Kristin Bergmann

D. Reid Weedon, Jr. '41 Career Development Professor

Contact Info:





Wahida Abed 617.253.5935

Reconstructs the record of environmental changes on the early Earth through analysis of sedimentary formations.

Research Interests

In my lab, we combine aspects of sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, and geobiology to better understand the connections between the Earth’s environment and the organisms that inhabit it. Current work is focused on interpreting the record of marine carbonate sedimentary rocks and fossils. We analyze these rocks using a variety of tools in order to better understand how the chemistry and climate of the oceans and atmosphere affected the evolution of complex life, from unicellular microbial communities to multicellular animal communities. Our research attempts to place constraints on the environmental change that provides a backdrop for early evolution and quantify the range of climatic conditions the earth system is capable of.

Topics I investigate:

  • Stable isotope geochemistry of carbonates including clumped-isotope thermometry
  • Marine carbonate sedimentary rocks and fossils
  • The nature of large negative carbon isotope excursions in the Neoproterozoic including the Shuram, Bitter Springs and Islay anomalies
  • Significance of δ18O changes through time in the Neoproterozoic, Cambrian and Ordovician and the evolution of climate and the δ18O of seawater
  • Patterns and variations in carbonate sedimentation across the Precambrian and Cambrian
  • Diagenesis in marine Precambrian carbonate rocks
  • Trends in the early evolution of complex life using microfossils and biomarkers
  • Climate-weathering feedbacks in the Neoproterozoic

Biographic Sketch

Kristin Bergmann joined the EAPS faculty in 2015. Bergmann received a BA in geology and environmental studies from Carleton College in 2004, after which she spent three years teaching Earth and life sciences at The Pennington School in New Jersey. She pursued graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, earning an MS (2011) and a PhD (2013) in geology. Before coming to MIT, Bergmann was a Junior Fellow with the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2021 • Paul Gray Faculty Award for Public Service, MIT Priscilla King Gray Center
  • 2020 • D. Reid Weedon, Jr. '41 Career Development Chair, MIT
  • 2018 • Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, David and Lucile Packard Foundation