Geosciences Department
David Gillikin, associate professor of Geology

David Gillikin

Job Title
Chair of the Geosciences Department
Director of Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering Program
William D. Williams Professor of Geosciences
F.W. Olin Center 315

Areas of expertise

Isotope Geochemistry, Sclerochronology, Biogeochemistry

Research interests

My research focus involves the validation of bivalve shell geochemistry as a proxy of environmental and climate change. My interests are broad and have included biogeochemistry and ecophysiology. I have a specific interest in bridging disciplines, including the chemical, biological and geological sciences. My current projects include marine and freshwater bivalve shell geochemistry, speleothem geochemistry, lake core records, aquatic (freshwater, estuarine, and marine) biogeochemistry, and chemical dendrochronology.

Field Areas: Belgium, France, North Carolina, Upstate New York, Ohio, Portugal, Tennessee, Kenya, Central African Republic

Teaching interests

GEO 106: Introduction to Oceanography
GEO 120: The Story of Earth and Life
GEO 207: Stable Isotopes in Environmental Science
GEO 305: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
GEO 308: Advanced Oceanography


Select Publications (since 2017)

Peharda, M., D.P. Gillikin, B.R. Schöne, A. Verheyden, H. Uvanović, K. Markulin, T. Šarić, I. Janekovic, I. Župan (2022). Nitrogen isotope sclerochronology -insights into coastal environmental conditions and Pinna nobilis ecology. Frontiers in Marine Science - Marine Biology

Médieu, A., D. Point, T. Itai, H. Angot, P. Buchanan, V. Allain, L. Fuller, S. Griffiths, D.P. Gillikin, J. E. Sonke, L.-E. Heimbürger-Boavida, M.-M. Desgranges, C. Menkes, D. J. Madigan, P. Brosset, O. Gauthier, A. Tagliabue, L. Bopp, A. Verheyden, A. Lorrain (2022). Evidence that Pacific tuna mercury levels are driven by marine methylmercury production and anthropogenic inputs. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS). 119 (2) e2113032119 doi: 10.1073/pnas.2113032119

Kelemen, Z., D.P. Gillikin, A.V. Borges, E. Tambwe, A.T. Sembaito, T. Mambo, J. Nlandu Wabakhangazi, A. Yambélé, Y. Stroobandt, S. Bouillon (2022). Freshwater bivalve shells as hydrologic archives in the Congo Basin. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 308: 101-117. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2021.05.023

Graniero, L.E., D.P. Gillikin, D. Surge (2021). Evaluating freshwater mussel shell δ13C values as a proxy for dissolved inorganic carbon δ13C values in a temperate river. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences 126, e2020JG006003. doi: 10.1029/ 2020JG006003

Graniero, L.E., D.P. Gillikin, D. Surge, Z. Kelemen, S. Bouillon (2021). Assessing δ15N values in the carbonate-bound organic matrix and periostracum of bivalve shells as environmental archives. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 564: 110108 doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.110108

Goodwin, D.H., D.P. Gillikin, E.N Jorn, M.C. Fratian, A.D. Wanamaker (2021). Comparing contemporary biogeochemical archives from Mercenaria mercenaria and Crassostrea virginica: Insights on paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 562: 110110. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.110110

Thatcher, D., A.D. Wanamaker, R.F. Denniston, C.C. Ummenhofer, F.T. Regala, J. Haws, A. Chormann, D.P. Gillikin (2020). Linking the karst record to atmospheric, precipitation, and vegetation dynamics in Portugal. Chemical Geology 558: 119949. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.119949

Thatcher, D., A.D. Wanamaker, R. Denniston, Y. Asmerom, V. Polyak, D. Fullick, C. Ummenhofer, D.P. Gillikin, J. Haws (2020). Hydroclimate variability from Western Iberia (Portugal) during the Holocene – Insights from a composite stalagmite isotope record. The Holocene 30 (7): 966–981.

Molloy, J.B., D.T. Rodbell, D.P. Gillikin, K.T. Hollocher (2020). Citizen science campaign reveals widespread fallout of contaminated dust from mining activities in the central Peruvian Andes. Geology 48 (7): 678–682

Thibault, M., N. Duprey, D.P. Gillikin, J. Thébault, P. Douillet, L. Chauvaud, E. Amice, J.M. Munaron, and A. Lorrain (2020). Bivalve δ15N isoscapes provide a baseline for urban nitrogen footprint at the edge of a World Heritage coral reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin 152: 110870.

Gillikin, D.P., A.D. Wanamaker, C.F.T. Andrus (2019). Chemical Sclerochronology. Chemical Geology 526: 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.06.016

Kelemen, Z., D.P. Gillikin, S. Bouillon (2019). Relationship between river water chemistry and shell chemistry of two tropical African freshwater bivalve species. Chemical Geology 526: 130-141. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.04.026

Goodwin, D.H. D.P. Gillikin, R. Banker, G.T. Watters, D.L. Dettman, C.S. Romanek (2019). Reconstructing intra-annual growth of freshwater mussels using oxygen isotopes. Chemical Geology 526: 7–22. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.07.030

Wanamaker, A.D. D. P. Gillikin (2019). Strontium, magnesium, and barium uptake in aragonitic shells of Arctica islandica: insights from a temperature controlled experiment. Chemical Geology 526: 117–129. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.02.012

Geeza, T., D. P. Gillikin, Goodwin, D.H., §S. Evans, G.T. Watters, N.R. Warner (2019). Controls on magnesium, manganese, strontium, and barium concentrations recorded in freshwater mussel shells from Ohio. Chemical Geology 526: 142-152. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.01. 001

Geeza, T., D. P. Gillikin, B. McDevitt, K. Van Sice, N.R. Warner (2018). Accumulation of Marcellus Formation oil and gas wastewater metals in freshwater mussel shells. Environmental Science & Technology 52 (18), 10883-10892. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02727

Nehme C., S. Verheyden, S.F.M. Breitenbach, D. P. Gillikin, A. Verheyden, H. Cheng, L. Edwards, J. Hellstrom, S. Noble, A. Farrant, D. Sahy, T. Goovaerts, G. Salen, and P. Claeys (2018). Climatic variability during penultimate interglacial and glacial periods recorded in a speleothem from Kanaan cave, Lebanon (Central Levant). Quaternary Research 90: 10–25. doi:10.1017/qua.2018.18

Durham, S.R., D. P. Gillikin, D.H. Goodwin, G.P. Dietl (2017), Rapid determination of oyster lifespans and growth rates using LA-ICP-MS line scans of shell Mg/Ca ratios. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 485: 201-209.

Sletten, H. R., D. P. Gillikin, J. Halfar, C. F. T. Andrus, and H. M. Guzmán (2017). Growth controls on Mg/Ca and P/Ca relationships in Gulf of Panama rhodoliths. Chemical Geology 465:1-10

Kelemen, Z., D.P. Gillikin, L.E. Graniero, H. Havel, F. Darchambeau, A.V. Borges, A. Yambélé, A. Bassirou and S. Bouillon (2017). Calibration of hydroclimate proxies in freshwater bivalve shells from Central and West Africa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 208: 41-62. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.03.025

Gillikin, D.P., A. Verheyden, and D.H. Goodwin (2017). Paleoclimate reconstruction from oxygen isotopes in a coral skeleton from East Africa: A data-enhanced learning experience. Hands-on-activity. Oceanography 30(1): 104-107. doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.104

Gillikin, D. P., A. Lorrain, A. Jolivet, Z. Kelemen, L. Chauvaud, and S. Bouillon (2017). High-resolution nitrogen stable isotope sclerochronology of bivalve shell carbonate-bound organics. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 200: 55-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2016.12.008

Graniero, L.E., D. Surge, D. P. Gillikin, and I. Briz (2017), Assessing elemental ratios as a paleotemperature proxy in calcite shells of patelloid limpets. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 465: 376-385. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.10.021

Additional media

Academic credentials

B.S., State University of New York at New Paltz; M.S., Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit Brussel