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Dr Vasile Ersek

Senior Lecturer

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

Vasile Ersek joined Northumbria University as a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography in 2013.

Vasile -Ersek ,-Northumbria -University -web2013-present: Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, Northumbria University
2011-2013: Postdoctoral Researcher, Oxford University
2009-2011: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Oxford University
2008-2009: Fixed-Term Lecturer, Oregon State University
2004-2008: PhD Geology (Oceanography minor), Oregon State University
2002-2004: MSc Geology, Mississippi State University
1997-2002: BSc Geology, Babe?-Bolyai University

Campus Address

Ellison Building

0191 227 3344


  • PhD, Geology/Oceanography, Oregon State University
  • MSc, Geoscience, Mississippi State University
  • BSc (Hons), Geology, Babeș-Bolyai University

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research investigates the interplay and feedbacks between land, oceans and the atmosphere with special focus on stable isotope geochemistry. I use speleothem geochemistry to develop well-dated and high-resolution palaeoclimate records in a variety of locations, including western USA, Southeast Asia, Romania and Iran. I also use peat cores to develop records of metal smelting from antiquity to medieval times. 

I contribute to teaching in a range of modules and fieldtrips, including:

  • GEO136 Surface Processes (Module Leader)
  • GEO317 Physical Geography: Fieldwork, Theory and Practice
  • GEO152 Tutorials

A full research profile can be found here.

Current/Recent Projects

The Impact of Climate Change on the Southeast Asian Monsoon (Marie-Curie Fellowship, 2009-2011).

Climatic, environmental and tectonic influences on prehistoric human development in Iran (co-I, Leverhulme Trust, 2014-2017).

Millennial-scale geochemical records of anthropogenic impact and natural climate change in the Romanian Carpathians (co-I, ANCS, 2013-2016).

Natural and cultural factors of Neolithic expansion in SE Europe (co-I, ANCS, 2014-2017)

Key Publications

Dumitru, Oana, Forray, Ferenc, Fornós, Joan, Ersek, Vasile and Onac, Bogdan (2016) Water isotopic variability in Mallorca: a path to understanding past changes in hydroclimate. Hydrological Processes. ISSN 0885-6087

McGregor, Helen, Evans, Michael, Goosse, Hugues, Leduc, Guillaume, Martrat, Belen, Addison, Jason, Mortyn, Graham, Oppo, Delia, Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig, Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine, Phipps, Steven, Selvaraj, Kandasamy, Thirumalai, Kaustubh, Filipsson, Helena and Ersek, Vasile (2015) Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era. Nature Geoscience, 8 (9). pp. 671-677. ISSN 1752-0894

Dragusin, Virgil, Staubwasser, Michael, Hoffmann, Dirk L., Ersek, Vasile, Onac, Bogdan P. and Veres, Daniel (2014) Constraining Holocene hydrological changes in the Carpathian–Balkan region using speleothem δ18O and pollen-based temperature reconstructions. Climate of the Past (CP), 10. pp. 1363-1380. ISSN 1814-9324 

Ersek, Vasile, Clark, Peter, Mix, Alan, Cheng, Hai and Edwards, Lawrence (2012) Holocene winter climate variability in mid-latitude western North America. Nature Communications, 3. 1219-n/a. ISSN 2041-1723 

Ersek, Vasile, Mix, Alan and Clark, Peter (2010) Variations of δ18O in rainwater from southwestern Oregon. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (D9). ISSN 0148-0227 

Ersek, Vasile, Hostetler, Steven, Cheng, Hai, Clark, Peter, Anslow, Faron, Mix, Alan and Edwards, Lawrence (2009) Environmental influences on speleothem growth in southwestern Oregon during the last 380000 years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 279 (3-4). pp. 316-325. ISSN 0012821X 

Rushdi, A.I., Clark, P.U., Mix, A.C., Ersek, V., Simoneit, B.R.T, Cheng, H. and Edwards, R.L., 2010: Compositions and sources of lipid compounds in speleothem calcite and their palaeoenvironmental implications, Environmental Earth Science, p. 1-17,

A full research profile can be found here.

My Google Scholar page can be found here.

PGR Supervision

Jack Longman (PhD) - Human and Climatic interaction in the Carpathian-Balkan region throughout the Holocene.

NRL Link

Professional Activity

Postgraduate Programme Leader in the Geography Department. 

Executive Editor for the scientific journal GeoResJ 


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