Siyao (Mark) Yu


Mark Yu

Ph.D. Student 

Rutgers University
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Geological Sciences Lab Rm. 233E
610 Taylor Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066 U.S.A.

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Research Interests

  • Paleoceanography/Paleoclimatology 
  • Stable Isotope Geochemistry 
  • Biogeochemistry 
  • Micropaleontology (foraminifera)
  • High-Temperature Experimental Geochemistry 

My research experiences overlap in the underlying theme that biogeochemical cycles play a critical role in the formation of a habitable planet, and I am convinced calibrations and regional variations need to be further investigated. I am particularly interested in the study of paleo-proxies and their development and applications in conjunction with advances in instrumentation.

For my Ph.D. thesis, I am working on reconstructing the Pleistocene thermocline in the Indian Ocean using stable isotopes of foraminifera as part of IODP Expedition 359, Maldives Monsoon and Sea Level. This study aims to elucidate the hydrographic changes in the Indian Ocean with the onset of the South Asian Monsoon and changes to oxygen minimum zones extending into the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. Additionally, my research involves oxygen isotope analysis of pore waters extracted from sediments collected on IODP Expedition 363 in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. This study aims to reconstruct bottom water temperatures to understand ocean circulation and heat transport. 


  • Rutgers University, NJ - (Pre-Candidacy) 2016-Present 
  • University of Rochester, NYGeological Sciences (B.S.) with Biology, Environmental Geology, and History Minors, 2015 Senior Thesis: "Methods of Apatite Synthesis and Europium Anomaly Effects with Regard to Oxygen Fugacity"                  Advisor: Dustin Trail 

Teaching Experience

  • Fall 2016, Fall 2017 - (01:460:301) Mineralogy; Dr. Claude Herzberg
  • Spring 2017 - (01:460:304) Introduction to Geochemistry; Dr. Godfrey, Dr. Mortlock, Dr. Turrin

Honors and Awards

  • NSF Participation Award for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry and Ecology (IsoCamp), 2017
  • Special Study Award, IsoCamp, 2017
  • TA/GA Professional Development Award, 2017
  • Student Course Development Project Fund, 2015
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon, 2015
  • Discover Grant, 2014
  • 7th Generation Scholarship, 2011-2015

Advisor and Dissertation Committee

  • James D. Wright 

Meetings / Abstracts

  • Yu. S.M., J.D. Wright (2017), Pleistocene Thermocline Reconstruction and Oxygen Minimum Zone Evolution in the Maldives [Poster] American Geophysical Union, December 2017, New Orleans, LA