Broxton Bird, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Earth Sciences

Director, Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES)

SL 118
(317) 274-7468
Research Areas:
Hydrology | Paleoclimatology/Paleoceanography | Sedimentology


My research is broadly concerned with reconstructing Quaternary climate changes at the highest resolution possible using lake sediment archives. Although my work addresses a range of environmental questions, I am particularly in interested in the intersection between climate change and water resources and the impacts on natural and anthropogenic systems.  My current projects are focused on developing new hydroclimate records from Tibet, tropical South America, and the midwestern US in order to reconstruct the spatiotemporal patterns and mechanisms of hydrologic variability. Methodologically, I combine field-based and modern process investigations with quantitative down-core multi-proxy analyses that integrate sedimentology, stable isotope and elemental geochemistry, geophysics, and isotope-enabled hydrologic modeling.

Current Students

  • Maliha Ahmed (PhD)
  • Melanie Perello (PhD)
  • Derek Gibson (MSc)
  • Ashley Albert (MSc)
  • Katherine Holper (MSc)


  • Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA, 2009
  • M.Sc. California State University Fullerton, Fullerton CA, 2005
  • B.A. Hamilton College, Clinton NY, 1999

Publications & Professional Activity

2016, Bird, B.W., Lei, Y., †Perello, M., Polisar, P.J.,  Thompson, L.G., Yao, T., Finney, B.P., Bain, D., Pompeani, D., Late Holocene Indian summer monsoon variability revealed from a 3,300-year-long lake sediment record from Nir’pa Co, southeastern Tibet. The Holocene, doi: 10.1177/0959683616670220.

2014, Bird, B.W., Polisar, P.J., Lei, Y., Thompson, L.G., Yao, T., Finney, B.P., Bain, D., Pompeani, D., Steinman, B.A., A Tibetan lake sediment record of Holocene Indian summer monsoon variability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.017.

2014, Lei, Y., Tian. L., Bird, B.W., Hou, J., Ding, L., Oimahmadov, I., Gadoev,m M., A 2500-year record of moisture variations derived from lacustrine sediment (Sasikul Lake) on the Pamir Plateau. The Holocene, doi: 10.1177/0959683614530443

2013, Lei, Y., Yao, T., Bird, B.W., Jianqing, Z., Sheng, Y., Tian, L., Wang, W., Xiang, Y., Coherent lake growth on the central Tibetan Plateau since the 1970s: Characterization and attribution. Journal of Hydrology, 483, 61-67, doi:

2011, Bird, B.W., Abbott, M.B., Rodbell, D.T., Vuille, M., Holocene tropical South American hydroclimate revealed from a decadally resolved lake sediment d18O record. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 310, (3-4), 192-202, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.08.040. 

2011, Bird, B.W., Abbott, M.B., Vuille, M. Rodbell, D.T., Rosenmeier, M.F., and Stansell, N.D. A 2300-year-long annually-resolved lake sediment record of the South American Summer Monsoon from Laguna Pumacocha, Peru.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 8583-8588, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003719108.

2010, Bird, B.W., Kirby, M.E., Howat, I.M., Tulaczyk, S., Geophysical evidence for Holocene lake-level change in southern California (Dry Lake): Additional support for a regionally wet early Holocene and a mid-Holocene climate shift.  Boreas, 39, (1), 131-144, doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2009.00114.x.