Chiara Borrelli

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester. I received my B.S. in Marine Biology and Oceanography (2007) and my M.S. in Marine Biology (2009) from the Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona, Italy). In 2010, I moved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), where I earned my Ph.D. in Geology in 2014.

Broadly speaking, I am a paleoceanographer. My main research tool is a group of microfossils called foraminifera, which are eukaryotic, unicellular organisms. Among foraminifera, calcareous species are particularly important because the investigation of their shell chemistry provides a wealth of information about oceanic environments and climate in the geological past. In my research, I aim to better understand the connections between the environment and the foraminiferal chemical and isotopic composition to address questions related to past changes in ocean circulation, climate, and sedimentary biogeochemical cycles.

Even if most of my research time is spent between a laboratory and an analytical facility, fieldwork is an important component of my research effort. For example I participated to two expeditions in different geographic locations (i.e. Svalbard and the US Atlantic margin). I also participated to the International Ocean Discovery Program Expeditions 390 & 393 (South Atlantic Transect) as a shore-based member of the scientific party (benthic foraminaferal micropaleontologist).

Research opportunities exists for undegraduate students interested in term-time or summer research. Ph.D. position(s) may also be available. Prospective students are welcome to contact me for additional information.