Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab

photos of sunsets

Barbara Balestra

Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California Santa Cruz




I grew up in Ravenna, a beautiful town on the Adriatic Sea in Italy. I attended the University of Florence and received a Master’s degree in Geology and PhD in Earth Science, studying coccolithophores. In 2009, I moved to New York City, where I worked as senior laboratory technician and associate researcher at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), CUNY Queens College, until December 2012. I joined Adina in her UCSC lab in February 2013.

Project Description

My research covers different aspects of paleoceanography and climate change in the past. In particular, I want to understand how the climate developed in the past. To do so, I utilize the paleoecology and the geochemical and stable isotopic composition of coccolithophores and benthic foraminifera as indicators for climate-induced changes in marine productivity and oceanic ecosystem structure. In 2011-2012, I participated in the IODP Expedition 339, Mediterranean Outflow, as a calcareous nannofossil analyst. Since then, I have been working on several projects linked to that expedition, such as biostratigraphy, paleoceanography and paleoclimate reconstructions in the Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene. Recently I have started to work with Adina in projects on ocean acidification in the Coastal Margin of California.

Page last updated October 5, 2015