Staff profiles

Giuseppe CortesePaleoclimate Scientist



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I was born in Reggio Calabria, a Greek colony founded in 600 BC at the very tip of Italy’s boot, just opposite Sicily: only 3 km away, quite practical if you can walk on water. After a lot of close brushes with Mesozoic rocks during my University years, I specialized in modern radiolarians, the plankton group that controlled the silica cycle in the ocean for a long time, until diatoms stole their show… I’ve worked on fjords, the Nordic Seas and their oceanography, morphometry of microfossils, temperature and sea ice reconstructions, silica cycle, polar paleoclimate, iron fertilization and all things Southern Ocean. I moved to New Zealand in January 2009, where I keep on studying the Southern Ocean, the SW Pacific and the Tasman Sea, particularly their recent past climate history. As fitting for my Greek heritage and geological background, I married my own rock (Meera) on a caldera rim, in Santorini. I have way too many hobbies to cleanse my brain, including riding motorbikes, cooking, playing keyboards, fishing/boating, travelling and experiencing the world, learning languages, and gaming.


  • MSc, Geology
  • PhD, Paleontology

Areas of expertise

  • Geology: Paleoclimatology
  • Paleontology: Paleoceanography
  • Paleontology: Micropaleontology

Major Publications

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  • Civel-Mazens, M.; Crosta, X.; Cortese, G.; Michel, E.; Mazaud, A.; Ther, O.; Ikehara, M.; Itaki, T. 2021. Antarctic Polar Front migrations in the Kerguelen Plateau region, Southern Ocean, over the past 360 kyrs, Global and Planetary Change 202: article 103526. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2021.103526.
  • Lawler, K.-A.; Cortese, G.; Civel-Mazens, M.; Bostock, H.; Crosta, X.; Leventer, A.; Lowe, V.; Rogers, J.; Armand, L.K. 2021. The Southern Ocean Radiolarian (SO-RAD) dataset : a new compilation of modern radiolarian census data, Earth System Science Data 13(11): p. 5441-5453. DOI: 10.5194/essd-13-5441-2021.
  • Tetard, M.; Marchant, R.; Cortese, G.; Gally, Y.; de Garidel-Thoron, T.; Beaufort, L. 2020. Technical note : a new automated radiolarian image acquisition, stacking, processing, segmentation, and identification workflow, Climate of the past 16: p. 2415-2429. DOI: 10.5194/cp-16-2415-2020.
  • Cortese, G.; Prebble, J.G. 2015. A radiolarian-based modern analogue dataset for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in the southwest Pacific, Marine micropaleontology 118: p. 34-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2015.05.002.
  • Cortese, G.; Dunbar, G.B.; Carter, L.; Scott, G.H.; Bostock, H.; Bowen, M.; Crundwell, M.P.; Hayward, B.W.; Howard, W.; Martinez, J.I.; Moy, A.; Neil, H.; Sabaa, A.; Sturm, A. 2013. Southwest Pacific Ocean response to a warmer world : insights from Marine Isotope Stage 5e, Paleoceanography 28(3): p. 585-598. DOI: 10.1002/palo.20052.

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