James C. zachos



B.S. 1981 State University of New York, Oneonta

M.S. 1983 University of South Carolina

Ph.D. 1988, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography

Post-Doctoral Fellow 1988-1990 University of Michigan


Email: jzachos@ucsc.edu

Phone: 831-459-4644

Other Information


Research Projects

Research Group



Lectures (public)


News/Research Links

GHG and Climate

Carbon and Ocean Acidification

World Without Ice - Natl. Geog. - PETM  [PDF]

If the Ice Melted: Video 

If the Ice Melted: Maps

  1. BulletPhotos/Figures

Expedition 342

Urbino Summer School Paleoclimatology

Misc.  Links

Earth & Planetary Sciences

Stable Isotope Lab

Elemental Analysis Lab


Online Lectures/Archives

  1. Royal Society Lecture

  2. BulletAGU Emiliani Lecture

  3. Bullet EGU Frontiers Lecture

  4. Bullet Dark Seas




Jim Zachos's research interests encompass a wide variety of problems related to the biological, chemical, and climatic evolution of late Cretaceous and Cenozoic oceans. He measures the chemical composition of shells from marine sediments to reconstruct past changes in ocean temperature & circulation, continental ice-volume, productivity, and carbon cycling. His research is oriented toward identifying the mechanisms responsible for driving long and short-term changes in global climate.

Zachos, his students and colleagues are currently engaged in research projects oriented toward resolving the nature of rapid and extreme climate transitions in earths past. These projects involve the application of stable isotope and trace metal ratios to reconstruct ocean temperature and chemistry for climatic events such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (~56 mya), the middle- and early Eocene Climatic Optimum, the Eocene-Oligocene Transition. They are also investigating ocean acidification (acid oceans) that accompanied several of the transient warmings.

Zachos is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, California Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a recipient of the European Geosciences Union 2016 Milankovic Medal.