Paul A. Baker

Paul A. Baker

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Primary Appointment

Earth & Ocean Sciences Division

For the past several years, I have been pursuing the goal of understanding climate change on time-scales from decades to millions of years. I am particularly interested in what forces natural climate variability, how past climates have influenced the ecology and diversity of organisms in the tropics, as well as how climate change and other human activities will affect the eventual fate of these organisms.

In The News


Terborgh, JW, Davenport, LC, Belcon, AU, Katul, G, Swenson, JJ, Fritz, SC, and Baker, PA. "Twenty-three-year timeline of ecological stable states and regime shifts in upper Amazon oxbow lakes." Hydrobiologia 807, no. 1 (February 2018): 99-111.
Latrubesse, EM, Arima, EY, Dunne, T, Park, E, Baker, VR, d'Horta, FM, Wight, C, Wittmann, F, Zuanon, J, Baker, PA, Ribas, CC, Norgaard, RB, Filizola, N, Ansar, A, Flyvbjerg, B, and Stevaux, JC. "Damming the rivers of the Amazon basin." Nature 546, no. 7658 (June 2017): 363-369.
Sun, S, Schefuß, E, Mulitza, S, Chiessi, CM, Sawakuchi, AO, Zabel, M, Baker, PA, Hefter, J, and Mollenhauer, G. "Origin and processing of terrestrial organic carbon in the Amazon system: lignin phenols in river, shelf, and fan sediments." Biogeosciences 14, no. 9 (2017): 2495-2512.
Häggi, C, Sawakuchi, AO, Chiessi, CM, Mulitza, S, Mollenhauer, G, Sawakuchi, HO, Baker, PA, Zabel, M, and Schefuß, E. "Origin, transport and deposition of leaf-wax biomarkers in the Amazon Basin and the adjacent Atlantic." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 192 (November 2016): 149-165.
Baker, PA, and Fritz, SC. "Nature and causes of Quaternary climate variation of tropical South America." Quaternary Science Reviews 124 (September 2015): 31-47.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 570: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences (ENVIRON 570: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
EOS 509S: Paleoclimate (EOS 509S: Paleoclimate)
EOS 571: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences (EOS 571: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences)
CEE 551: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEE 551: Isotopes in Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Contact Information

Box 90230
Durham, NC 27708-0230
301 Old Chemistry
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., University of California at San Diego (1981)
M.S., Pennsylvania State University (1975)
B.A., University of Rochester (1973)