Dept. of  Geography & Environmental Sciences
Northumbria University
Newcastle City Campus, 2 Ellison Place
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST
United Kingdom

Room EBA 209
Tel:  +44 (0)191 227 3874


I am currently Professor of Palaeoecology in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences and Departmental Lead of the Cold and Palaeoenvironment Research Group (CAPE). Prior to joining Northumbria University, I worked at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK (2005-2010), the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany (2003-2005) and the Institute for Archaeology & Archaeobotany, University of Frankfurt, Germany (1998-2002), where I received my PhD degree on the vegetation and climate history of the West African savanna.


My research focuses on the reconstruction of Earth’s past environments. I am particularly interested in the palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology of tropical and Polar Regions. My research includes:

Antarctic and Arctic climate and vegetation change over the last 70 million years. The polar regions play a key role in our understanding of environmental change in a warmer-than-present world. I am reconstructing Antarctic land-ocean interactions before the onset of glaciation and during Neogene warm periods in order to understand the forcing and feedback mechanisms controlling polar glaciation throughout the past Greenhouse to Icehouse transition.

Global synthesis of climate proxy data for testing and improving numerical climate models. By combining Palynology with global data-model comparison, my research fosters a deeper understanding of how terrestrial environments responded, and might respond in the future, to rapid changes in temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Quaternary vegetation change and human impact. I have a strong interest in assessing the role of early human impact and climate change. A thorough understanding of the importance of human impact and climate change for the evolution and history of our ecosystems is essential for the development of sustainable management and appropriate mitigation strategies for the future.


• As Good as (G)Old? Comparing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Restored and Natural Mangrove Forests in the Wallacea Region (CoReNat); NERC  (Co-I)
•  “Super-Warm Early Eocene Temperatures and climate: understanding the response of the Earth system to high CO2 through integrated modelling and data – SWEET”; NERC Large Grant (Co-I)
•  “The Pliocene of Northwest China: Understanding aridification in a warmer world”; Royal Society (PI)
•  “Southern High Latitude Vegetation Response to Rapid Climate Change at the Cenozoic Greenhouse to Icehouse Transition”, NERC (PI)
•  “Late Pliocene soils and lakes: A global data set for the analysis of climate feedbacks in a warmer world”, NERC (PI)


Sangiorgi, F., Bijl, P.K., Passchier, S., Salzmann U., Schouten S., McKay R., Cody, R.D., Pross, J., et al. (2018): Warm Southern Ocean linked to a reduced size of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid Miocene. Nature Communications 9, 317. doi:10.1038/s41 467-017-02609-7.

Panitz, S., Salzmann, U., Risebrobakken, B., De Schepper, S., Pound, M. J, Haywood, A.M., Lunt, D.J. and Dolan A.M. (2018): Orbital, tectonic and oceanographic control of Pliocene climate and atmospheric circulation in Arctic Norway. Global & Planetary Change 161: 183–193.

Pound, M. and Salzmann, U. (2017): Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition. Scientific Reports 7, No: 43386; doi:10.1038/srep43386.

De Schepper, S, Gibbard P, Salzmann U & Ehlers J (2014) A global synthesis of the marine and terrestrial evidence for glaciation during the Pliocene Epoch. Earth-Science Reviews 135: 83–102

Salzmann, U., Dolan, A.M., Haywood, A M., Chan W.-L., Hill, D.J., Abe-Ouchi, A., Otto-Bliesner, B., Bragg, F., Chandler, M. A., Contoux, C., Dowsett, H.J., Jost, A., Kamae, Y., Lohmann, Lunt, D. J., Pickering, S.J., Pound M.J., Ramstein, G., Rosenbloom, N.A., Sohl, L., Stepanek, C., Ueda, H, Zhang, Z.  (2013): Challenges in reconstructing terrestrial warming of the Pliocene revealed by data-model discord. Nature Climate Change 3: 969–974.

Lunt D.J., Haywood, A.M., Schmidt, G.A., Salzmann, U., Valdes, P.J., Dowsett H.J. (2010) Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data. Nature Geoscience 3, 60-64.

Salzmann, U., Haywood, A. M., Lunt D. J., Valdes, P. J. and Hill, D. J. (2008) A new Global Biome Reconstruction and Data-Model Comparison for the middle Pliocene. Global Ecology and Biogeography 17: 432–447.

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