Geosciences Department
Elizabeth Olson head shot

Elizabeth Olson

Job Title
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Tropical Paleoclimatology
F.W. Olin 318

Areas of expertise

Stable isotopes, paleoclimate, aerosols, hydrology, dendrochronology, speleothems

Research interests

My research focuses on investigating critical zone processes of environmental change through geochemistry. This includes understanding spatial and temporal variability recorded in various atmospheric, biologic and hydrologic materials using modeling and isotopic tracers. All aspects of my research focus on determining environmental and/or climatic change impacts over time.



Welp, L. R., Olson, E. J., Valdivia, A. L., Larico, J. R., Arhuire, E. P., Paredes, L. M., and Michalski, G. M. 2022, Reinterpreting Precipitation Stable Water Isotope Variability in the Andean Western Cordillera Due To Sub-Seasonal Moisture Source Changes and Sub-Cloud Evaporation. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(18), e99876.

Michalski, G., Olson, E., Valdivia, A. L., Reyes, J. L., Li, J., Fang, H., and Welp, L. 2022, Identifying NOx sources in Arequipa, Peru using nitrogen isotopes in particulate nitrate. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 864.

Alvarez, O., Olson, E.J., Frisbee, M.D., Medina, S.A.Z., Quispe, W.R.R., Carrion, M.A., Mamani, C.I.S., Rodriguez, J.D., Ccanccapa-Cartagena, A.D., Jafvert, C.T., and Welp, L.R., 2022, Evidence for high-elevation salar recharge and interbasin groundwater flow in the Western Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes; Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 1-35


Olson, E.J., Michalski, G., Welp, L., Larrea, A.V., Reyes, J., and Li, J. 2021, Mineral dust and fossil fuel combustion dominate sources of aerosol sulfate in urban Peru identified by sulfur stable isotopes and water-soluble ions; Atmospheric Environment, 260, 118482

Li J, Michalski G, Olson E.J., Welp LR, Larrea Valdivia AE, Larico JR, Zapata FA, Paredes LM. 2021, Geochemical Characterization and Heavy Metal Sources in PM10 in Arequipa, Peru; Atmosphere, 12(5):641.

Ccanccapa-Cartagena, A., Paredes, B., Vera, C., Chavez-Gonzales, F. D., Olson, E. J., Welp, L. R., Zyaykina, N.N., Filley, T. R., Warsinger, D. M., Jafvert, C. T., 2021, Occurrence and probabilistic health risk assessment (PRA) of dissolved metals in surface water sources in Southern Peru. Environmental Advances, 100102.

2020 Olson, E. J., Dodd, J. P., & Rivera, M. A., 2020, Prosopis sp. tree-ring oxygen and carbon isotope record of regional-scale hydroclimate variability during the last 9500 years in the Atacama Desert; Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 529, 109408

2016 Jayne, R.S., Pollyea, R.M, Dodd, J.P., Olson, E.J., and Swanson, S.K.,2016, Regional-scale groundwater flow in the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin, Atacama Desert, Chile; Hydrogeology Journal, 24 (8), 1921­–1937.

2013 deFrance, S. and Olson, E., 2013, Late Prehispanic Coquina Quarrying and Tomb Construction in Coastal Southern Peru; Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, 8(1), 3-16.

Academic credentials

B.A., Geology and Anthropology,University of Florida; M.S., Quaternary and Climate Studies, University of Maine; Ph.D., Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University