Kathleen Wendt, PhD

I study paleoclimatology and geochronology. My research focuses on the climate history of desert regions. Using cave deposits, I study how rainfall patterns and water table elevations have changed over hundreds of thousands of years. By understanding natural cycles, we can better predict how deserts will respond to future climate change. See Projects for more information on my current research projects.

Over the last 6 years I have collaborated with scientists, educators, and media outlets worldwide. I am particularly interested in science communication. I enjoy participating in public talks and science documentaries, such as our latest collaboration with the IMAX film Ancient Caves. Most recently, I was selected as an early-career editor for the IPCC's AR6 report. Got questions? Click the Email link to reach out.

UIBK Webpage / LinkedIn  /  Email


2021-2023    NSF Postdoctoral Researcher

                           Oregon State University
                           Research focus: investigate past carbon cycle dynamics during
                           the last glacial period using high-resolution CO2 measurements
                           from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice core.

2019-2020   FWF Postdoctoral Researcher

                           University of Innsbruck
                           Research focus: develop new techniques in 234U disequilibrium
                           dating using carbonate deposits from Nevada. See Projects for
                           further information and publications.  


2015-2018    Ph.D. University of Innsbruck                            
                           Earth Sciences (focus: paleoclimate) 

2013-2015    M.S. University of Minnesota                            
                          Earth Sciences (focus: isotope geochemistry) 

2008-2013   B.S. University of Minnesota                            
                          Environmental Sciences                              
                         Summa cum laude honors


Stewart, B.D., Sorensen, J. V.,  Wendt, K. A., Sylvan, J. B., German, C. R., Anantharaman, K., Dick, G. J., Breier,  J. A., Toner, B.M. (in review) A multi-modal approach to unpacking iron biogeochemical processes in buoyant hydrothermal plumes.

Li, X., Wendt, K. A., Dublyansky, Y., Moseley, G. E., Spötl, C., and Edwards, R. L. (in review) Novel method for determining 234U-238U ages from Devils Hole 2 cave calcite, Geochronology  Link

Wendt, K.A., Pythoud, M., Dublyansky, Y., Moseley, G.E., Edwards, R.L., Spötl, C. (2020) Paleohydrology of southwest Nevada based on groundwater 234U/238U over the last 450ka. GSA Bulletin Link

Wendt, K.A., Häuselmann, A.D., Fleitmann, D., Berry, A.E., Wang, X., Auler, A.S., Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L. (2019) Three-Phased Heinrich Stadial 4 recorded in NE Brazil Stalagmites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 510, 94-102 Link

Wendt, K.A., Dublyansky, Y., Moseley, G.E., Cheng. H., Edwards, R.L., Spötl, C. (2018)  Moisture availability in the SW United States over the last three glacial-interglacial cycles. Science Advances, 4 (10) eaau1375 Link

Moseley, G.E., Edwards, R.L., Wendt, K.A., Cheng, H., Dublyansky, Y., Lu, Y., Boch, R., Spötl, C. (2016): Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing. Science  351, 165-168Link

Anantharaman, K., Duhaime, M., Breier, J., Wendt, K., Toner, B., Dick, G. (2014): Sulfur oxidation genes in diverse deep-sea viruses. Science  344, 757-760. Link 




2016               Seminar Leader
                         University of Innsbruck              
                          Seminar Title: Principles and Application of Stable Isotopes

2015                Teaching Assistant
                          University of Innsbruck     
                          Course Title: English for Earth Sciences

2013-2014    Teaching Assistant
                           University of Minnesota 
                           Course Title: Geochemistry


Co-producer and writer of the short documentary Devils Hole Cave  (2018)

Digital outreach coordinator for the UIBK Climate Research Center(2016-2017)

Co-organizer of the UMN’s Quaternary Paleoecology seminar (2014-2015)

Volunteer at the Science Museum of Minnesota (2012-2015)


© Copyright Kathleen Wendt