Dr. Natasha Barbolini
I am Natasha Barbolini, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics, UvA. Hosted by Dr Carina Hoorn, I joined the University of Amsterdam working on the MAGIC research project: (Monsoons of Asia caused Greenhouse to Icehouse Cooling). This ERC-funded project is headed by Dr Guillaume Dupont-Nivet at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
I am investigating the Cretaceous–Eocene palynology and paleoecology of western China and NE Tibet, in order to assist in unravelling the role and behaviour of ancient Asian Monsoons. This should further our understanding of global hyperthermal and cooling events such as the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO), and Eocene–Oligocene Transition (EOT).
Pollen analysis has already proved useful in detecting ancient high-altitude environments on the NE Tibetan Plateau (Hoorn et al., 2012). Recently, I joined some other MAGIC team members for a month-long journey to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, collecting new palynological, palaeomagnetic, and biomarker samples (150+ kg!) from established and newly discovered sections. By refining the age control and ecological dynamics of these sites, we hope to unravel the role Asian Monsoons have played, together with tectonic uplift, in continental aridification, vegetation changes, and global climate evolution over millions of years.