• Make fonts size smaller
  • Make fonts size larger
  • Make fonts size double larger

Jochen Halfar (UTM)


University of Toronto
Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences (UTM)

Tel.:  905 828 5419



Research Interests

My research is focused on deciphering paleoclimates on different time scales ranging from the past centuries to the Neogene using geochemical, sedimentological, and oceanographic approaches. In collaboration with biologists and oceanographers I have recently completed a field calibration study of coralline red algae confirming their usefulness as climate archives. I am now utilizing climate information contained in calcified growth bands of long-lived coralline red algae to reconstruct sea surface temperatures of extratropical seas using state-of-the-art microanalytical geochemical techniques.

A further aspect of my research is concerned with quantifying the complex interplay of oceanographic controls such as nutrients and temperatures on modern shallow water carbonate depositional systems in order to facilitate the interpretation of paleoclimates and paleoceanography from fossil carbonates. I have completed a first such study by combining long-term field monitoring of oceanography with sedimentologic investigations in a range of modern carbonate environments located along a latitudinal gradient. Applying this knowledge to the fossil record I could demonstrate that increased nutrient levels in connection with deteriorating temperatures resulted in a global turnover of shallow water carbonate producing biota during the middle Miocene.

Additional information about my research can be found here.

Prospective graduate students:

If you are interested in graduate work at University of Toronto please contact me at jochen.halfar@utoronto.ca . You will have an opportunity to participate in upcoming cruises and paleoclimate-related work in the North Pacific, the Canadian Atlantic, and the Gulf of California, Mexico .