Audrey M Yau

PhD candidate

Department of Geosciences

15 Guyot Hall

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ 08544


advisor: Michael L Bender

Hi and Welcome!

I am a stable isotope geochemist, studying the air trapped in glacial ice. I work in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions on projects that hope to extend our current atmospheric records from both poles.


In Antarctica, the current trapped air record provides paleoatmospheric data up to 800,000 years. I have been collaborating with scientists attempting to extend the atmospheric record beyond 1 million years using old ice discovered in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Our work produces the oldest atmospheric data from ice cores, adding to our understanding of climate up to 1.6 million years ago.


In the Arctic, the longest continuous atmospheric record currently dates to 120,000 years. I have been collaborating with scientists to extend this record by analyzing deeper ice that is not in stratigraphic order. We hope to provide insights into the last interglacial (the Eemian ~115,000 -130,000 years ago, when polar temperatures were ~3-5°C warmer than today and sea level was ~6-9 meters higher than today). We hope to estimate the contribution of Northern Hemispheric ice sheets to sea level rise and determine the timing and degree of warming during the last glacial termination from direct ice core analysis.


By analyzing ice that reaches back to periods of time when climate was warmer than that of today, we can better assess how anthropogenic impacts may perturb the global climate system.