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Anders Carlson

Anders Carlson photo
Associate Professor

Discipline: Geology and Geophysics
Office: Burt 114
Phone: 541-737-3625


Broadly speaking, my research involves the interaction of ice sheets, oceans and the climate system on orbital to centennial time-scales. I currently have projects working on the Laurentide, Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets addressing the behavior of these ice sheets and their effects on climate over multiple glacial cycles. I am also beginning work into documenting the natural volatility of the Arctic cryosphere outside of the Greenland ice sheet. My approach to research uses a combination of dating methods (cosmogenic dating, radiocarbon), analytical techniques (isotope and trace element analysis, geochemistry), field geology, and conceptual and analytical models. I believe a holistic approach is required to place data into the global picture and vice versa for the applicability of models. 

Research Interests

I am vice president of the Coastal & Marine Processes Commision of INQUA (CMP)

I am the lead of the PAGES/INQUA working group, PALeo constraints on SEA-level rise (PALSEA2)

I am part of the larger Quaternary Paleoclimate research group here in CEOAS (website)

Current Research

Investigating glacial-interglacial and long-term changes in the Greenland, Antarctic and Laurentide ice sheets across the late Cenozoic.

Determining the volatility of Greenland and other Arctic (Svalbard, Alasaka) ice masses in the late Holocene.

And the long-term goal of documenting the last deglaciation of the Laurentide ice sheet and its impacts on the globe.

Current NSF/National Geographic Projects:

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Cosmogenic Surface Exposure Dating of Late Holocene Spatial and Temporal Variability of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet (co-PI PhD student Gaylen Sinclair and collaborator Dylan Rood)

Cosmogenic surface exposure dating of Cordilleran-Laurentide ice-sheet separation during the last deglaciation: implications for abrupt sea-level rise (co-PI Jorie Clark & collaborator Alberto Reyes at U. Alberta)

Cosmogenic surface exposure dating of southern Laurentide ice retreat and eastward Lake Agassiz routing: relationship to the Younger Dryas cold event (collaborator Jim Teller at U. Manitoba)

Collaborative Resarch: Testing the impact of orbital to centennial scale climate change on the Greenland ice sheet: deglacial climate-ice-sheet model-data comparison (co-PI Rob DeConto at UMass-Amherst)

Response of the Labrador Sea and south Greenland ice sheet to the mid-Pliocene climate optimum: sedimentary, magnetic and geochemical evidence from the Eirik Drift (co-PI Joe Stoner)

Timing of late-Holocene glacier fluctuations on Svalbard and their relationship to sea-ice extent (collaborators Anne Hormes at Gothenburg U., and Dylan Rood at Imperial College)

MRI: Acquisition of an X-Ray Fluorescence scanner for automated high-resolution sensing of Earth system archives (co-PIs Joe Stoner, Alan Mix, Rob Wheatcroft, Julie Pett-Ridge)

Collaborative Research: Development of a suite of proxies to detect past collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (co-PIs Joe Stoner, Brian Beard at UW-Madison)

Collaborative Research: Last Interglacial Earth System: testing transient climate and ice-sheet simulations with a proxy-data network (PI Feng He, co-PIs Peter Clark, Anders Carlson, Mike Notaro & Steve Vavrus at UW-Madison)


2000 - B.A. summa cum laude Augustana College, Geology (honors) & German

2002 - M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Geology

2006 - Ph.D. Oregon State University, Geology & Oceanography (minor)

2007 - Post Doc Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


2007-2012  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2012          Associate Professor, Dept. of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2013-         Associate Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

Graduate Students

Current Students and Postdocs

Gaylen Sinclair (Ph.D. student) 

Heather Bervid (Ph.D. student)

Anna Glueder (Ph.D. student; co-advised with Alan Mix)

Zoe Kilmer (B.S. student)

Dr. Maureen Davies (Post Doc)

Former Students and Postdocs

Lisa Colville - M.S., 2009, Geochemical proxies to constrain the extent of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet during the last 2 interglacials (teaching at UW-Fox Valley)

Libby Obbink - M.S., 2009, North American freshwater routing during the last deglaciation and abrupt climate change (now at U. Southern California)

Kelsey Winsor - M.S., 2010, Labrador Sea temperature and hydrography variability over the last two deglaciations (continuing Ph.D.)

Dan Murray - M.S., 2011, Northern Hemisphere forcing of the last deglaciation in Southern Patagonia (now at Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey)

Beth Welke - B.S., 2011, Deglacial changes in Labrador Sea sedimentology (M.S. Indiana U.-Purdue U. in Earth Sciences; now a Ph.D. student at University of Arizona)

Jeremy Hoffman - B.A., 2011, Linking the 8.2 ka event and its freshwater forcing in the Labrador Sea (undergraduate at Augustana College, PhD student at Oregon State U. in Geology)

Dr. Alberto Reyes - Ph.D. from University of Alberta, postdoc 2011-2012, Lecturer at Queens University, Belfast 2013-2014, Assistant Professor at University of Alberta, 2014 - 

Mel Reusche - B.S., 2013, Timing of late Holocene glacier advances on Svalbard using cosmogenic radionuclide ages

Angus Moore - B.S., 2013, Lithological controls on cosmogenic inheritance in southern Wisconsin (M.S. student at Purdue University)

Dave Ullman - Ph.D., 2013, Cosmogenic dating of Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat and modeling the radiative forcing of retreat, now a postdoc at Oregon State University

Kelsey Winsor - Ph.D., 2014, - Assessing deglacial changes in the Greenland ice sheet on the shelf and land, now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colgate University

Aspen Matthias - B.S., 2015 - Pliocene sedimentology of the Eirik Ridge

Dr. Christo Buizert - Postdoc 2014-2016 - Modeling the last deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet, now a Assistant Professor, Senior Research at CEOAS Oregon State

David Leydet - M.S. 2016 - Eastward routing of glacial Lake Agassiz caused the Younger Dryas cold even, now an instructor at West Point Military Academy


56. Hatfield, R.G.,Reyes, A.V., Stoner, J.S., Carlson, A.E., Beard, B.L., Winsor, K., and Welke, B., 2016, Interglacial responses of the southern Greenland ice sheet over the last 430,000 years determined using particle-size specific magnetic and isotopic tracers: Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

55. Sinclair, G., Carlson, A.E., Mix, C.A., Lecavalier, B., Milne, G., Matthias, A., Buizert, C., and DeConto, R., 2016, Diachronous retreat of the Greenland ice sheet during the last deglaciation: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 145, p. 243-258. PDF

54. Cuzzone, J.K., Clark, P.U., Carlson, A.E., Ullman, D.J., Rinterknecht, V.R., Milne, G.A., Pekka, J., Wohlfarth, B., Marcott, S.A., and Caffee, M., 2016, Final deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and implications for the Holocene global sea-level budget: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 448, p. 34-41. PDF

53. Dusterhus, A., Rovere, A., Carlson, A.E., Horton, B.P., Klemann, V., Tarasov, L., Barlow, N.L.M., Bradwell, T., Clark, J., Dutton, A., Gehrels, R., Hibbert, F.D., Hijma, M.P., Kahn, N., Kopp, R.E., Sivan, D., and Tornqvist, T.E., 2016, Palaeo sea-level and ice-sheet databases: problems, strategies and perspectives: Climate of the Past, v. 12, p. 911-921. PDF

52. Carlson, A.E., Clark, P.U., Leydet, D.J., and Rayburn, J.A., 2016, Comment on "The deglaciation over the Laurentide Fan: History of diatoms, IRD, ice and fresh water": Quaternary Science Reviews. PDF

51. Winsor, K., Carlson, A.E., Welke, B., and Reilly, B., 2015, Early deglacial onset of southwestern Greenland ice-sheet retreat on the continental shelf: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 128, p. 117-126. PDF

50. Dutton, A., Carlson, A.E., Long, A.J., Milne, G.A., Clark, P.U., DeConto, R., Horton, B.P., Rahmstorf, S., and Raymo, M.E., 2015, Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods: Science, v. 349, p. 153. PDF

49. Ullman, D.J., Carlson, A.E., Anslow, F.S., LeGrande, A.N., and Licciardi, J.M., 2015, Laurentide ice-sheet instability during the last deglaciation: Nature Geoscience, v. 8, p. 534-537. PDF

48. Winsor, K., Carlson, A.E., Caffee, M., and Rood, D.H., 2015, Rapid last-deglacial thinning and retreat of the marine-terminating southwestern Greenland ice sheet: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 426, p. 1-12. PDF

47. Ullman, D.J., Carlson, A.E., LeGrande, A.N., Moore, A.K., Anslow, F.S., Caffee, M., Syverson, K.M., and Licciardi, J.M., 2015, Southern Laurentide ice-sheet retreat synchronous with rising boreal summer insolation: Geology, v. 43, p. 23-26. PDF

46. Buizert, C., Gkinis, V., Severinghaus, J.P., He, F., Lecavalier, B.S., Kindler, P., Leuenberger, M., Carlson, A.E., Vinther, B., Masson-Delmotte, V., White, J.W.C., Liu, Z., Otto-Bliesner, B., and Brook, E.J., 2014, Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation: Science, v. 345, p. 1177-1180. PDF

45. Carlson, A.E., Winsor, K.,Ullman, D.J., Brook, E.J., Rood, D.H., Axford, Y., LeGrande, A.N., Anslow, F.S., and Sinclair, G., 2014, Earliest Holocene south Greenland ice-sheet retreat within its late-Holocene extent: Geophyscial Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2014GL060800. PDF

44. Winsor, K., Carlson, A.E., and Rood, D.H., 2014, 10Be dating of the Narsarsuaq moraine in southernmost Greenland: evidence for a late-Holocene ice advance exceeding the Little Ice Age maximum: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 98, p. 135-143. PDF

43. Reyes, A.V., Carlson, A.E., Beard, B.L., Hatfield, R.G., Stoner, J.S., Winsor, K., Welke, B., and Ullman, D.J., 2014, South Greenland ice-sheet collapse during Marine Isotope Stage 11: Nature, v. 510, p. 525-528. PDF

42. Reusche, M., Winsor, K., Carlson, A.E., Marcott, S.A., Rood, D.H., Novak, A., Roof, S., Retelle, M., Werner, A., Caffee, M., and Clark, P.U., 2014, 10Be surface exposure ages on the late-Pleistocene and Holocene history of Linnébreen on Svalbard: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 89, p. 5-12. PDF

41. Ullman, D.J., LeGrande, A.N., Carlson, A.E., Anslow, F.S., and Licciardi, J.M., 2014, Assessing the impact of Laurentide Ice-Sheet topography on glacial climate: Climate of the Past, v. 10, p. 487-507. PDF

40. Carlson, A.E., 2013, Global Younger Dryas: Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, v. 3, p. 126-134. PDF

39. Hatfield, R.G., Stoner, J.S., Carlson, A.E., Reyes, A.V., and Housen, B.A., 2013, Source as a controlling factor on the quality and interpretation of sediment magnetic records from the northern North Atlantic: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 368, p. 69-77. PDF

38. He, F., Shakun, J.D., Clark, P.U., Carlson, A.E., Liu, Z., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., and Kutzbach, J.E., 2013, Northern Hemisphere forcing of Southern Hemisphere climate during the last deglaciation: Nature, v. 494, p. 81-85. PDF

37. Carlson, A.E., and Clark, P.U., 2012, Ice-sheet sources of sea-level rise and freshwater discharge during the last deglaciation: Reviews of Geophysics, v. 50, doi: 10.1029/ 2011RG000371. PDF

36. Winsor, K., Carlson, A.E., Klinkhammer, G.P. Stoner, J.S., and Hatfield, R.H., 2012, Evolution of the northeast Labrador Sea during the last interglaciation: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 13, doi: 10.1029/2012GC004263. PDF

35. Carlson, A.E., and Winsor, K., 2012, Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet responses to past climate warming: Nature Geoscience, v. 5, 607-613. PDF

34. Hoffman, J.S., Carlson, A.E., Winsor, K., Klinkhammer, G.P., LeGrande, A.N., Andrews, J.T., and Strasser, J.C., 2012, Linking the 8.2 ka event and its freshwater forcing in the Labrador Sea: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, doi: 10.1029/2012GL053047. PDF

33. Liu, Z., Carlson, A.E., He, F., Brady, E.C., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Briegleb, B.P., Wehrenberg, M., Clark, P.U., Wu, S., Cheng, J., Zhang, J., Noone, D., and Zhu, J., 2012, Younger Dryas Cooling and the Greenland Climate Response to CO2: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202183109. PDF

32. Murray, D.S., Carlson, A.E., Singer, B.S., Anslow, F.S., He, F., Caffee, M., Marcott, S.A., Liu, Z., and Otto-Bliesner, B.L., 2012, Northern Hemisphere forcing of the last deglaciation in southern Patagonia: Geology, v. 40, p. 631-634. PDF

31. Sanchez-Goni, M.F., Bakker, P., Desprat, S., Carlson, A.E., Van Meerbeeck, C., Peyron, O., Naughton, F., Fletcher, W.J., Eynaud, F., Rossignol, L., and Renssen, H., 2012, European climate optimum and enhanced Greenland melt during the Last Interglacial: Geology, v. 40, p. 627-630. PDF

30. Clark, P.U., Shakun, J.D., Baker, P.A., Bartlein, P.J., Brewer, S., Brook, E.J., Carlson, A.E., Cheng, H., Kaufman, D.S., Liu, Z., Marchitto, T.M., Mix, A.C., Morrill, C., Otto-Bliesner, B., Pahnke, K., Russell, J.M., Whitlock, C., Adkins, J.F., Blois, J.L., Clark, J., Colman, S.C., Curry, W.B., Flower, B.P., He, F., Johnson, T.C., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Markgraf, V., McManus, J.F., Mitrovica, J.X., Moreno, P.I., and Williams, J.W., 2012, Global climate evolution during the last deglaciation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116619109.  PDF 

29. Carlson, A.E., Ullman, D.J., Anslow, F.S., He, F., Clark, P.U., Liu, Z., and Otto-Bliesner, B.L., 2012, Modeling the Surface Mass Balance Response of the Laurentide Ice Sheet to Bølling warming and Its Contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 315-316, p. 24-29. PDF

28. Gingerich, P.D., Zalmout, I.S., Antar, M.S.M., Williams, E.M., Carlson, A.E., Kelly, D.C., and Peters, S.P., 2012, Large-scale glaciation and deglaciation of Antarctica during the late Eocene: REPLY: Geology, v. 40, p. e255. PDF

27. Carlson, A.E., 2011, Ice Sheets and Sea Level in Earth’s Past: Nature Education Knowledge, 2(12): 3. LINK

26. Carlson, A.E., Principato, S.M., Chapel, D.M., and Mickelson, D.M., 2011, Quaternary geology of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin 106.

25. Colville, E.J., Carlson, A.E., Beard, B.L., Hatfield, R.G., Stoner, J.S., Reyes, A.V., and Ullman, D.J., 2011, Sr-Nd-Pb isotope evidence for ice-sheet presence on southern Greenland during the last interglacial: Science, v. 333, p. 620-623. PDF

24. Marcott, S.A., Clark, P.U., Padman, L., Klinkhammer, G.P., Springer, S., Liu, Z., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Carlson, A.E., Ungerer, A., Padman, J., He, F., Cheng, J., and Schmittner, A., 2011, Ice-shelf collapse from subsurface warming as a trigger for Heinrich events: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1104772108. PDF

23. Montero-Serrano, J.-C., Bout-Roumazeilles, V., Carlson, A.E., Tribovillard, N., Bory, A., Meunier, G., Sionneau, T., Flower, B.P., Martinez, P., Billy, I., and Riboulleau, A., 2011, Contrasting rainfall patterns over North America during the Holocene and Last Interglacial as recorded by sediments of the northern Gulf of Mexico: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 38, doi: 10.1029/2011GL048194. PDF

22. Carlson, A.E., 2010, What Caused the Younger Dryas Cold Event?: Geology, v. 29, p. 383-384. PDF

21. Obbink, E.A., Carlson, A.E., and Klinkhammer, G.P., 2010, Eastern North American Freshwater Discharge during the Bølling-Allerød Warm Periods: Geology, v. 38, p. 171-174. PDF

20. Peters, S.E., Carlson, A.E., Kelly, D.C., and Gingerich, P.D., 2010, Large-scale Glaciation and Deglaciation of Antarctica in the Late Eocene: Geology, v. 38, p. 723-726. PDF

19. Shakun, J.D., and Carlson, A.E., 2010, A Global Perspective On Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene Climate Change: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 29, p. 1801-1806. PDF

18. Carlson, A.E., 2009, Geochemical constraints on the Laurentide Ice Sheet contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 28, p. 1625-1630. PDF

17. Carlson, A.E., Anslow, F.S., Obbink, E.A., LeGrande, A.N., Ullman, D.J., and Licciardi, J.M., 2009, Surface-Melt Driven Laurentide Ice-Sheet Retreat during the Early Holocene: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 36, doi: 10.1029/2009GL040948. PDF

16. Carlson, A.E., Clark, P.U., Haley, B.A., and Klinkhammer, G.P., 2009, Routing of Western Canadian Plains Runoff during the 8.2 ka Cold Event: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 36, doi: 10.1029/2009GL038778. PDF

15. Carlson, A.E., Clark, P.U., and Hostetler, S.W., 2009, Comment: Radiocarbon deglaciation chronology of the Thunder Bay, Ontario area and implications for ice sheet retreat patterns: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 28, doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.05.005. PDF

14. Clark, P.U., Dyke, A.S., Shakun, J.D., Carlson, A.E., Clark, J., Wohlfarth, B., Hostetler, S.W., Mitrovica, J.X., and McCabe, A.M., 2009, The Last Glacial Maximum: Science, v. 325, p. 710-714. PDF

13. Liu, Z., Otto-Bliesner, B., He, F., Brady, E., Thomas, R., Clark, P.U., Carlson, A.E., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Curry, W., Brook, E., Erickson, D., Jacob, R., Kutzbach, J., and Chen, J., 2009, Transient Climate Simulation of Last Deglaciation with a New Mechanism for Bølling-Allerød Warming: Science, v. 325, p. 310-314. PDF

12. Carlson, A.E., 2008, Why there was not a Younger Dryas-like event during the Penultimate Deglaciation: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 27, p. 882-887. PDF

11. Carlson, A.E., and Clark, P.U., 2008, Rapid climate change and Arctic Ocean freshening: Comment: Geology, v. 36, p. e177. PDF

10. Carlson, A.E., LeGrande A.N., Oppo, D.W., Came, R.E., Schmidt, G.A., Anslow, F.S., Licciardi, J.M., and Obbink, E.A., 2008, Rapid early Holocene deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Nature Geoscience, v. 1, p. 620-624. PDF

9. Carlson, A.E., Oppo, D.W., Came, R.E., LeGrande, A.N., Keigwin, LD., and Curry, W.B., 2008, Subtropical salinity variability and Atlantic meridional circulation during deglaciation: Geology, v. 36, p. 991-994. PDF

8. Carlson, A.E., Stoner, J.S., Donnelly, J.P., and Hillaire-Marcel, C., 2008, Response of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet during the last two deglaciations: Geology, v. 36, p. 359-362. PDF

7. Sane, S.M., Desai, C.S., Jenson, J.W., Contractor, D.N., Carlson, A.E., and Clark, P.U., 2008, Application of the Disturbed State Concept (DSC) Model to Two Pleistocene Tills: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 27, p. 267-283. PDF

6. Carlson, A.E., Clark, P.U., Raisbeck, G.M., and Brook, E.J., 2007, Rapid Holocene deglaciation of the Labrador Sector of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Journal of Climate, v. 20, p. 5126-5133. PDF

5. Carlson, A.E., Clark, P.U., Haley, B.A., Klinkhammer, G.P., Simmons, K., Brook, E.J., and Meissner, K., 2007, Geochemical proxies of North American freshwater routing during the Younger Dryas cold event: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 104, p. 6556-6561. PDF

4. Carlson, A.E., Jenson, J. W., and Clark, P.U., 2007, Modeling the subglacial hydrology of the James Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 26, p. 1384-1397. PDF

3. Carlson, A.E., Mickelson, D.M., Principato, S.M., and Chapel, D.M., 2005, The genesis of the northern Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin: Geomorphology, v. 36, p. 365-374. PDF

2. Carlson, A.E., 2004, Dewatering structures genesis and its implications on melt-out till identification: Journal of Glaciology, v. 50, p. 17-24.PDF

1. Carlson, A.E., Jenson, J.W., and Clark P.U., 2004, Field observations from the Tiskilwa Till, IL and Sky Pilot Till, MB of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Géographie physique et Quaternaire, v. 58, p. 229-239. PDF

Other Publications

Williams F., Hallmann, N., Carlson, A.E., Long, A.J., and Barlow, N.L.M., 2015, Developing databases of past sea-level and ice-sheet indicators: PAGES Magazine, v. 23, p. 31. 

Williams, F., Hallman, N., Carlson, A.E., 2015, Developing databases of ancient sea levels and ice sheet extents: Eos, 96, doi: 10.1029/2015EO024295. LINK

Williams, F., Hallman, N., Carlson, A.E., 2014, Methodologies used to document palaeo sea level and ice sheet extent and build sea level/ice sheet databases: Quaternary Perspectives, v. 21, p. 3.

Milne, G., Carlson, A.E., Dutton, A., Long, A., and Rybak, O., 2014, Estimating rates and sources of sea level change during past warm periods: PAGES news, v. 22, p. 42. 

Schmittner, A., Harrison, S.P., Carlson, A.E., Mix, A.C., Kageyama, M., and Kucera, M., 2014, PMIP Ocean - Understanding changes since the Last Glacial Maximum: PAGES news, v. 22, p. 45. 

Dutton, A., Stone, E.J., and Carlson, A.E., 2013, Ice sheet climate interactions: Implications for coastal engineering: 5th PALSEA Workshop: PAGES news, v. 21, p. 40.

Carlson, A.E., and Stoner, J.S., 2012, Assessing the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet through ocean drilling: PAGES news, v. 20, p. 97.

Carlson, A.E., Stoner, J.S., DEGREE Members, 2011, Assessing the History of the Greenland Ice Sheet through Ocean Drilling: Ocean Leadership, NSF, and PAGES workshop report, 25 pp.

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