origin
and mechanisms of abrupt climate change. I estimate past environmental
and climatic changes by measuring the geochemical composition of
carbonate fossils. I have studied two types of climate archives 1)
microfossils deposited in deep-sea sediments and 2) marine bivalves.
1) Ocean sediment records of past climates
Sediment records of the North Atlantic Ocean have revealed the
existence of an unstable climate during the last glacial period (~
60,000 to 10,000 years ago). I combined the use of rock fragment
analysis, micropaleontological and geochemical tools to reconstruct
past ocean circulation and continental ice sheet behaviour in relation
to the evolution of Northern Hemisphere climate during the past 60 000
2) Marine bivalves
I am currently investigating the use of fossil marine molluscs as a
tool to reconstruct past climatic evolution. My approach has been to
analyse the geochemical variations of annually secreted layers of
carbonate to reconstruct past environmental changes of coastal waters.
I followed a multi-proxy approach combining measurements of stable
isotopes and the abundance of trace elements to differentiate the role
of environmental constrains (water temperature and
salinity) and physiology (growth rates, ontogenetic evolution) on the
of the shells carbonates.
Positions and Experience
2002 - present Lecturer, The University of
2001 - 2002 Post-doctoral fellow,
Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra, Australia
1999 - 2001 NOAA Postdoctoral
Fellow, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, US
1995 -1999 Ph.D. Laboratoire
des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif / Yvette France.
Diplôme d’Étude Approfondie ~ Master’s degree, Earth
Sciences, Orsay University; France.
Magistère in Earth Sciences, École Normale
Supérieure, Paris; France.
d’Étude Universitaire Générale in Earth Sciences,
Dijon University; France.
Elliot, M., P.B. deMenocal, B.K. Linsley, & S.S. Howe,
Environmental controls on the seasonal isotopic records of Mercenaria
and potential application to paleo-environmental studies. Geochemistry
Geosystems, 4, 1056, doi:10.1029/2002GC000425 Download.
Elliot M., L Labeyrie & J.C. Duplessy. Changes in North
Atlantic Deep -Water formation associated with the Dansgaard-Oeschger
temperature oscillations (10-60ka). Quat. Sci. Rev., 21, 1153-1165,
Elliot M., L Labeyrie, T. Dokken & S. Manthé.
Coherent patterns of ice rafted debris deposits in the Nordic regions
during the last glacial (10-60 ka). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 194,
Cortijo E., M. Elliot, L. Labeyrie, N. Tisnerat & E.
Balbon. Rapid climatic variability of the North Atlantic Ocean and
global climate: a focus on the IMAGES program. Quat. Sci. Rev., 19,
Cortijo, E., E. Balbon, M. Elliot, L. Labeyrie & JL Turon.
Glacial and interglacial hydrological changes in the North Atlantic
Ocean. Reconstructing Ocean History: a Window into the Future, edited
by F. Abrantes & A. Mix, Plenum Publishing, 83-101, 1999.
Bond G., W. Showers, M. Elliot, M. Evans, R. Lotti & S.
Johnson. Tracing the North Atlantic’s ~ 1.5kyr Climate Cycle to 80,000
Years B.P.- Relation to Heinrich Events, Dansgaard /Oeschger Cycles,
the Little Ice Age. "Mechanisms of millennial-scale climate change",
by P.U. Clark, R.S. Webb & L.D. Keigwin, AGU Geophysical Monograph
112, 35-58, 1999.
Labeyrie L. & M. Elliot. Abrupt climatic changes – causes
and consequences: an introduction. Reconstructing Ocean History: a
Window into the Future, edited by F. Abrantes & A. Mix, Plenum
Publishing, 73-81, 1999.
Labeyrie L., H. Leclaire, C. Waelbroeck, E. Cortijo, J.C. Duplessy, L.
Vidal, M. Elliot, B. Lecoat & G. Aufret. Temporal
variability of the Surface and Deep Waters of the N-W Atlantic Ocean at
Orbital & Millennial Scales. "Mechanisms of millennial-scale
climate change", edited by P.U. Clark, R.S. Webb & L.D. Keigwin,
AGU Geophysical Monograph
112, 77-98, 1999.
Elliot M., L. Labeyrie, G. Bond, E. Cortijo, JL. Turon, N.
Tisnerat & JC. Duplessy. Millennial-scale iceberg discharges in the
Irminger Basin during the last glacial period: Relationship with the
Heinrich events and environmental settings, Paleoceanography, 13,
Cortijo E., L. Labeyrie, L. Vidal, M. Vautravers, M. Chapman, J.C.
Duplessy, M. Elliot, M. Arnold, J.L. Turon & G. Auffret.
Changes in sea surface hydrology associated with Heinrich event 4 in
Atlantic Ocean between 40° and 60°N, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.,