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


Baker, PA, and Fritz, SC. "Nature and causes of Quaternary climate variation of tropical South America." Quaternary Science Reviews 124 (September 2015): 31-47.
Baker, PA, Fritz, SC, Silva, CG, Rigsby, CA, Absy, ML, Almeida, RP, Caputo, M, Chiessi, CM, Cruz, FW, Dick, CW, Feakins, SJ, Figueiredo, J, Freeman, KH, Hoorn, C, Jaramillo, C, Kern, AK, Latrubesse, EM, Ledru, MP, Marzoli, A, Myrbo, A, Noren, A, Piller, WE, Ramos, MIF, Ribas, CC, Trnadade, R, West, AJ, Wahnfried, I, and Willard, DA. "Trans-Amazon Drilling Project (TADP): origins and evolution of the forests, climate, and hydrology of the South American tropics." Scientific Drilling 20 (2015): 41-49.
Fornace, KL, Hughen, KA, Shanahan, TM, Fritz, SC, Baker, PA, and Sylva, SP. "A 60,000-year record of hydrologic variability in the Central Andes from the hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf waxes in Lake Titicaca sediments." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 408 (December 2014): 263-271.
Nace, TE, Baker, PA, Dwyer, GS, Silva, CG, Rigsby, CA, Burns, SJ, Giosan, L, Otto-Bliesner, B, Liu, Z, and Zhu, J. "The role of North Brazil Current transport in the paleoclimate of the Brazilian Nordeste margin and paleoceanography of the western tropical Atlantic during the late Quaternary." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 415 (December 2014): 3-13.
Obrochta, SP, Crowley, TJ, Channell, JET, Hodell, DA, Baker, PA, Seki, A, and Yokoyama, Y. "Climate variability and ice-sheet dynamics during the last three glaciations." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 406 (November 2014): 198-212.


BIOLOGY 790S: Special Topics Seminar (BIOLOGY 790S: Special Topics Seminar)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
EVANTH 790S: Special Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology (EVANTH 790S: Special Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology)
EOS 507S: The Amazon: Geology, Climate, Ecology, and Future Change (EOS 507S: The Amazon: Geology, Climate, Ecology, and Future Change)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)

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)