Dr Vittoria Lauretano

Image of Vittoria Lauretano

Postdoctoral Research Associate

  • Office Number: W309
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 954 6395
  • Fax: +44 (0)117 925 1295
  • Email: vittoria.lauretano@bristol.ac.uk


I graduated from the University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy) in 2010 with a M.Sc. thesis in Geology, with focus on Stratigraphy and Sedimentology. My dissertation in micropaleontology was entitled "Biotic evolution and climate: an example from calcareous nannofossils of Late Paleocene” under the supervision of Prof. Isabella Raffi. I focused on the relationship between the biotic evolution of calcareous nannoplankton species and a warming climatic event recorded in marine sediments of the early Palaeocene.

My PhD project was completed at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) within the NWO-VICI funded program “Evolution of astronomically paced climate changes from Greenhouse to Icehouse world” granted to Prof. Lucas Lourens. Under his supervision, I investigated the climatic evolution of the early Eocene warming trend (~55-50 Ma), with particular focus on sources and mechanisms of astronomically paced global warming “hyperthermal” events. The main aim of my research was to reconstruct changes in deep-ocean temperatures and carbon cycle during the early Eocene warming by generating stable carbon and oxygen isotope records from benthic foraminifera and bulk marine sediments, and applying cyclostratigraphic methods.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the OGU group working on the ERC-funded T-GRES (the Terrestrial Greenhouse Earth System) with Professor Rich Pancost and Dr. David Naafs. 

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During the Cenozoic, Earth’s climate evolved from greenhouse conditions, characterised by high temperatures, elevated atmospheric pCO2, and absence of ice sheets, to icehouse conditions, dominated by lower temperatures and large continental ice sheets. Our understanding of this climatic evolution is mainly derived from marine records, while reconstructions of continental climate from terrestrial archives are still poorly constrained. The goal of this project is to reconstruct past terrestrial temperatures across the late Eocene to Miocene (~45-15 Myr). using newly developed organic geochemical proxies and lignite deposits.


  • Early Cenozoic climate change
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Paleoceanography
  • Organic geochemistry
  • Stable isotope records
  • Eocene hyperthermal events
  • Benthic foraminifera
  • Cyclostratigraphy 

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Galeotti, S., Moretti, M., Sabatino, N., Sprovieri, M., Ceccatelli, M., Francescone, F., Lauretano, V., Monechi, S., 2017, “Cyclochronology of the Early Eocene carbon isotope record from a composite succession of the composite Contessa Road-Bottaccione section (Gubbio, central Italy)". Newsletters on Stratigraphy, Vol. 50/3 (2017), 231–244, DOI: 10.1127/nos/2017/0347


Lauretano, V., Hilgen F., Zachos J. C., and Lourens L. J., 2016, “Astronomically tuned age model for the early Eocene carbon isotope events: A new high-resolution δ13Cbenthic record of ODP Site 1263 between ~49 and ~54 Ma”, Newsletters on Stratigraphy, Vol. 49/2 (2016), 383–400, DOI: 10.1127/nos/2016/0077

Abels, H. A., Lauretano, V., van Yperen, A., Hopman, T., Zachos, J. C, Lourens, L. J., Gingerich, P. D., Bowen, G.J., 2016, Carbon isotope excursions in paleosol carbonate marking five early Eocene hyperthermals in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. Climate of the Past, 12, 1–13 www.clim-past.net/12/1/2016/ doi:10.5194/cp-12-1-2016


Lauretano, V., Littler, K., Polling, M., Zachos, J. C, and Lourens, L. J., 2015, “Frequency, magnitude and character of hyperthermal events at the onset of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum”. Climate of the Past, 11, 1313–1324, doi:10.5194/cp-11-1313-2015.

Slotnick, B. S., Lauretano, V., Backman, J., Dickens, G. R., Sluijs, A. & Lourens, L., 2015, “Early Paleogene variations in the calcite compensation depth - New constraints using old borehole sediments from across Ninetyeast Ridge, central Indian Ocean”. Climate of the Past, 11 (3), 473-493.

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