PhD Geology and Geophysics, Yale University
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Yige Zhang is a geochemist interested in understanding how the Earth evolved chemically, and using various geochemical tools to study climate change of the geological past.
Yige earned his BS in geochemistry at Nanjing University, China (2007), and an MS in marine sciences from the University of Georgia in 2009. His MPhil (2011) and PhD (2014) in geology and geophysics are from Yale University. During his PhD, his research is focused on climate reconstructions and modeling of the Cenozoic greenhouse – icehouse transition, including the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene epochs. He used geochemical proxies from marine sediments to understand ocean temperatures, atmospheric CO2 levels and continental ice volume over a series of global climate change events.
As an Environmental Fellow, Yige worked with Ann Pearson from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He developed improved atmospheric CO2 estimates in the Miocene, using organic geochemistry methodologies and novel approaches to isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. His resolved the Miocene CO2 climate sensitivity "paradox," an issue confronting his field in which current reconstructions show a puzzling relationship between stable, or even increased, CO2 concentrations during substantial surface seawater cooling. Yige worked to resolve this climate sensitivity puzzle, which currently suggests that CO2 either played a minor role or that our proxy methods for measuring CO2 levels during that period are flawed.
Ann Pearson, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences