Alicia Fantasia

Senior Researcher
Department of Geosciences

PER 07 bu. 2.309
Ch. du Musée 6
1700 Fribourg
PER 07, 2.309


I am a sedimentary geochemist working on palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions of Mesozoic and Cenozoic time intervals that were marked by global change events (e.g., Cretaceous/Paleogene Boundary, Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event, Aalenian, Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). The goal of my research is to trace past climate changes in the sedimentary archives using different sedimentogical, mineralogical and geochemical techniques in order to assess their triggering mechanisms and environmental feedback loops. Emphasis is given to constrain the response of Earth’s system to these perturbations by specifying the complex interplay between climate and biogeochemical processes and by providing a holistic understanding on the feedback mechanisms enabling the recovery stabilization of the Earth's system over long time scales. 

The originality of my research lies in the combination of field work, cutting-edge analytical techniques, and experimental approaches at multiple scales to provide worldwide distributed high-resolution records. This multiproxy approach is essential to detangle the influence of local processes over the global trends and hence have a holistic understanding of Earth’s system. I have a solid hands-on expertise of a broad range of classic and cutting-edge geochemical and mineralogical techniques: (i) stable carbon isotopes to trace global carbon cycle dynamics, (ii) helium isotopes and magnetic susceptibility to determine changes in the sedimentation rates and durations (iii) lithium isotopes, clay mineral assemblages and detrital indexes to assess the palaeoclimatic conditions and changes in the continental weathering, (iv) productivity- and redox-sensitive trace elements (V, U, Mo and Cu, P, Ni, respectively), and Ptot/Ctot to evaluate organic production and oxygenation conditions, (v) Rock-Eval pyrolysis parameters to characterize organic matter (vi) mercury content and trace element concentrations (Te/Th ratio) to trace volcanic activity. 

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