Emi Ito

Ito New

Emi Ito

Professor and Director, Limnological Research Center, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Continental Scientific Coring and Drilling facility (CSD)


John T. Tate Hall
Room 385-22
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


PhD, 1979, University of Chicago

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • American Association for Advancement of Science;
  • American Geophysical Union;
  • American Quaternary Association;
  • Geological Society of America;
  • Geochemical Society
Research Interests

My current research has several related foci: one is centered on the modeling of past
climate (especially moisture balance) using sediment record in extant and ancient lakes; the
second focus is aimed to gain a better understanding of processes that 'connect' climate to
proxy records of climate preserved in lake sediments; and the third is relating sediment
characteristics (grain size variation, mineralogy, bulk chemistry) to reconstruct landscape
hydroclimate (floods) and tectonic events (earthquakes). The topic of the second focus might be
called “how lakes see climate”. For example, groundwater may have a significant effect on a
lake's hydrological and hydrochemical budget and thus influence the geochemical signature of
carbonates formed within the lake. The habitat and the timing of the moulting of ostracodes also
affect the geochemistry of the shells because most lakes do not have constant or uniform water
temperature or chemistry year round. I like to work collaboratively with other researchers who
are experts on hydrogeology, sediment transport processes, regional climate modeling,
diatoms, ostracodes, or pollen so that we, as a group, have several lines of evidence to
reconstruct past conditions and processes. The third (and most recent) interest is sediment
transport within lakes. Current NSF IES project in Southern Patagonia is presenting me with
many opportunities to learn new things.

Alison Smith (Kent State Univ) and I are shepherding an expected to be a long and
convoluted process of securing funding for a drilling project focused on Pliocene lakes of
Western North America (PLIOWEST). Pliocene was warmer than today and yet supported
several large permanent lakes in areas that are arid to semi-arid today. All target lakes are no
longer extant. The first planning workshop occurred in mid-February on Campus. A revised
workshop proposal incorporating specific suggestions from last submission to ICDP was funded
and a rescheduled workshop in a hybrid mode is planned for September 2021.



Continental Scientific Drilling Facility

Currently Teaching Courses
Climate Change and Human History
Earth Resources
Isotope Geology

Selected Publications

  • Ito E and Forester RM (2016) Holocene hydrologic and hydrochemical changes of the South Basin of Lake Manitoba, Canada, inferred from ostracode shell chemistry and autoecology. Hydrobiologia, 786(1), 97-124. DOI 10.1007/s10750-016-2668-z
  • Smith AJ, Ito E, Curry BB and De Deckker P (2017) The Controbution of Richard M. Forester to the knowledge of the paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic significance of Cenozoic non-marine Ostracoda. Hydrobiologia, 786(1):1-4. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-016-2963-8
  • He YX, Zhao C, Liu ZH, Wang HY, Liu WG, Yu ZC, Zhao Y and Ito E (2016) Holocene climate controls on isotopic variation on the northern Tibetan Plateau: A case study at Hurleg Lake. Chemical Geology, 440:239-247.  DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.07.024
  • Dalbotten, Diana M.; Ito, Emi; Eriksson, Susan; Pellerin, Holly; Greensky, Lowana; Kowalczak, Courtney; and Berthelote, Antony (2017) "Gidakiimanaanawigamig’s Circle of Learning: A Model for Partnership between Tribal Community and Research University," Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies: Vol. 4: Iss. 3, Article 7. Available at: http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/ijps/vol4/iss3/7
  • Lev L, Stein M, Ito E, Fruchter N, Ben-Avraham Z, and Almogi-Labin A (2019) Sedimentary, geochemical and hydrological history of Lake Kinneret during the last 28,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 209:114-128. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.02.015.
  • Van der Meeren T, Ito E, Laird KR, Cumming BF and Verschuren D (2019) Ecohydrological evolution of Lake Naivasha (central Rift Valley, Kenya) during the past 1650 years, as recorded by ostracod assemblages and stable-isotope geochemistry. Quaternary Science Reviews), 223:105906. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105906
  • Maxbauer DP, Shapley MD, Geiss CE and Ito E (2020) Holocene climate recorded by magnetic properties of lake sediments in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. The Holocene, 20:479-484. (online publication November 21, 2019) https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619887418
  • Noyszewski AK, Anderson NO, Smith AG, Kilian A, Dalbotten D, Ito E, Timm A, Pellerin H, Kubátová B, Kávová T, Januš, V, Čurn V, Edwards KR, Bastlová D, Květ J (2021) Riparian populations of minnesota reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) are most likely native, based on SNPs (DArTseqLD). Wetlands Ecology and Management, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-021-09795-8, Published online March 27, 2021.
  • Van Wyk de Vries M, Ito E, Shapley M, Brignone G(2021) Semi-automate counting of complex varves through image autocorrelation. Quaternary Research 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2021.10
  • Van Wyk de Vries, M., Ito, E., Shapley, M., Brignone, G., Romero, M., Wickert, A. D., Miller, L. H., MacGregor, K. R. (2022). Physical limnology and sediment dynamics of Lago Argentino, the world's largest ice-contact lake. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 127, e2022JF006598. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JF006598