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Christina RiesselmanBA (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
PhD (Stanford University)

Office – Room Gn1, 360 Leith Walk
Tel +64 3 479 7505

Marine Science
Office – Room 105, 310 Castle Street
Tel +64 3 479 5732

Google Scholar: Christina Riesselman

PhD opportunity in paleoceanography and geochemistry

Sea ice, nutrient utilization, and primary production on the Wilkes Land Margin

Primary supervisor: Dr. Christina Riesselman, Departments of Geology and Marine Science, University of Otago, New Zealand

Co-advisors: Assoc. Prof. Rebecca Robinson, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island Dr. Robert Van Hale, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago

Research Interests

Examining the sediment-water interface aboard the RVIB Nathanial B. Palmer. Credit: R. Stevens .Examining the sediment-water interface aboard the RVIB Nathanial B. Palmer. Credit: R. Stevens

I am a paleoceanographer with a focus on Southern Ocean response to changing climate. My research uses stable isotope geochemistry and diatom micropaleontology in marine sediments to examine the evolution of the Antarctic cryosphere through the Cenozoic. In support of these aims, I also participate in collaborative investigations into the modern controls on phytoplankton community structure. This modern-process research underscores the role of biogenic marine sedimentation as a uniquely sensitive recorder of past conditions, both geochemically and from an assemblage-based perspective.

Postgraduate student supervision


  • Jacob Anderson (PhD) – Determining Antarctica's terrestrial climate history from microbial populations in permafrost
  • Meghan Duffy (PhD) – Linking East Antarctic temperature with Southern Ocean productivity
  • Josie Frazer (MSc) – Reconstructing Pleistocene oceanic front positions using diatom species assemblages and organic geochemistry from Southern Ocean sediment cores
  • Holly Meyer (MSc) – Using Offshore NZ Seismic Data to Conduct Sequence Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Analysis in the Great South Basin
  • Amelia Morris (MSc) – Using sediment cores to provide a Southern Ocean reference section for key intervals of the geologic timescale between 4-8 Ma
  • Jordan Riddell (MSc) – Paleoclimatology in Central Otago, New Zealand
  • Aleisha Savage (MSc) – Construction of a Holocene-Pleistocene paleoceanographic record in the Adare Trough, Ross Sea, Antarctica
  • Luke Whibley (MSc) – Carbon cycling and burial in the waters and surface sediments of Fiordland


  • Noel Bates (MSc, 2018) – Short-term climate variability in the mid-Miocene: A Micropalaeontological and sedimentological investigation of a high-resolution maar lake sediment near Hindon, East Otago, New Zealand
  • Michael Bollen (MSc, 2019) – Holocene-Pleistocene paleoceanography in the Ross Sea, Antarctica
  • Grace Duke (PhD, 2022) – Characterising Antarctic primary productivity during the Pliocene using nitrogen bound in frustules
  • Patrick Fletcher (BSc(Hons), 2016) – Geological and geophysical evolution of Otago Harbour
  • Greer Gilmer (PhD, 2020) – Climate records from Auckland Islands, Antarctica and Lake Ohau
  • Anannya Mazumder (BSc(Hons), 2014) – Ice loss from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during late Pleistocene interglacials
  • Rebecca Parker (MSc, 2017) – Holocene paleoclimates and paleoceanography within the Ross Sea, Antarctica using marine sediment cores
  • Laura Penrose (BSc(Hons), 2018) – A geochemical and diatom-based Holocene paleoclimate and paleoceanographic record from the eastern Ross Embayment, Antarctica
  • Oliver Rees (MSc, 2020) – Seismic characterisation of sediments in Otago Harbour, (BSc(Hons), 2018) – Seismic characterisation of sediments in Otago Harbour
  • Aleisha Savage (PGDipSci, 2020) – Holocene paleoclimate record in the Adare Trough, Antarctica
  • Briar Taylor-Silva (BSc(Hons), 2015) – Reconstructing sea ice conditions and migration of the polar frontal zone in the warm late Pliocene, Wilkes Land margin, East Antarctica
  • Olivia Truax (PhD, 2023) – Integrating proxy and model estimates of Holocene climate variability in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, (MSc, 2018) – Holocene paleoceanographic evolution at the Ross Sea-Southern Ocean interface, Antarctica



Perkins, E. J., Gorman, A. R., Tidey, E. J., Wilson, G. S., Ohneiser, C., Moy, C. M., Riesselman, C. R., Gilmer, G., & Ross, B. S. (2020). High-resolution seismic imaging reveals infill history of a submerged Quaternary fjord system in the subantarctic Auckland Islands, New Zealand. Quaternary Research, 93(1), 255-266. doi: 10.1017/qua.2019.58

Ohneiser, C., Yoo, K.-C., Albot, O. B., Cortese, G., Riesselman, C., Lee, J. I., … Bollen, M., … Beltran, C., … Wilson, G. S. (2019). Magneto-biostratigraphic age models for Pleistocene sedimentary records from the Ross Sea. Global & Planetary Change, 176, 36-49. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.02.013

Wilson, D. J., Bertram, R. A., Needham, E. F., van der Flierdt, T., Welsh, K. J., McKay, R. M., … Riesselman, C. R., … Escutia, C. (2018). Ice loss from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during late Pleistocene interglacials. Nature, 561, 383-386. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0501-8

Taylor-Silva, B. I., & Riesselman, C. R. (2018). Polar frontal migration in the warm late Pliocene: Diatom evidence from the Wilkes Land margin, East Antarctica. Paleoceanography & Paleoclimatology, 33(1), 76-92. doi: 10.1002/2017PA003225

Bertram, R. A., Wilson, D. J., van de Flierdt, T., McKay, R. M., Patterson, M. O., Jimenez-Espejo, F. J., … Duke, G. C., Taylor-Silva, B. I., & Riesselman, C. R. (2018). Pliocene deglacial event timelines and the biogeochemical response offshore Wilkes Subglacial Basin, East Antarctica. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 494, 109-116. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.054

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