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College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Howie Scher

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Earth Ocean and Environment
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2410
Office: PSC, Room 519B
Resources: School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Florida; Thesis title: Paleogene circulation in the Southern Ocean inferred from neodymium isotopes (Ellen E. Martin, thesis advisor).
  • B.S., Environmental Science, University of Rochester; Senior Thesis title: Late Cretaceous climate in the high Arctic from Axel Hieberg Island (John A. Tarduno, thesis advisor).


  • Biogeochemistry & Geochemistry
  • Climate Change
  • Sedimentology & Stratigraphy


Cenozoic ocean history , Role of the ocean during abrupt climate events, Changes in seawater chemistry, Evolution of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic cryosphere, Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of seawater trace elements and isotopes (TEI’s), Developing and calibrating proxies for paleoceanography.


2014 Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science Visiting Scholarship. University of Tasmania, Australia.
2006 Postdoctoral Scholar Award. Institute of Marine Science. UC Santa Cruz.
2005 Horn Award for outstanding graduate student. Department of Geological Sciences. University of Florida.
2004 McLaughlin Dissertation Fellowship. Office of Research. University of Florida. (I declined this award)
2002 ExxonMobil 2002 student leadership conference delegate. ExxonMobil Exploration Corporation
1999 Alumni Fellowship. Office of Research. University of Florida.
1999 Percy Dutton Award. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. University of Rochester.
1998 REU internship. National Science Foundation and University of Alaska, Fairbanks.


Robinson, R.S., Moore, T.C., Erhardt, A.M., Scher, H.D., 2015. Evidence for changes in subsurface circulation in the late Eocene equatorial Pacific from radiolarian-bound nitrogen isotope values. Paleoceanography 30, 912-922.

Scher, H.D., Whittaker, J.M., Williams, S.E., Latimer, J.C., Kordesch, W.E.C., Delaney, M.L., 2015. Onset of Antarctic Circumpolar Current 30 million years ago as Tasmanian Gateway aligned with westerlies. Nature 523, 580-584.

Stichel, T., Hartman, A.E., Duggan, B., Goldstein, S.L., Scher, H.D., Pahnke, K., 2015. Separating biogeochemical cycling of neodymium from water mass mixing in the Eastern North Atlantic. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 412, 245-260.

Widanagamage, I.H., Griffith, E.M., Singer, D.M., Scher, H.D., Buckley, W.P., Senko, J.M., 2015. Controls on stable Sr-isotope fractionation in continental barite. Chemical Geology 411, 215-227.

Moebius, I., Friedrich, O., Scher, H.D., 2014. Changes in Southern Ocean bottom water environments associated with the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO). Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 405, 16-27.

Scher, H.D., Bohaty, S.M., Smith, B.W., Munn, G.H., 2014a. Isotopic interrogation of a suspected late Eocene glaciation. Paleoceanography 29, 2014PA002648.

Scher, H.D., Griffith, E.M., Buckley, W.P., 2014b. Accuracy and precision of 88Sr/86Sr and 87Sr/86Sr measurements by MC-ICPMS compromised by high barium concentrations. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15, 499-508. 

Widanagamage, I., Schauble, E.A., Scher, H.D., Griffith, E.M., 2014. Stable strontium isotope fractionation in synthetic barite. Geochimica et Cosmichimica Acta 147, 58-75.

Gallagher, S.J., Villa, G., Drysdale, R.N., Wade, B.S., Scher, H., Li, Q., Wallace, M.W., Holdgate, G.R., 2013. A near-field sea level record of East Antarctic Ice Sheet instability from 32 to 27 Myr. Paleoceanography 28, 1-13.

Pälike, H., Lyle, M.W., Nishi, H., Raffi, I., Ridgwell, A., Gamage, K., Klaus, A., Acton, G., Anderson, L., Backman, J., Baldauf, J., Beltran, C., Bohaty, S.M., Bown, P., Busch, W., Channell, J.E.T., Chun, C.O.J., Delaney, M., Dewangan, P., Jones, T.D., Edgar, K.M., Evans, H., Fitch, P., Foster, G.L., Gussone, N., Hasegawa, H., Hathorne, E.C., Hayashi, H., Herrle, J.O., Holbourn, A., Hovan, S., Hyeong, K., Iijima, K., Ito, T., Kamikuri, S., Kimoto, K., Kuroda, J., Leon-Rodriguez, L., Malinverno, A., Moore, T.C., Murphy, B.H., Murphy, D.P., Nakamura, H., Ogane, K., Ohneiser, C., Richter, C., Robinson, R., Rohling, E.J., Romero, O., Sawada, K., Scher, H., Schneider, L., Sluijs, A., Takata, H., Tian, J., Tsujimoto, A., Wade, B.S., Westerhold, T., Wilkens, R., Williams, T., Wilson, P.A., Yamamoto, Y., Yamamoto, S., Yamazaki, T., Zeebe, R.E., 2012. A Cenozoic record of the equatorial Pacific carbonate compensation depth. Nature 488, 609-614.

van de Flierdt, T., Pahnke, K., Amakawa, H., Andersson, P., Basak, C., Coles, B., Colin, C., Crocket, K., Frank, M., Frank, N., Goldstein, S.L., Goswami, V., Haley, B.A., Hathorne, E.C., Hemming, S.R., Henderson, G.M., Jeandel, C., Jones, K., Kreissig, K., Lacan, F., Lambelet, M., Martin, E.E., Newkirk, D.R., Obata, H., Pena, L., Piotrowski, A.M., Pradoux, C., Scher, H.D., Schoberg, H., Singh, S.K., Stichel, T., Tazoe, H., Vance, D., Yang, J.J., Partici, G.I., 2012. GEOTRACES intercalibration of neodymium isotopes and rare earth element concentrations in seawater and suspended particles. Part 1: reproducibility of results for the international intercomparison. Limnology and Oceanography-Methods 10, 234-251.

Scher, H.D., Bohaty, S., Zachos, J.C., Delaney, M.L., 2011. Two-stepping into the icehouse: East Antarctic weathering during progressive ice-sheet expansion at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition. Geology 39, 383-386.

Martin, E.E., Blair, S.W., Kamenov, G.D., Scher, H.D., Bourbon, E., Basak, C., Newkirk, D.N., 2010. Extraction of Nd isotopes from bulk deep sea sediments for paleoceanographic studies on Cenozoic time scales. Chemical Geology 269, 414-431.

Scher, H.D., Delaney, M.L., 2010. Breaking the glass ceiling for high resolution Nd isotope records in early Cenozoic paleoceanography. Chemical Geology 269, 329-338.

Scher, H.D., Martin, E.E., 2008. Oligocene deep water export from the North Atlantic and the development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current examined with neodymium isotopes. Paleoceangraphy 23, PA1205, doi:1210.1029/2006PA001400.

Barker, P.F., Filippelli, G.M., Florindo, F., Martin, E.E., Scher, H.D., 2007. Onset and role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 54, 2388-2398.

Martin, E.E., Scher, H., 2006. A Nd isotopic study of southern sourced waters and Indonesian throughflow at intermediate depths in the Cenozoic Indian Ocean. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 7, Q09N02, doi:10.1029/2006GC001302.

Scher, H.D., Martin, E.E., 2006. Timing and climatic consequences of the opening of Drake Passage. Science 312, 428-430.

Martin, E.E., Scher, H.D., 2004. Preservation of seawater Sr and Nd isotopes in fossil fish teeth: bad news and good news. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 220, 25-39.

Scher, H.D., Martin, E.E., 2004. Circulation in the Southern Ocean during the Paleogene inferred from neodymium isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 228, 391-405.

Channell, J.E.T., Galeotti, S., Martin, E.E., Billups, K., Scher, H.D., Stoner, J.S., 2003. Eocene to Miocene magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chemostratigraphy at ODP Site 1090 (sub-Antarctic South Atlantic). Geological Society of America Bulletin 115, 607-623.

Tarduno, J.A., Brinkman, D.B., Renne, P.R., Cottrell, R.D., Scher, H., Castillo, P., 1998. Evidence for extreme climatic warmth from late Cretaceous Arctic vertebrates. Science 282, 2241-2244.