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Steven Clemens

Associate Professor, Research:
Geological Sciences
Phone: +1 401 863 1964


I received my Ph.D. in Marine Geology at Brown University in 1990. I became an Adjunct Lecturer at Brown in 1992, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Research in 2005. I work with the Earth Systems History (ESH) research group within the Department of Geological Sciences.


Within the Earth System History Group (ESH) I use the marine and terrestrial geologic record to understand the history and dynamics of global climate and environmental change, with an emphasis on the Indian and Asian monsoon systems. Along with other ESH faculty and students, I develop and apply sedimentological, geochemical, organic geochemical, and microfossil proxies to marine and terrestrial sediments to investigate climate change on time scales ranging from centennial to millions of years

I run an inorganic stable isotope facility primarily dedicated to the measurement of the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen on inorganic carbonates. The facility accommodates projects both internal and external to Brown including analysis of marine sediments from a global array of sites, corals, bivalves, speleothems and lake sediments. The vast majority of samples analyzed are funded through external grants but I also facilitate a significant number of unfunded, exploratory, analyses to help construct proof-of-concept data sets in preparation for proposals.


American Geophysical Union
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Geological Society of America


Teaching efforts have focused largely on Introduction to Oceanography (GEOL0070), which ranges from 50 to 70 students each term. We cover the typical aspects of chemical, physical, and biological oceanography as well as the role of the ocean in the carbon cycle as it pertains to climate change. Other teaching opportunities have included GEOL2350 (Quaternaty Climate Seminar) and GEOL 2910E (Miocene Climate Seminar).

Current Graduate Students:
Rocio Caballero-Gill
Elizabeth Thomas

Funded Research

Clemens and Prell. Collaborative Research: Pliocene and Pleistocene transient climate simulations and model-proxy comparisons for surface temperature and monsoon circulation. NSF Marine Geology and Geophysics, 2011-2013.

Clemens. A Hydrogen Isotopic Approach to Resolving Precipitation Seasonality: Application to East Asian Speleothem Oxygen Isotopes, NSF Atmospheres, Marine Geology and Geophysics, 2010-2013.

Clemens and Prell, Collaborative Research into Indo-Asian Monsoon Variability: Data and Model Assessment of Northern- and Southern-Hemisphere Mechanisms.

Clemens and Prell, East Asian Monsoon History: Testing Hypotheses of Monsoon Response in the South China Sea.

Prell and Clemens. A Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (SIRMS) for Carbonate-Based Paleoceanographic Studies at Brown University, National Science Foundation.

Clemens and Prell. Variability of Monsoon Winds as Recorded in the Eolian Component of Arabian Sea Sediments, National Science Foundation.

Prell and Clemens. Evolution of the Indian Ocean Monsoon and Arabian Sea Upwelling: Orbital, Oceanic, and Tectonic Factors. National Science Foundation.

Clemens, Farrell, and Gromet. A Detailed 0 - 7 Ma 87Sr/86Sr Record from the Bay of Bengal: Implications for Chronostratigraphy and the Seawater Sr Budget. National Science Foundation.

Clemens. Lithogenic Response to Seasonal Monsoon Forcing: Proxy Evaluation and Calibration. National Science Foundation.

Clemens. Establishing the Phase of the Pliocene Astronomical Time Scale Relative to Orbital Forcing. National Science Foundation.

Clemens and Prell. Evolution and Variability of the Asian Monsoon, Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI)/USSSP.

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Steven Clemens's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format