Engineering Science and Physics
: Building 1N
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PhD, 2003 Columbia University
MS, 1997 New York University
BS, 1992 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Biography / Academic Interests
Athanasios Koutavas is a paleoclimatologist investigating past climate variability with a focus on tropical ocean regions. Of greatest interest in this framework is the paleoceanographic evolution of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and its interaction and linkages with climate events and cycles around the globe. The timescales of highest interest are the Holocene and Pleistocene, including the great ice-age cycles of the last million years. This work strives to establish connections between tropical sea surface temperatures and patterns of hydrologic change over land and ocean. The goal is to understand how external climate forcings and internal ocean-atmosphere dynamics have interacted to drive past wet-dry and warm-cold climate oscillations. The understanding and geologic perspective gained from these investigations provides a critical foundation for predicting and anticipating analogous responses to future climate change and their impacts on human societies.
Scholarship / Publications
Stott, L., J. Southon, A. Timmermann, and A. Koutavas (2009), Radiocarbon age anomaly at intermediate water depth in the Pacific Ocean during the last deglaciation, Paleoceanography, 24, PA2223, doi:10.1029/2008PA001690.
Koutavas, A., and J. P. Sachs (2008), Northern timing of deglaciation in the eastern equatorial Pacific from alkenone paleothermometry, Paleoceanography, 23, PA4205, doi:10.1029/2008PA001593.
Koutavas, A. (2008), Late 20th century growth acceleration in greek firs (Abies cephalonica) from Cephalonia Island, Greece: a CO2 fertilization effect? Dendrochronologia, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 13-19, doi:10.1016/j.dendro.2007.06.001.
Koutavas, A., P. B. deMenocal, G. C. Olive, and J. Lynch-Stieglitz (2006), Mid-Holocene El Niņo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) attenuation revealed by individual foraminifera in eastern tropical Pacific sediments, Geology, 34, 993-996.
Chiang, J. C. H., and A. Koutavas (2004), Climate Change: Tropical Flip-Flop Connections, Nature, 432, 684-685.
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.
Koutavas A., J. Lynch-Stieglitz, T. M. Marchitto, and J. P. Sachs (2002), El Niņo-like Pattern in Ice Age Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature. Science, 297, 226-230.