Photographer: Jan van Arkel

dr. N. (Natasha) Barbolini

Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Faculty of Science
    Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Visiting address
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  Room number: C4.208
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94248
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
  • N.Barbolini@uva.nl

I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics and part of the MAGIC Research Project (Monsoons of Asia caused Greenhouse to Icehouse Cooling). This research seeks to unravel the causes for Cenozoic global climate cooling 50 to 34 Ma ago. Recent findings of monsoonal activity in Asia as old as 45 Ma raises the fascinating possibility that Asian Monsoons may have triggered a global shift from the warm ice-free Greenhouse world to the bi-polar Icehouse conditions still prevailing today. I am investigating the Cretaceous–Eocene palynology and paleoecology of western China and NE Tibet, and integrating these data into climate models in order to assist in unravelling the role and behaviour of Asian Monsoons with respect to long-term Greenhouse to Icehouse cooling, pCO2 levels and global hyperthermal and cooling events such as the PETM, MECO and EOT.

Some of the MAGIC team members in a blizzard on the Nangqian section, Tibetan Plateau. From left: Niels Meijer, Alexander Rohrmann, Natasha Barbolini, and Zhang Yang.

Excavating Triassic fossil wood in the mid-Zambezi Basin, Zambia

My primary research interests include the holistic reconstruction of extinct ecosystems, and investigating the differing responses of plants and animals to environmental crises. I enjoy working with multi-disciplinary teams, combining palynological data with palaeobotanical and faunal records in order to best understand past ecosystem dynamics. This research is important for understanding current and future global climate changes, as well as being useful in biostratigraphic correlation, dating, and geothermal maturation for the fossil fuels industry.

Journal Articles

Cole, D., Barbolini, N., accepted. Marine flooding surfaces recorded in Permian black shales and coal deposits of the Main Karoo Basin (South Africa): implications for basin dynamics and cross-basin correlation: Discussion. International Journal of Coal Geology.

Barbolini, N., Rubidge, B.S., Bamford, M.K., 2018. A new approach to biostratigraphy in the Karoo foreland system: utilising restricted-range palynomorphs and their first appearance datums for correlation. Journal of African Earth Sciences 140: 114–133.

Barbolini, N., Rubidge, B.S., Bamford, M.K., 2016c. Radiometric dating demonstrates that Permian spore-pollen zones of Australia and South Africa are diachronous. Gondwana Research 37: 241–251.

Barbolini, N., Smith, R.M.H., Tabor, N., Sidor, C.A., Angielcyzk, K., 2016b. Resolving the age of Madumabisa vertebrates: Palynological evidence from the mid-Zambezi Basin of Zambia. Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeogeography 457: 117–128.

Barbolini, N., Bamford, M.K., Tolan, S.C., 2016a. Permo-Triassic palynology and palaeobotany of Zambia: a review. Palaeontologia africana 50: 18–30.

Barbolini, N., Bamford, M.K., 2014. Palynology of an Early Permian coal seam from the Karoo Supergroup of Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 100: 136–144.

Journal Articles Under Review / In Prep.

Barbolini, N., Nxumalo, V., Kramers, J., Vorster, C., Cairncross, B., Bamford, M.K., under review. Palynostratigraphic correlation of Permian coal-bearing successions in the Karoo basins of southern Africa. South African Journal of Geology.

Page, M., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Barbolini, N., Hoorn, C., Schauer, A., Huntington, K., Bajnai, D., Fiebig, J., Mulch, A., Guo, Z., under review. Synchronous cooling and decline in monsoonal rainfall in NE Tibet during the fall into the Oligocene Icehouse. Geology.

Barbolini, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Jardine, P.E., Woutersen, A., Hoorn, C., in prep. Chemical palynology as a tool for unravelling the tectonic history of the Tibetan Plateau.

Barbolini, N., Holtman, B., Rohrmann, A., Meijer, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Hoorn, C., in prep. A Cenozoic biodiversity hotspot: Multi-proxy approaches for documenting Asian plant dispersal across the Tibetan Plateau.

Barbolini, N., Looy, C.V., in prep. Is there a fungal spike at the Permo–Triassic boundary? New evidence from the main Karoo Basin, South Africa.

Mahabeer, K., Barbolini, N., Hancox, P.J., Bamford, M.K., in prep. Palynology of the Permian Ecca Sanângoè-Mefídézi coals of Mozambique and correlation with southern African coal deposits.

Book Chapters

Rubidge, B.S., Day, M.O., Barbolini, N., Hancox, P.J., Choiniere, J., Bamford, M.K., McPhee, B., Viglietti, P., Jirah, S., 2016. Advances in nonmarine Karoo biostratigraphy: Significance for understanding basin development. In: Linol, B. and de Wit, M. (Eds.), Origin and Evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin, Springer International Publishing, p. 141–149.

Peer-reviewed Conference Abstracts

Barbolini, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Jardine, P.E., Rohrmann, A., Hoorn, C., 2018. Multiple palaeoecological proxies constrain the interplay between Tibetan Plateau growth, the proto-monsoons and floral dispersal during the early India-Asia collision. European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference, 12–17 August 2018, Dublin, Ireland.

Barbolini N., Rubidge B.S., Bamford M.K., 2018. A new radio-isotopically constrained palynozonation for the Permian Karoo Basin of South Africa. European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference, 12–17 August 2018, Dublin, Ireland.

Barbolini, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Ao. H., Meijer, N., Licht, A., Hoorn, C.,  2018. Acute Asian cooling across the Eocene–Oligocene transition evidenced by ecosystem restructuring on the Tibetan Plateau. European Geosciences Union General Assembly, 8–13 April 2018, Vienna, Austria. Highlighted as an Abstract of Special Interest.

Hoorn, C., Bogota, G., Woutersen, A., Barbolini, N., Cleef, A., Jardine, P., 2018. Landscape changes and grassland development in the Amazon drainage basin during the Plio-Pleistocene climatic variations. IBS Climate Change Biogeography Meeting, 20–24th March 2018, University of Évora (Portugal).

Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., Rubidge B.S., 2016d. The significance of radio-isotopic ages in calibrating Gondwanan Permian palynozones. XIV International Palynological Congress and X International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference, Salvador, Brazil, 23–28 October 2016.

Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., Rubidge B.S., 2016c. Glacial barriers to floral migration in the Permo-Carboniferous of Gondwana. Proceedings of the 19th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Stellenbosch, July 4–9, 2016. Winner of “The Harrismith Mug” for Best Paper Presented at the PSSA Conference 2016.

Singh M., Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., 2016. Palynology of the Permian mid-Zambezi Basin of Zambia and correlation with southern African microfloral assemblages. Proceedings of the 19th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Stellenbosch, July 4–9, 2016.

Mahabeer K., Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., 2016. Palynology of the Permian Mucanha-Vuzi Coal Basin (Ecca Group, Karoo Supergroup), Tete Province, Mozambique. Proceedings of the 19th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Stellenbosch, July 4–9, 2016.

Barbolini N., Rubidge B.S., Bamford M.K., 2015. Proximal and distal facies correlations in the Karoo retroarc foreland system using palynology. Imbizo: Origin and Evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, 25–27 November 2015.

Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., Rubidge B.S., 2014b. Floral provincialism hinders correlations of Permian palynological assemblages across Gondwana. Abstract Volume of the 4th International Palaeontological Congress, The history of life: A view from the Southern Hemisphere, Mendoza, Argentina, September 28–October 3, 2014, p.277.

Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., Rubidge B.S., 2014a. Palynofloras of the Karoo vertebrate biozones and their contribution towards reconstructing Permo-Triassic extinction events. Proceedings of the 18th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Johannesburg, July 11–14, 2014, p. 11.

Nicoletti (Barbolini) N., Bamford M.K., Rubidge B.S., 2012. A proposed palynostratigraphic scheme for the Karoo Supergroup of South Africa. Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Cape Town, 2012.

Barbolini N., Bamford M.K., 2010. Initial report of the palynology of an Early Permian coal seam in Karoo deposits of Botswana. Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Howick, 2010.

Barbolini N., Yates A.M., 2008. Reconstruction of the cervical vertebrae of Massospondylus: implications for neck movement and feeding envelope of the Prosauropoda. Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, Matjiesfontein, 2008.

No known ancillary activities

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