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Athanasios Koutavas

  • Ph.D. (Paleoceanography-Paleoclimatology), Columbia University 2003
  • M.Phil. (Paleoceanography-Paleoclimatology), Columbia University 2001
  • M.S. (Energetics), New York University 1997
  • B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 1992

Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Science and Physics

Areas of Interest:
My main interest is in the areas of paleoceanography and paleoclimatology. I use a variety of approaches and geologic archives to reconstruct past climate and environmental changes. Examples include oxygen and carbon isotopic variations in marine foraminifera, ocean paleothermometry based on Mg/Ca and alkenones, geochemistry of speleothem deposits, and dendrochronology. I am particularly interested in global climate variability during the Pleistocene and Holocene, and a central focus of my research is on the evolution of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and its impacts around the world.

Project Themes :

  • Reconstruction of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation history during the Holocene using planktonic foraminifera
  • Dynamics of the cold tongue-intertropical convergence zone in the eastern tropical Pacific on glacial-interglacial and millennial time scales
  • Alkenones in marine sediments as paleotemperature and paleoproductivity indicators
  • Dendroclimatologic assessment of drought frequency and intensity in the New York City environs.
  • Dendrochronologic detection of the CO2 fertilization effect in natural vegetation from the Mediterranean Sea

Fall 2014 courses:

  • HON 223 - Science and TEchnology in New York City
  • ESC 705 - Global Climate Change

Office: 1N-231
Tel: (718) 982-2972
Fax: (718) 982-2830
Email: tom [dot] koutavas [at] csi [dot] cuny [dot] edu

Department of Engineering Science and Physics
College of Staten Island
City University of New York
2800 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10314

For more information:
Personal Homepage

 Recent Publication  

[1]. Koutavas, A., P. B. deMenocal, G. C. Olive, and J. Lynch-Stieglitz (2006), Mid-Holocene El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) attenuation revealed by individual foraminifera in eastern tropical Pacific sediments, Geology, 34, p. 993-996; doi: 10.1130/G22810A.1.

[2].Chiang, J. C. H., and A. Koutavas (2004), Climate Change: Tropical flip-flop connections, Nature, 432, 684-685.

[3]. Stott, L., K. Cannariato, R. Thunell, G. Haug, A. Koutavas, and S. Lund (2004), Decline of surface temperature and salinity in the western tropical Pacific Ocean in the Holocene epoch, Nature, 431, 56-59.

[4]. Koutavas A., and J. Lynch-Stieglitz (2003), Glacial-interglacial dynamics of the eastern equatorial Pacific cold tongue-Intertropical Convergence Zone system reconstructed from oxygen isotope records, Paleoceanography, 18, No. 4, 1089, 10.1029/2003PA000894.

[5]. Koutavas, A., J. Lynch-Stieglitz, T. M. Marchitto, and J. P. Sachs (2002), El NiƱo-like pattern in ice age tropical Pacific sea surface temperature. Science, 297, 226-230.


Department of Engineering Science and Physics, 1N-225
College of Staten Island of
The City University of New York
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel: (718) 982-2800
Fax: (718) 982-2830
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