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Prof Ulrich Salzmann


Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am Professor of Palaeoecology & Palaeoclimatology in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences, and Director of the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership ONEPlanet. Prior to joining Northumbria University, I worked at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK (2005-2010), the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany (2003-2005) and the Institute for Archaeology & Archaeobotany, University of Frankfurt, Germany (1998-2002), where I received my PhD degree on the vegetation and climate history of the West African savanna.


My research focuses on the reconstruction of the Earth’s past environments. I am particularly interested in the palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology of tropical and polar regions. My research includes:

Antarctic and Arctic climate and vegetation change. The polar regions play a key role in our understanding of environmental change in a warmer-than-present world. I am reconstructing Antarctic land-ocean interactions before the onset of glaciation and during past warm periods to understand the forcing and feedback mechanisms controlling polar glaciation throughout the past Greenhouse to Icehouse transition.

Global synthesis of climate proxy data for testing and improving numerical climate models. By combining palynology with data-model comparison, my research fosters a deeper understanding of how terrestrial environments responded, and might respond in the future, to rapid changes in temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Quaternary vegetation change and human impact. I have a strong interest in assessing the role of early human impact and climate change. A thorough understanding of the importance of human impact is essential for the development of sustainable management and appropriate mitigation strategies for the future.


  • "As Good as (G)Old? Comparing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Restored and Natural Mangrove Forests in the Wallacea Region (CoReNat); NERC  (Co-I)
  • Super-Warm Early Eocene Temperatures and climate: understanding the response of the Earth system to high CO2 through integrated modelling and data – SWEET”; NERC Large Grant (Co-I)
  • The Pliocene of Northwest China: Understanding aridification in a warmer world”; Royal Society (PI)
  • Southern High Latitude Vegetation Response to Rapid Climate Change at the Cenozoic Greenhouse to Icehouse Transition”, NERC (PI)
  • Late Pliocene soils and lakes: A global data set for the analysis of climate feedbacks in a warmer world”, NERC (PI)
Ulrich Salzmann

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A large-scale transcontinental river system crossed West Antarctica during the Eocene, Zundel, M., Spiegel, C., Mark, C., Millar, I., Chew, D., Klages, J., Gohl, K., Hillenbrand, C., Najman, Y., Salzmann, U., Ehrmann, W., Titschack, J., Bauersachs, T., Uenzelmann-Neben, G., Bickert, T., Müller, J., Larter, R., Lisker, F., Bohaty, S., Kuhn, G. 7 Jun 2024, In: Science Advances
  • 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
  • Highly restricted near‐surface permafrost extent during the mid-Pliocene warm period, Guo, D., Wang, H., Romanovsky, V., Haywood, A., Pepin, N., Salzmann, U., Sun, J., Yan, Q., Zhang, Z., Li, X., Otto-Bliesner, B., Feng, R., Lohmann, G., Stepanek, C., Abe-Ouchi, A., Chan, W., Peltier, W., Chandan, D., Heydt, A., Contoux, C., Chandler, M., Tan, N., Zhang, Q., Hunter, S., Kamae, Y. 5 Sep 2023, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Alpine permafrost could account for a quarter of thawed carbon based on Plio-Pleistocene paleoclimate analogue, Cheng, F., Garzione, C., Li, X., Salzmann, U., Schwarz, F., Haywood, A., Tindall, J., Nie, J., Li, L., Wang, L., Abbott, B., Elliott, B., Liu, W., Upadhyay, D., Arnold, A., Tripati, A. 1 Dec 2022, In: Nature Communications
  • Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth, Klages, J., Salzmann, U., Bickert, T., Hillenbrand, C., Gohl, K., Kuhn, G., Bohaty, S., Tischak, J., Mueller, J., Frederichs, T., Bauersachs, T., Ehrmann, W., Van De Flierdt, T., Simoes, P., Larter, R., Lohmann, G., Niezgodzki, I., Uenzelmann-Neben, G., Zundel, M., Spiegel, C., Mark, C., Chew, D., Francis, J., Nehrke, G., Schwarz, F., Smith, J., Freudenthal, T., Esper, O., Paelike, H., Ronge, T., Dziadek, R. 2 Apr 2020, In: Nature
  • Southern Ocean warming and Wilkes Land ice sheet retreat during the mid-Miocene, Sangiorgi, F., Bijl, P., Passchier, S., Salzmann, U., Schouten, S., McKay, R., Cody, R., Pross, J., Van De Flierdt, T., Bohaty, S., Levy, R., Williams, T., Escutia, C., Brinkhuis, H. 22 Jan 2018, In: Nature Communications
  • Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition, Pound, M., Salzmann, U. 24 Feb 2017, In: Scientific Reports
  • Challenges in quantifying Pliocene terrestrial warming revealed by data–model discord, Salzmann, U., Dolan, A., Haywood, A., Chan, W., Voss, J., Hill, D., Abe-Ouchi, A., Otto-Bliesner, B., Bragg, F., Chandler, M., Contoux, C., Dowsett, H., Jost, A., Kamae, Y., Lohmann, G., Lunt, D., Pickering, S., Pound, M., Ramstein, G., Rosenbloom, N., Sohl, L., Stepanek, C., Ueda, H., Zhang, Z. 2013, In: Nature Climate Change
  • Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data, Lunt, D., Haywood, A., Schmidt, G., Salzmann, U., Valdes, P., Dowsett, H. Jan 2010, In: Nature Geoscience

  • Michael Amoo Southern high-latitude vegetation and climate change across the Eocene and Oligocene and the role of the widening Tasmanian Gateway Start Date: 01/10/2019 End Date: 01/10/2023
  • Sina Panitz Pliocene Vegetation and Climate of Arctic Norway and the Variability of the Norwegian Atlantic Current Start Date: 01/11/2013 End Date: 30/03/2017
  • Philippa Summers Using Palynology for High Resolution Dating of Sub-Recent Small Water Body Sediment Cores from North East England Start Date: 13/11/2013 End Date: 13/06/2016
  • Stephanie Strother Southern High-Latitude Vegetation and Climate Change During the Holocene (South Georgia) and Oligocene (Wilkes Land, Antarctica) Start Date: 14/09/2012 End Date: 25/02/2016
  • Florian Schwarz Pliocene vegetation and climate variability on the NE Tibetan Plateau (Qaidam and Kunlun Pass Basin) over glacial-interglacial timescales Start Date: 01/10/2015 End Date: 06/11/2019
  • Anna Egerton Start Date: 01/10/2019 End Date: 03/03/2020
  • Alasdair Thompson ??Global and High Southern Latitude Vegetation and Climate Change across the Paleogene: Insights from Plant Functional Type Diversity and Terrestrial Palynomorphs Start Date: 01/10/2019

  • PhD December 01 1998
  • MSc February 01 1994
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2018

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