Prof. Dr. Cristiano M. Chiessi

personal information and research interests

I am the head of the Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology Laboratory (P2L). Below you will find my educational background, publications and some more information. Please feel free to contact me at any time. You will find contact information at the end of this page.


2005 – 2008 PhD in Natural Sciences (Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology) at the Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Germany
2002 – 2004 MSc in Geosciences (Sedimentary Geology) at the Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil
1996 – 2001 BSc in Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Research topics

Late Quaternary paleoceanography and paleoclimatology
Millennial, centennial and multidecadal climate variability
Development of paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic proxies
Geochemistry of allochthonous and autochthonous marine sediments


2017 – present Associate Professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and HumanitiesUniversity of São Paulo, Brazil
2015 – 2015 Visiting scientist at the MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany
2012 – 2013 Junior Fellow at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, Germany
2009 – 2016 Assistant Professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, Brazil
2008 – 2009 Post-doctoral Fellow at the Center for Earth System Science, National Institute for Space Research, Brazil


Leng, W., Dobeneck, T., Bergmann, F., Just, J., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., St-Onge, G., Piper, D.J.W., (accepted). Sedimentary and rock magnetic signatures and event scenarios of deglacial outburst floods from the Laurentian Channel Ice Stream. Quaternary Science Reviews  
Gu, F., Chiessi, C.M., Zonneveld, K.A.F., Behling, H., (accepted) Late quaternary environmental dynamics inferred from marine sediment core GeoB6211-2 off southern Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology  
Crivellari, S., Chiessi, C.M., Kuhnert, H., Häggi, C., da Costa Portilho-Ramos, R., Zeng, J.-Y., Zhang, Y., Schefuß, E., Mollenhauer, G., Hefter, J., Alexandre, F., Sampaio, G., Mulitza, S., 2018. Increased Amazon freshwater discharge during late Heinrich Stadial 1. Quaternary Science Reviews 181, 144-155  
Santos, T.P., Lessa, D.O., Venancio, I.M., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Kuhnert, H., Albuquerque, A.L.S., 2017. The Impact of the AMOC Resumption in the Western South Atlantic Thermocline at the Onset of the Last Interglacial. Geophysical Research Letters 44, 11,547-511,554  
Zhang, Y., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Sawakuchi, A.O., Häggi, C., Zabel, M., Portilho-Ramos, R.C., Schefuß, E., Crivellari, S., Wefer, G., 2017. Different precipitation patterns across tropical South America during Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger stadials. Quaternary Science Reviews 177, 1-9 Pangaea
Häggi, C., Chiessi, C.M., Merkel, U., Mulitza, S., Prange, M., Schulz, M., Schefuß, E., 2017. Response of the Amazon rainforest to late Pleistocene climate variability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 479, 50-59 Pangaea
Voigt, I., Cruz, A.P.S., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Mackensen, A., Lippold, J., Antz, B., Zabel, M., Zhang, Y., Barbosa, C.F., Tisserand, A.A., 2017. Variability in mid-depth ventilation of the western Atlantic Ocean during the last deglaciation. Paleoceanography 32, PA003095 Pangaea
Warratz, G., Henrich, R., Voigt, I., Chiessi, C.M., Kuhn, G., Lantzsch, H., 2017. Deglacial changes in the strength of deep southern component water and sediment supply at the Argentine continental margin. Paleoceanography 32, PA003079 Pangaea
Gu, F., Zooneveld, K., Chiessi, C.M., Arz, H., Pätzold, J., Behling, H., 2017. Long-term vegetation, climate and ocean dynamics inferred from a 73,500 years old marine sediment core (GeoB2107-3) off southern Brazil. Quaternary Science Reviews 172, 55-71 Pangaea
Sun, S., Schefuß, E., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Sawakuchi, A.O., Zabel, M., Baker, P.A., Hefter, J., Mollenhauer, G., 2017. Origin and processing of terrestrial organic carbon in the Amazon system: lignin phenols in river, shelf, and fan sediments. Biogeosciences 14, 2495-2512 Pangaea
Santos, T.P., Lessa, D.O., Venancio, I.M., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Kuhnert, H., Govin, A., Machado, T., Costa, K.B., Toledo, F., Dias, B.B., Albuquerque, A.L.S., 2017. Prolonged warming of the Brazil Current precedes deglaciations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 463, 1-12 Pangaea
Portilho-Ramos, R.C., Chiessi, C.M., Zhang, Y., Mulitza, S., Kucera, M., Siccha, M., Prange, M., Paul, A., 2017. Coupling of equatorial Atlantic surface stratification to glacial shifts in the tropical rainbelt. Scientific Reports 7, 1561 Pangaea
Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Schefuß, E., Lippold, J., Wichmann, D., Antz, B., Mackensen, A., Paul, A., Prange, M., Rehfeld, K., Werner, M., Bickert, T., Frank, N., Kuhnert, H., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Portilho-Ramos, R.C., Sawakuchi, A.O., Schulz, M., Schwenk, T., Tiedemann, R., Vahlenkamp, M., Zhang, Y., 2017. Synchronous and proportional deglacial changes in Atlantic meridional overturning and northeast Brazilian precipitation. Paleoceanography 32, PA003084 Pangaea
Campos, M.C., Chiessi, C.M., Voigt, I., Piola, A.R., Kuhnert, H., Mulitza, S., 2017. d13C decreases in the upper western South Atlantic during Heinrich Stadials 3 and 2. Climate of the Past 13, 345-358 Pangaea
Bertassoli, D.J., Sawakuchi, A.O., Sawakuchi, H.O., Pupim, F.N., Hartmann, G.A., McGlue, M.M., Chiessi, C.M., Zabel, M., Schefuß, E., Pereira, T.S., Santos, R.A., Faustino, S.B., Oliveira, P.E., Bicudo, D.C., 2017. The Fate of Carbon in Sediments of the Xingu and Tapajós Clearwater Rivers, Eastern Amazon. Frontiers in Marine Science 4, 44  
Howe, J.N.W., Piotrowski, A.M., Oppo, D.W., Huang, K.-F., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Blusztajn, J., 2016. Antarctic Intermediate Water circulation in the South Atlantic over the past 25,000 years. Paleoceanography 30, PA002975 Pangaea
Voigt, I., Chiessi, C.M., Piola, A.R., Henrich, R., 2016. Holocene changes in Antarctic Intermediate Water flow strength in the Southwest Atlantic. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 463, 60-67 Pangaea
Zhang, Y., Zhang, X., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Zhang, X., Lohmann, G., Prange, M., Behling, H., Zabel, M., Govin, A., Sawakuchi, A.O., Cruz, F.W., Wefer, G., 2016. Equatorial Pacific forcing of western Amazonian precipitation during Heinrich Stadial 1. Scientific Reports 6, 35866  
Morard, R., Reinelt, M., Chiessi, C.M., Groeneveld, J., Kucera, M., 2016. Tracing shifts of oceanic fronts using the cryptic diversity of the planktonic foraminifera Globorotalia inflata. Paleoceanography 31, PA002977 Pangaea
Häggi, C., Sawakuchi, A.O., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Mollenhauer, G., Sawakuchi, H.O., Baker, P.A., Zabel, M., Schefu ß, E., 2016. Origin, transport and deposition of leaf-wax biomarkers in the Amazon Basin and the adjacent Atlantic. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 192, 149-165 Pangaea
Howe, J.N.W., Piotrowski, A.M., Noble, T.L., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Bayon, G., 2016. North Atlantic Deep Water production during the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications 7, 11765 Pangaea
Zhang, Y., Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Zabel, M., Trindade, R.I.F., Hollanda, M.H.B.M., Dantas, E.L., Govin, A., Tiedemann, R., Wefer, G., 2015. Origin of increased terrigenous supply to the NE SouthAmerican continental margin during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 432, 493-500 Pangaea
Häggi, C., Chiessi, C.M., Schefuß, E., 2015. Testing the D/H ratio of alkenones and palmitic acid as salinity proxies in the Amazon Plume. Biogeosciences 12, 7239–7249 Pangaea
Baker, P.A., Fritz, S.C., Silva, C.G., Rigsby, C.A., Absy, M.L., Almeida, R.P., Caputo, M., Chiessi, C.M., et al., 2015. Trans-Amazon Drilling Project (TADP): origins and evolution of the forests, climate, and hydrology of the South American tropics. Scientific Drilling 20, 41-49  
Chapori, N.G., Chiessi, C.M., Bickert, T., Laprida, C., 2015. Sea-surface temperature reconstruction of the Quaternary western South Atlantic: New planktonic foraminiferal correlation function. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 425, 67-75 Pangaea
Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Mollenhauer, G., Silva, J.B., Groeneveld, J., Prange, M., 2015. Thermal evolution of the western South Atlantic and the adjacent continent during Termination 1. Climate of the Past 11, 915-929 Pangaea
Perretti, A., Stríkis, N.M., Novello, V.F., Chiessi, C.M., Cruz, F.W., 2015. Evolução climática e oceanográfica no Brasil e no oceano adjacente durante o Pleistoceno superior e o Holoceno: uma atualização. In: Ambrizzi, T., Jacobi, P.R., Dutra, L.M.M. (orgs.). Mudanças Climáticas e sua Interdisciplinaridade. São Paulo, Annablume, 149-167  
Razik, S., Govin, A., Chiessi, C.M., Dobeneck, T., 2015. Depositional provinces, dispersal, and origin of terrigenous sediments along the SE South American continental margin. Marine Geology 363, 261-272 Pangaea
Stríkis, N.M., Chiessi, C.M., Cruz, F.W., Vuille, M., Cheng, H., Barreto, E.A.S., Mollenhauer, G., Kasten, S., Karmann, I., Edwards, R.L., Bernal, J.P., Sales, H.R., 2015. Timing and structure of Mega-SACZ events during Heinrich Stadial 1. Geophysical Research Letters 42, doi: 10.1002/2015GL064048 Pangaea
Voigt, I., Chiessi, C.M., Prange, M., Mulitza, S., Groeneveld, J., Varma, V., Henrich, R., 2015. Holocene shifts of the Southern Westerlies across the South Atlantic. Paleoceanography 30, 39-51 Pangaea
Garcia, S., Cruz, F.W., Chiessi, C.M., Bacci, D.L.C., 2015. O clima do passado face ao presente. In: Jacobi, P.R., Grandisoli, E., Coutinho, S.M.V., Maia, R.A., Toledo, R.F. (orgs.). Mudanças Climáticas para os Ensinos Fundamental e Médio. São Paulo, IEE, 21-29  
Govin, A., Chiessi, C.M., Zabel, M., Sawakuchi, A.O., Heslop, D., Hörner, T., Zhang, Y., Mulitza, S., 2014. Terrigenous input off northern South America driven by changes in Amazonian climate and the North Brazil Current retroflection during the last 250 ka. Climate of the Past 10, 843-862 Pangaea
Lantzsch, H., Hanebuth, T., Chiessi, C.M., Schwenk, T., Violante, R.A., 2014. The high-supply, current-dominated continental margin of southeastern South America during the late Quaternary. Quaternary Research 81, 339-354 Pangaea
Sifeddine, A., Chiessi, C.M., Cruz, F.W., Araujo, A.G.M., Neves, E.G., Justino, F.B., Wainer, I.E.K.C., Pessenda, L.C.R., Mahiques, M., Cordeiro, R.C., Kikuchi, R.K.P., Albuquerque, A.L.S., Silva, H.E., Dias, P.L.S., 2014. Informações paleoclimáticas brasileiras. In: Ambrizzi, T.; Araujo, M., (Orgs.). Base científica das mudanças climáticas. Contribuição do Grupo de Trabalho 1 do Painel Brasileiro de Mudanças Climáticas ao Primeiro Relatório da Avaliação Nacional sobre Mudanças Climáticas. 1ed.Rio de Janeiro: COPPE, 1, 126-180  
Chiessi, C. M., Mulitza, S., Groeneveld, J., Silva, J.B., Campos, M.C., Gurgel, M.H.C., 2013. Variability of the Brazil Current during the late Holocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 415, 28-36 Pangaea
Prado, L.F., Wainer, I.E.K.C., Chiessi, C.M., 2013. Mid-Holocene PMIP3/CMIP5 model results: Intercomparison for the South American Monsoon System. The Holocene 23, 1915-1920  
Prado, L.F., Wainer, I.E.K.C., Chiessi, C.M., Ledru, M.-P., Turcq, B., 2013. A mid-Holocene climate reconstruction for eastern South America. Climate of the Past 9, 2117-2133 Pangaea
Bender, V.B., Hanebuth, T., Chiessi, C.M., 2013. Holocene shifts of the Subtropical Shelf Front off southeastern South America controlled by high and low latitude atmospheric forcings. Paleoceanography 28, 1-10 Pangaea
Voigt, I., Henrich, R., Preu, B., Piola, A.R., Hanebuth, T., Schwenk, T., Chiessi, C.M., 2013. A submarine canyon as a climate archive – Interaction of the Antarctic Intermediate Water with the Mar del Plata Canyon (Southwest Atlantic). Marine Geology 341, 46-57 Pangaea
Govin, A., Holzwarth, U., Heslop, D., Ford-Keeling, L., Zabel, M., Mulitza, S., Collins, J.A., Chiessi, C.M., 2012. Distribution of major elements in Atlantic surface sediments (36°N-49°S): Imprint of terrigenous input and continental weathering. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 13, Q01013 Pangaea
Razik, S., Chiessi, C.M., Romero, O.E., Dobeneck, T., 2012. Interaction of the South American Monsoon System and the Southern Westerly Wind Belt during the last 14 kyr. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 374, 28-40 Pangaea
Groeneveld, J., Chiessi, C.M., 2011. Mg/Ca of Globorotalia inflata as a recorder of permanent thermocline temperatures in the South Atlantic. Paleoceanography 26, PA2203 Pangaea
Hendry, K.R., Robinson, L.F., Meredith, M.P., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C.M., Arz, H., 2011. Abrupt changes in high-latitude nutrient supply to the Atlantic during the last glacial cycle. Geology 40, 123-126 Pangaea
Laprida, C., Chapori, N.G., Chiessi, C.M., Violante, R.A., Watanabe, S., Totah, V., 2011. Middle Pleistocene sea surface temperature in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence Zone: Paleoceanographic implications based on planktonic foraminifera. Micropaleontology 57, 183-194  
Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Pätzold, J., Wefer, G., 2010. How different proxies record precipitation variability over southeastern South America. IOP Conference Series. Earth and Environmental Science 9, 012007 Pangaea
Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Pätzold, J., Wefer, G, Marengo, J.A., 2009. Possible impact of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation on the South American summer monsoon. Geophysical Research Letters 36, L21707 Pangaea
Chiessi, C.M., Mulitza, S., Paul, A., Pätzold, J., Groeneveld, J., Wefer, G., 2008. South Atlantic interocean exchange as the trigger for the Bølling warm event. Geology 36, 919-922 Pangaea
Chiessi, C.M., Ulrich, S., Mulitza, S., Pätzold, J., Wefer, G., 2007. Signature of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence (Argentine Basin) in the isotopic composition of planktonic foraminifera from surface sediments. Marine Micropaleontology 64, 52-66 Pangaea

Further information at Google Scholar or at Researcher ID.

Sea-going expeditions

2014 RV M.S. Merian Cruise MSM39, NA-LINK, St. John´s (Canada) – St. John´s (Canada); 7 June – 25 June
2012 RV M.S. Merian Cruise MSM20/3, AMADEUS, Recife (Brazil) – Bridgetown (Barbados); 19 February – 11 March
2009 RV Meteor Cruise M78/3a, Meteor Westliche Südatlantik, Montevideo (Uruguay) – Montevideo (Uruguay), 19 May – 13 June
2008 RV Marion Dufresne MD167, RETRO, Walvis Bay (Namibia) – Libreville (Gabon), 24 May – 3 June
2005 RV Sonne Cruise SO-184, PABESIA, Durban (South Africa) – Cilacap (Indonesia) – Darwin (Australia), July 8 – September 13



Post-doc: Dr. Grasiane L. Mathias, Dr. Rodrigo C. Portilho-Ramos, Dr. Bruna B. Dias (co-supervision)
PhD: MSc. Stefano Crivellari, Marília C. Campos
MSc: Patrícia J. Viana, Marina F. Pantoja
BSc: Jaqueline Q. Ferreira, Letícia S.M. Oliveira, Stella I.P. Mello
Scientific initiation: Tainã M.L. Pinho


Post-doc: Dr. Adriana R. Perretti
PhD: Dr. Sebastian Razik (co-supervision), Dr. Valdir F. Novello (co-supervision), Dr. Yancheng Zhang (co-supervision),
MSc: MSc. Maria Carolina A. Catunda, MSc. Marília C. Campos, Aline M. Mega (co-supervision)
BSc: Larissa V. Monteiro, Nathália A. Silva, Isabella O.C. Hines, Marília C. Campos, Barbara M. Carvalho, Diego L. Palopito, Debora C. Redivo
Scientific initiation: Dereck E. Carrari, Luiz F.C. Sabanay, Marília C. Campos, Leah Carver, Laura Cotton
Guest researcher: Natalie Höppner, Dr. Christoph Häggi, Dr. Vera B. Bender, Itxaso R. Uriarte, Dr. Ines Voigt

Ongoing research projects

Title: Impacts of the last two glacial-to-interglacial transitions on the western South Atlantic and the adjacent continent (TRANSATLÂNTICO); PI: Chiessi, CM.; funding agency: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); duration: 2017-2020
Title: Partitioning of heat and salt between the western boundary currents of the South Atlantic during the last 130 ka and its impact over South American climate (ASpECTO); co-PIs: Chiessi, C.M., Toledo, F.A.L., Albuquerque, A.L.S.; funding agency: Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES); duration: 2015-2018.
Title: The Brazil Current:Decadal-to-millennial scale variability over the past 130,000 years and its impact on the climate of South America (PALEOCEANO); co-PIs: Akbuquerque, A.L.S., Dias, P.L.S.; funding agency: Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES); duration: 2014-2017.
Title: Response of the western Atlantic Ocean to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: From millennial to seasonal variability; PI: Chiessi, C.M.; funding agency: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP); duration: 2013-2017.
Title: Response of Amazon sedimentation to deforestation, land use and climate variability (AMADEUS); co-PIs: Mulitza, S., Schwenk, T., Chiessi, C.M.; funding agency: German Research Foundation (DFG); duration: 2012-2017.

Other projects/initiatives that I contribute to are:

Interdisciplinary Climate Investigation Center – INCLINE
Atlantic Forest Dimensions of Biodiversity – AF BIOTA
Interinstitutional Paleoceanography and Oceanography Network – iPON

Journal reviewer

Climate of the Past, Continental Shelf Research, Deep-Sea Research Part 1: Oceanographic Research Papers, Geo-Marine Letters, Geology, Global and Planetary Change, Journal of Geophysical Research,Journal of Marine Systems, Marine Geology, Marine Micropaleontology, Micropaleontology, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, Palaios, Paleoceanography, Quaternary Research, Radiocarbon, Scientific Reports, The Holocene

Funding agency reviewer

Boticário Group Foundation (FGB), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), National Science Foundation (NSF), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), State of Ceará Research and Technological Foundation (FUNCAP), State of Espírito Santo Research Foundation (FAPES), State of Pernambuco Research and Technology Foundation (FACEPE), State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Other information

2016 – present Member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Past Global Changes (PAGES)
2016 – present Member of the Science Evaluation Panel of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)

Contact information

School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities
University of São Paulo
Av. Arlindo Béttio 1000
CEP03828-000 São Paulo SP
Tel: + 55 11 26480124; Mob: + 55 11 985118548

A complete CV (Portuguese only) is available at