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Yu, Siyao (Mark)

Office: 233E Geological Sciences Lab

Research Interests

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

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 during the last 2.6 Myr. 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. 

Growing up, the natural world always fascinated me; from the trickling streams of Yangtze tributary to the weathering pits on the surface of Stone Mountain, I have wondered why do we see such phenomena in nature. With that in mind, I got lost in the jargon and mundane memorization required of all biology majors during my early undergraduate years at Rochester. However, my passion for the sciences was rekindled by studying the interdisciplinary field of geology and researching the feedback mechanisms of the Earth System as an isotope geochemist.   


  • 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  


Contact Us

wright laboratoryWright-Rieman Laboratories
Busch Campus, 610 Taylor Rd.
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066

P  732-445-2044
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