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Dr Vasile Ersek

Associate Professor

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

Dr Ersek is a palaeoclimatologist and geochemist who studies past climate changes and human-environment interactions. His research spans cave and karst science, atmospheric processes, paleoclimatology, palaeoceanography, and peat geochemistry. By applying geochemical methods to cave formations, water, and peat deposits, Dr Ersek aims to unravel the mysteries of past climate and environmental changes, providing insights for understanding our current and future climate.

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Past Education and Employment

Postdoctoral researcher, Oxford University

PhD, Oregon State University, USA

MSc, Mississippi State University, USA

BSc, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania


Research in the media

Science Daily: New research brings greater understanding of Asian winter monsoon

Key question around limestone carbon capture to be answered by partnership project

Science Mag: Ancient megadrought may explain civilization’s ‘missing millennia’ in Southeast Asia

Daily Mail: Sahara turned from lush green grassland to a barren wasteland just 4,000 years ago and triggered a megadrought that crippled Southeast Asia for 1,000 years

World Economic Forum: How climate change caused the world’s first ever empire to collapse

EOS: The Akkadian Empire—Felled by Dust?

Newsweek: Ancient Curse of Akkad: World's First Empire Collapsed Because of Climate Change

Forbes: Climate Change May Have Contributed To The Extinction Of Neanderthals And Rise Of Modern Humans

Smithsonian Magazine: Climate Change Likely Iced Neanderthals Out Of Existence

Newsweek: Neanderthals: Climate Change May Have Killed Off Our Closest Human Relatives

CTV News: Cold, dry climate shifts linked to Neanderthal disappearance

Science Daily: Earliest European evidence of lead pollution uncovered in the Balkans Earliest ever evidence of lead pollution found in the Balkans – from 3600 BC

Independent: Climate change: Nearly 700 'natural thermometers' demonstrate the world is warmer than its ever been 1,800 years of global ocean cooling halted by global warming

OPB: Oregon Caves Weather The Passage Of Time

Fox News: Oregon stalagmite tells 13,000-year-long story

Vasile Ersek

Campus Address

Ellison Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Deciphering local and regional hydroclimate resolves contradicting evidence on the Asian monsoon evolution, Wolf, A., Ersek, V., Braun, T., French, A., McGee, D., Bernasconi, S., Skiba, V., Griffiths, M., Johnson, K., Fohlmeister, J., Breitenbach, S., Pausata, F., Tabor, C., Longman, J., Roberts, W., Chandan, D., Peltier, W., Salzmann, U., Limbert, D., Trinh, H., Trinh, A. 14 Sep 2023, In: Nature Communications
  • Glacial changes in sea level modulated millennial-scale variability of Southeast Asian autumn monsoon rainfall, Patterson, E., Johnson, K., Griffiths, M., Kinsley, C., McGee, D., Du, X., Pico, T., Wolf, A., Ersek, V., Mortlock, R., Yamoah, K., Bui, T., Tran, M., Do-Trong, Q., Vo, T., Dinh, T. 4 Jul 2023, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • End of Green Sahara amplified mid- to late Holocene megadroughts in mainland Southeast Asia, Griffiths, M., Johnson, K., Pausata, F., White, J., Henderson, G., Wood, C., Yang, H., Ersek, V., Conrad, C., Sekhon, N. 1 Dec 2020, In: Nature Communications
  • Precise timing of abrupt increase in dust activity in the Middle East coincident with 4.2 ka social change, Carolin, S., Walker, R., Day, C., Ersek, V., Sloan, R., Dee, M., Talebian, M., Henderson, G. 2 Jan 2019, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • The impact of climate change on the transition of Neanderthals to modern humans in Europe, Staubwasser, M., Drăgușin, V., Onac, B., Assonov, S., Ersek, V., Hoffmann, D., Veres, D. 11 Sep 2018, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  • Annabel Wolf Hydroclimate variability in central Vietnam: past and present Start Date: 01/10/2017 End Date: 28/09/2021
  • Andrew Burnham Exploring the links between volcanoes, climate and humans using speleothem records Start Date: 02/04/2024
  • Chloe Snowling Unlocking the secrets of Vietnam's past climate: A multi-proxy approach using stalagmites Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Lucy Carruthers The impact of climate change on the natural resources of coral reef islands in the Maldives. Start Date: 18/01/2021 End Date: 26/04/2024
  • Jack Longman The Carpathian-Balkans during the Holocene: Reconstructing human influences and climatic changes Start Date: 01/10/2014 End Date: 26/03/2018
  • Dimitra Skoulikari A detailed climatic context for the growth and decay of Cretan Civilisations Start Date: 01/10/2023

  • Geology BSc (Hons)
  • Geology MSc
  • Geology PhD
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2016

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