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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Faculty and Staff Directory

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
Howie Scher


  • 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.


Honor/Award Name

Bestowed by


Institute of Marine and Antarctic Sciences Visiting Scholarship

Institute of Marine and Antarctic Sciences and the University of Tasmania, Australia

2020 (declined due to global COVID pandemic)

Gamecocks Stand Up Hero Award

Office of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention, University of South Carolina


Ocean Drilling Distinguished Lecturer (nominated)

Consortium for Ocean Leadership


Two Thumbs Up Award

Office of Student Disabilities Services, University of South Carolina


Breakthrough Star Award

VP for Research, University of South Carolina


Institute of Marine and Antarctic Sciences Visiting Scholarship

Institute of Marine and Antarctic Sciences and the University of Tasmania, Australia


Research Opportunity Program Award

Office of Research and Economic Development; University of South Carolina


Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Institute of Marine Sciences; University of California, Santa Cruz


Horn Award (for eagerness, inspiration, involvement in/contribution to the geology department, academic ability and research activity)

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida


McLaughlin Dissertation Fellowship

University of Florida

2004 (I declined due to an offer of employment)

ExxonMobil student delegate

ExxonMobil Exploration Corporation


Alumni Fellowship

University of Florida


Percy Dutton Award (for "wholesome, unselfish, and helpful influence" among their fellow students)

University of Rochester


REU Internship

Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska-Fairbanks



Corradino, J. I., A. Pullen, A. L. Leier, D. L. Barbeau Jr., H. D. Scher, A. Weislogel, A. Bruner, D. A. Leckie and L. D. Currie (2021). "Ancestral trans−North American Bell River system recorded in late Oligocene to early Miocene sediments in the Labrador Sea and Canadian Great Plains." GSA Bulletin. DOI: 10.1130/B35903.1.

Tibbett, E. J., H. D. Scher, S. Warny, J. E. Tierney, S. Passchier and S. J. Feakins (2021). "Late Eocene Record of Hydrology and Temperature From Prydz Bay, East Antarctica." Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 36(4): 10.1029/2020PA004204.

Hutchinson, D. K., Coxall, H. K., Lunt, D. J., Steinthorsdottir, M., de Boer, A. M., Baatsen, M., von der Heydt, A., Huber, M., Kennedy-Asser, A. T., Kunzmann, L., Ladant, J.-B., Lear, C. H., Moraweck, K., Pearson, P. N., Piga, E., Pound, M. J., Salzmann, U., Scher, H. D., Sijp, W. P., Śliwińska, K. K., Wilson, P. A., and Zhang, Z.: The Eocene-Oligocene transition: a review of marine and terrestrial proxy data, models and model-data comparisons, Clim. Past Discuss. DOI: 10.5194/cp-2020-68, 2020.

Kim, S.L., Zeichner, S.S., Colman, A.S., Scher, H.D., Kriwet, J., Mörs, T. and Huber, M. (2020), Probing the ecology and climate of the Eocene Southern Ocean with sand tiger sharks Striatolamia macrota. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. Accepted Author Manuscript. DOI: 10.1029/2020PA003997

Auchter, N. C., Romans, B. W., Hubbard, S. M., Daniels, B. G., Scher, H.D., & *Buckley, W. (2020) Instrabasinal sediment recycling from detrital strontium isotope stratigraphy. Geology, 48, 992-996. DOI: 10.1130/ G47594.1.

Carter, S. C., Griffith, E. M., Clift, P. D., Scher, H.D., & Dellapenna, T. M. (2020). Clay-fraction strontium and neodymium isotopes in the Indus Fan: implications for sediment transport and provenance. Geological Magazine, 157(6), 879-894. DOI: 10.1017/S0016756820000394.

Gallagher, S. J., B. Wade, Q. Y. Li, G. R. Holdgate, P. Bown, V. A. Korasidis, H. Scher, A. J. P. Houben, B. McGowran and T. Allan (2020). Eocene to Oligocene high paleolatitude neritic record of Oi-1 glaciation in the Otway Basin southeast Australia. Global and Planetary Change, 191, 103218. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2020.103218.

Kulhanek, D. K., Levy, R. H., Clowes, C. D., Prebble, J. G., Rodelli, D., Jovane, L., et al. (2019). Revised chronostratigraphy of DSDP Site 270 and late Oligocene to early Miocene paleoecology of the Ross Sea sector of Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change, 178, 46-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.04.002

Griffith, E. M., Paytan, A., Wortmann, U. G., Eisenhauer, A., & Scher, H. D. (2018). Combining metal and nonmetal isotopic measurements in barite to identify mode of formation. Chemical Geology, 500, 148-158. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.09.031.

Schlitzer, R., Anderson, R. F., Dodas, E. M., Lohan, M., Geibere, W., Tagliabue, A., et al. (2018). The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2017. Chemical Geology, 493, 210-223. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.040.

Stichel, T., Pahnke, K., *Duggan, B., Goldstein, S. L., Hartman, A. E., Paffrath, R., & Scher, H. D. (2018). TAG Plume: Revisiting the Hydrothermal Neodymium Contribution to Seawater. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 96. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00096.

*Wright, N. M., Scher, H. D., Seton, M., Huck, C. E., & *Duggan, B. D. (2018). No Change in Southern Ocean Circulation in the Indian Ocean From the Eocene Through Late Oligocene. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 33(2), 152-167. DOI: 10.1002/2017PA003238.

Zhou, X., Thomas, E., Winguth, A. M. E., Ridgwell, A., Scher, H., Hoogakker, B. A. A., et al. (2016). Expanded oxygen minimum zones during the late Paleocene-early Eocene: Hints from multiproxy comparison and ocean modeling. Paleoceanography, 31(12), 1532-1546. DOI: 10.1002/2016PA003020.

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(7), 912-922. DOI: 10.1002/2015PA002777.

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(7562), 580-583. DOI: 10.1038/nature14598.

Stichel, T., Hartman, A. E., *Duggan, B., Goldstein, S. L., Scher, H., & 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. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.008.

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.011.

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.04.004.

Scher, H. D., Griffith, E. M., & *Buckley, W. P., Jr. (2014). Accuracy and precision of 88Sr/86Sr and 87Sr/86Sr measurements by MC-ICPMS compromised by high barium concentrations. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15(2), 499-508. DOI: 10.1002/2013GC005134.

Scher, H. D., Bohaty, S. M., *Smith, B. W., & Munn, G. H. (2014). Isotopic interrogation of a suspected late Eocene glaciation. Paleoceanography, 29(6), 628-644. DOI: 10.1002/2014PA002648.

Widanagamage, I. H., Schauble, E. A., Scher, H. D., & Griffith, E. M. (2014). Stable strontium isotope fractionation in synthetic barite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 147, 58-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.10.004.

Gallagher, S. J., Villa, G., Drysdale, R. N., Wade, B. S., Scher, H., Li, Q., et al. (2013). A near-field sea level record of East Antarctic Ice Sheet instability from 32 to 27 Myr. Paleoceanography, 28(1), 1-13. DOI: 10.1029/2012PA002326.

Palike, 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(7413), 609-614. DOI: 10.1038/nature11360.

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. (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. DOI: 10.4319/lom.2012.10.234.

Scher, H. D., Bohaty, S. M., 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(4), 383-386. DOI: 10.1130/G31726.1.

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(3-4), 414-431. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2009.10.016.

Scher, H. D., & Delaney, M. L. (2010). Breaking the glass ceiling for high resolution Nd isotope records in early Cenozoic paleoceanography. Chemical Geology, 269(3-4), 329-338. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2009.10.007.

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. Paleoceanography, 23(1), PA1205. DOI: 10.1029/2006PA001400.

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(21-22), 2388-2398. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2007.07.028.

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., & Martin, E. (2006). Timing and climatic consequences of the opening of Drake Passage. Science, 312(5772), 428-430. DOI: 10.1126/science.1120044.

Martin, E., & Scher, H. (2004). Preservation of seawater Sr and Nd isotopes in fossil fish teeth: bad news and good news. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 220(1-2), 25-39. DOI: 10.1016/S0012-821X(04)00030-5.

Scher, H., & Martin, E. (2004). Circulation in the Southern Ocean during the Paleogene inferred from neodymium isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 228(3-4), 391-405. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2004.10.016.

Channell, J., Galeotti, S., Martin, E., Billups, K., Scher, H., & Stoner, J. (2003). Eocene to Miocene magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chemostratigraphy at ODP Site 1090 (sub-Antarctic South Atlantic). Geological Society of America Bulletin, 115(5), 607-623. DOI: 10.1130/0016-7606(2003)115<0607:ETMMBA>2.0.CO;2.

Tarduno, J., Brinkman, D., Renne, P., Cottrell, R., Scher, H., & Castillo, P. (1998). Evidence for extreme climatic warmth from Late Cretaceous Arctic vertebrates. Science, 282(5397), 2241-2244. DOI: 1126/science.282.5397.2241.


Book Chapters

Bizimis, M., & Scher, H. D. (2018a). Neodymium. In W. M. White (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geochemistry: a Comprehensive Reference Source on the Chemistry of the Earth (pp. 965-967).

Bizimis, M., & Scher, H. D. (2018b). Neodymium Isotopes. In W. M. White (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geochemistry: a Comprehensive Reference Source on the Chemistry of the Earth (pp. 967-973).

Bizimis, M., & Scher, H. D. (2018c). Samarium. In W. M. White (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geochemistry: a Comprehensive Reference Source on the Chemistry of the Earth (pp. 1321-1322).


Other refereed articles

Carter, S.C., E.M. Griffith, H.D. Scher, and the Expedition 355 Scientists (2017) Data report: 87Sr/86Sr in pore fluids from IODP Expedition 355 Arabian Sea Monsoon. In D.K. Pandey, P.D. Clift, D.K. Kulhanek, and the Expedition 355 Scientists, Arabian Sea Monsoon. Proceedings of the International Ocean Discovery Program, 355: College Station, TX (International Ocean Discovery Program). DOI:10.14379/iodp.proc.355.201.2017

Westerhold, T., Röhl, U., Wilkens, R., Pälike, H., Lyle, M., Dunkley Jones, T., Bown, P., Moore, T., Kamikuri, S., Acton, G., Ohneiser, C., Yamamoto, Y., Richter, C., Fitch, P., Scher, H., Liebrand, D., and Expeditions 320/321 scientists (2012) Syntheses: Revised composite depth scales and integration of IODP Sites U1331, U1332, U1333, U1334 and ODP Sites 1218, 1219, 1220. Proc. IODP, 320/321: Tokyo (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.), DOI: 10.2204/iodp.proc.320321.201.2012.

Lyle, M., Pälike, H., Nishi, H., Raffi, I., Gamage, K., Klaus, A., and the IODP Expeditions 320/321 Scientific Party, 2010. The Pacific Equatorial Age Transect, IODP Expeditions 320 and 321: Building a 50-Million-Year-Long Environmental Record of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. Scientific Drilling, 9, 4-15, DOI:10.2204/

Pälike, H., Nishi, H, Lyle, M., Raffi, I., Gamage, K., Klaus, A., and the Expedition 320/321 Scientists, 2010. Proc. IODP, 320/321: Tokyo (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.). DOI:10.2204/iodp.proc.320321.2010.


Other published articles

Scher, H. (2017). Carbon-ocean gateway links. Nature Geoscience, 10(3), 164-165. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2895.

Lyle, M., Raffi, I., Pälike, H., Nishi, H., Gamage, K., Klaus, A., and the Expedition 320/321 Scientists, (2009), Pacific Equatorial Transect. IODP Prel. Rept., 321, DOI:10.2204/

Pälike, H., Nishi, H., Lyle, M., Raffi, I., Klaus, A., Gamage, K., and the Expedition 320/321 Scientists, (2009), Pacific Equatorial Transect: IODP Prel. Rept., 320, doi:10.2204/,

Filippelli, G., Warnke, D., Flores, J.A., Marchitto, T., and the Southern Ocean Synthesis Group, (2005) Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology of the Southern Ocean, Eos Trans. AGU, 86, 193-195. DOI:10.1029/2005EO200004.

Stone, D.B., Scher, H., and Schopp, C. (2001) Chulitna district paleomagnetic study, 1998: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Raw Data File 1999-2, 4 p. DOI: 10.14509/2726.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.