Kristin Bergmann

Kristin Bergmann

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Kristin Bergmann attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where she majored in Geology with an Environmental and Technological Studies Concentration. There she fell in love with field work spending two summers researching the hydrologic changes associated with sagebrush expansion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Prior to graduate school, Kristin worked for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and then taught middle school science at the Pennington School in New Jersey. Kristin pursued her doctorate at Caltech in Pasadena, California with John Grotzinger, John Eiler and Woody Fischer using field and lab work to study the environmental conditions surrounding animal evolution in the Ediacaran, Cambrian and Ordovician. After graduating, she joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a junior fellow and worked with Andy Knoll on early eukaryotic evolution. She joined the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the summer of 2015.  In 2018 Bergmann was awarded a Packard Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


Video Presentation


  • 55549 In the Bergmann Lab at MIT, we use a combination of approaches to reconstruct ancient climate conditions. Carbonate, phosphatic and siliciclastic rocks retain significant information about climatic conditions in Earth’s deep history in their sedimentological, petrographic and geochemical character. Determining absolute temperature ranges and seawater oxygen isotope (δ18O) fluctuations over geologic time is one crucial component of understanding Earth's long term climate history and the co-evolution of Earth and life. Carbonate clumped isotope thermometry (D47) of ancient carbonates and fossils has the potential to unravel competing effects on δ18O records. However, diagenetic effects must be considered using strategies of analysis of two or more co-existing minerals (i.e. calcite, dolomite and apatite), comparisons between co-existing fabrics (i.e. late-stage cements vs. primary shells), and micro-analytical screening techniques based on petrographic and chemical indicators of alteration. I will present results that utilize all of these strategies to assess the climate variability in the latest Precambrian and earliest Phanerozoic. Our results suggest critical differences between recent paleoclimate conditions and those of the deep past both in terms of the response of the climate system to external perturbations as well as the controls that govern the climate system's recovery to perturbations. Reconstructing Earth's Climate Dynamics at the Dawn of Animals
    Reconstructing Earth's Climate Dynamics at the Dawn of Animals