Yarrow Axford

Yarrow Axford

Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Email: axford at
Location: Tech F394/F395

Ph.D. University of Colorado, Dept. of Geological Sciences
M.S. Utah State University, Dept. of Geology
A.B. Mount Holyoke College, Dept. of Geology

Research Website


I study climate and environmental change, primarily through the lens of paleolimnology (the study of lake sediments and past lake environments). My work is aimed at understanding climate change and glacier fluctuations in Arctic and alpine environments, most recently including around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Much of my research has focused on the Holocene (the last 11,000 years of Earth's history), but I study timescales ranging from the Pliocene to the present.


EARTH 102: Global Warming: The Scientific Evidence
EARTH 341: Quarternary Climate Change: Ice Ages to the Age of Oil
EARTH 342 / ISEN 410: Energy and Climate Change
EARTH 450: Arctic Environments
EARTH 451: Paleoclimate Perspectives on Future Climate Change
EARTH 450/ISEN 495: Communicating Science Beyond Academia

Selected Publications

Kaufman, D.S., Axford, Y., Henderson, A.C.G., McKay, N.P., Oswald, W.W., Saenger, C., Anderson, R.S., Bailey, H.L., Clegg, B., Gajewski, K., Hu, F.S., Jones, M.C., Massa, C., Routson, C.C., Werner, A., Wooller, M.J., and Yu, Z. 2016. Holocene climate changes in eastern Beringia (NW North America) – a systematic review of multi-proxy evidence. Quaternary Science Reviews 147, 312-339.

Briner, J.P., McKay, N., Axford, Y., , Bennike, O., Bradley, R.S., de Vernal, A., Fisher, D., Francus, P., Frechette, B., Gajewski, K., Jennings, A., Kaufman, D.S., Miller, G., Rouston, C., and Wagner, B. 2016. Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews 147, 340-364.

Axford, Y., Losee, S., Briner, J.P., Francis, D.R., Langdon, P.G., and Walker, I.R. 2013. Holocene temperature history at the western Greenland Ice Sheet margin reconstructed from lake sediments. Quaternary Science Reviews 59, 87-100.

Axford, Y., Andresen, C.S., Andrews, J.T., Belt, S.T., Geirsdόttir, Á., Massé, G., Miller, G.H., Ólafsdόttir, S., and Vare, L.L. 2011. Do paleoclimate proxies agree? A test comparing 19 late Holocene climate and sea-ice reconstructions from Icelandic marine and lake sediments. Journal of Quaternary Science 26, 645-656.

Axford, Y., Briner, J.P., Cooke, C.A., Francis, D.R., Michelutti, N., Miller, G.H., Smol, J.P., Thomas, E.K., Wilson, C.R., and Wolfe, A.P. 2009. Recent changes in a remote Arctic lake are unique within the past 200,000 years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 18443-18446.

Kaufman, D.S., Schneider, D.P., McKay, N.P., Ammann, C.M., Bradley, R.S., Briffa K.R., Miller, G.H., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Overpeck, J.T., Vinther, B.M., Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members (Abbott, M., Axford, Y., Bird, B., Birks, H.J.B., Bjune, A.E., Briner, J., Cook, T., Chipman, M., Francus, P., Gajewski, K., Geirsdóttir, Á., Hu, F.S., Kutchko, B., Lamoureux, S., Loso, M., MacDonald, G., Peros, M., Porinchu, D., Schiff, C., Seppä, H., Thomas, E.). 2009. Recent warming reverses long-term Arctic cooling. Science 325, 1236-1239.

Research Interests

  • Paleoclimate, Paleolimnology, Arctic environments
March 16, 2017