2021 Monsoon Seminar Series



Monsoons represent some of the most important weather phenomena and climate systems on Earth,of which the Asian monsoon is the largest and most intense on the planet today. Summer rainfall in Asia is critical to the development and sustenance of human civilizations across the continent now and in the past. The Asian monsoon is often linked to the regional tectonics and the summer rains in turn feeds back on the evolution of the solid Earth.

In this seminar series we bring together some of the most active researchers looking at how the intensity of the Asian, Indonesian, Australian and South American monsoons have changed over long periods of geological time, even preceding the initial collision of India with Asia. We also consider changes on shorter, millennial timescales in the recent geological past, when variations are more controlled by orbital and solar processes.


The seminar series highlights the recent developments following a sustained campaign of scientific ocean drilling offshore, but also the newest developments within continental basins and lakes spanning the global monsoon domain. Once a week through 2021, we will have an online seminar through Zoom. The Zoom link is at the bottom of the page.

The seminar series is open to all those interested in the geology of the monsoon. Please feel free to tell your students, colleagues, advisors and all interested parties to attend. We focus on atmospheric, oceanographic and continental aspects of this global phenomenon on a temporal dimension that goes beyond historical direct measurement ranges.


Weekly seminars will alternate times. One week, the time will favor those residing in the western hemisphere and, the following week, those based in the Asia-Pacific region. This will allow the global community to attend at reasonable times and ask questions in person. Recorded lectures will be archived online on the dedicated “Monsoon Seminar Series” channel on YouTube.

Below we provide the schedule as it now stands and will be updated as and when changes are necessary. At the end of each half-year session, we will host an online discussion forum for greater discussion of the major questions that is not possible or practical after each of the weekly lectures.

Hosts and Contact

If you are interested in contributing to the series you are encouraged to contact the organizers at their email addresses as follows:

   Tara Jonell, The University of Queensland, t.jonell@uq.edu.au

   Liviu Giosan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution, Igiosan@whoi.edu

   Peter D. Clift, Louisiana State University, pclift@lsu.edu

Email the hosts to have your email added to the weekly email news and updates


We have worked to accomodate yearly time changes but please check your local time against Host time.
Times for second half of 2021 will be updated after mid-year break.
Schedule A


    > 9:00 AM US Pacific time 
    > 12:00 PM US East Coast
    > 5:00 PM London
    > 6:00 PM Berlin
    > 9:30 PM Delhi
    > 12:00 AM Midnight Beijing
    > 1 AM Tokyo
    > 2:00 AM Sydney

Schedule B

    >11:00 PM US Pacific time
    > 2:00 AM US East Coast
    > 7:00 AM London 
    > 8:00 AM Berlin 
    > 11:30 AM Delhi
    > 2:00 PM Beijing
    > 3:00 PM Tokyo

    > 5:00 PM Sydney

Time Table

January 13, 2021, Alexis Licht, The Asian Climate during the Paleogene: Early Monsoons, Proto-monsoons, or no monsoon?  (watch recording on YouTube)

January 20, 2021, Stephen Gallagher, From Monsoons to Desert: 50 Million Years of Australian Climate History.  (watch recording on YouTube)

January 27, 2021, Majie Fan, Sedimentary record of Eocene East Asian summer monsoon in the Bohai Bay Basin. (watch recording on YouTube) 

February 3, 2021, Hongbo Zheng, Eocene onset of monsoon in Yunnan (SE Tibetan Plateau). (watch recording on YouTube) 


February 10, 2021, Beth Christensen, Asian Monsoon: Australia’s connection and contribution.  (watch recording on YouTube)

February 17, 2021, Alex Farnsworth, Is one paleogeography better than another? Monsoons though the Mesozoic and Cenozoic using three different paleogeographies (Getech, Scotese and Robertsons).  (watch recording on YouTube)


February 24, 2021, Robert Spicer. Emerging perspectives on Asian Cenozoic landscape and monsoon evolution. (watch recording on YouTube).


March 3, 2021, Shiming Wan, Evolution of the East Asian monsoon from tectonic to glacial timescale: perspectives from weathering records in the Asian margin. (watch recording on YouTube).


March 10, 2021, Rasmus Thiede, Middle Miocene rise of the Greater Himalaya and the disruption of orogen transverse drainage systems. (watch recording on YouTube).

March 17, 2021, Stephan Steinke, Evolution and development of the Mid Miocene monsoon. (watch recording on YouTube).

March 24, 2021, Bill Lukens, Reconstructing paleoclimate seasonality from late Oligocene wood fossils: insights into the nascent East Asian Monsoon (watch recording on YouTube)


March 31, 2025, Dick Kroon, On links between development of global climate, oceanic biogenic blooms, and the monsoon during the middle-late Miocene. (watch recording on YouTube)


April 7, 2021, Ann Holbourn, Australasian Monsoon variability on a warmer Miocene Earth (watch recording on YouTube)


April 14, 2021, Tomohisa Irino, Millennial- to orbital-scale variabilities of east Asian summer, winter, and inter-monsoons recorded in a set of sediment archives drilled from the Japan Sea (watch recording on YouTube)

April 21, 2021, Pallavi Anand, Drivers of South Asian Monsoon Rainfall. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 981 5329 2949    code: 897907)


April 28, 2021, Zhifei Liu, Clay mineralogy and Asian monsoon climate: A case study of the South China Sea. Schedule B

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 825 7850 9872     code: 904700)

May 5, 2021, Christian Betzler, Marine record of the monsoon on geological time scales in the Indian Ocean. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 945 5050 4724     code: ^wir7V)


May 12, 2021, Christophe Colin, Variations of weathering of the Himalaya at different time scales: clay minerals and Nd isotopic compositions of the Bay of Bengal Quaternary sediments. Schedule B

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 825 7850 9872     code: 904700)

May 19, 2021, Valier Galy, Variations of the Indian summer monsoon since the Miocene recorded in the Bengal Fan. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 945 5050 4724     code: ^wir7V)


May 26, 2021, Youbin Sun, Chinese loess and paleomonsoon variability. Schedule B

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 825 7850 9872     code: 904700)


June 2, 2021, Sam Carter, Strontium and neodymium isotopes from the separated clay fraction in sediments from the Indus Fan. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 981 5329 2949    code: 897907)


June 9, 2021, Christian France-Lanord, Monsoon controls on weathering and erosion style in the Himalaya. Schedule B

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 825 7850 9872     code: 904700)

June 16, 2021, Peter D. Clift, Evolution of the Asian Monsoon and its Impact on Erosion and Tectonics of the Himalaya. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 945 5050 4724     code: ^wir7V)


June 23, 2021, Mara Limonta, Petrographic and heavy mineral composition of sediments for Bengal Fan cores. Schedule B

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 825 7850 9872     code: 904700)


June 30, 2021, Steve Clemens, The Indian summer monsoon rianfall/runoff response to orbital and internal forcings; proxy synthesis and proxy model comparisons. Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 981 5329 2949    code: 897907)


July 7, 2021, Mid Session discussion forum

(TBD-to be determined)




September 8, 2021, Zhaokai Xu/Hongjin Chen, Enhanced terrigenous input into the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans during the Quaternary glacial periods: Forcing mechanisms and implications for atmospheric CO2 sink, Schedule B


September 15, 2021, Samantha Bova, Orbital-scale hydroclimate variability in the Western Pacific Warm Pool over the last 2 Myrs, Schedule A

(Zoom link     Meeting ID: 945 5050 4724     code: ^wir7V)


September 22, 2021, Arun D. Singh, Millennial scale monsoon variability, Schedule B


September 29, 2021, Kau Thirumalai, Glacial-interglacial variability of the monsoons and abrupt climate change impacts, Schedule A


October 6, 2021, Boo-Keun Khim, A paleoproductivity shift in the Mahanadi Basin (Bay of Bengal) across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition in response to the weakening of the Indian summer monsoon, Schedule B


October 13, 2021, Stephanie Tofelde, South American Summer Monsoon and its impact on sediment transport in the Southern Central Andes, Schedule A


October 20, 2021, Tara Jonell, Can rift lakes function as natural amplifiers of climate change on the Tibetan Plateau?, Schedule B


October 27, 2021, Mahyar Mohtadi,  Environmental History of Indonesia, Schedule A


November 3, 2021, Anil Gupta, Late Quaternary Indian monsoon variability and its influence on South Asian societies, Schedule B


November 10, 2021, Liviu Giosan, Before and after the Apocalypse: Monsoon's Role in the Indus Civilization Collapse and Survival, Schedule A


November 17, 2021, Yama Dixit, Indian monsoon evolution after the last glacial period spanning the entire Holocene, Schedule B


November 24, 2021, Kathleen Johnson, Monsoons, tropical rainfall, and climate change: A paleoclimate perspective from Southeast Asia, Schedule A


December 1, 2021, Josephine R. Brown, Quaternary Australian monsoon modeling, Schedule B


December 8, 2021, Jeroen Groeneveld, Impact of Southern Hemisphere high latitudes on the (South) Asian monsoon. Schedule A.


December 15, 2021, Session finale forum discussion

For additional information, you can also check on the schedule at the following address: 



See past lectures or watch live on YouTube "Monsoon Seminar" channel
Instructions for Presenters

Speakers should plan on presenting for 40-50 minutes leaving time for questions (10-15 minutes) from the audience. PowerPoint or similar software is recommended. The presenter will have a test connection with the host in the week before the presentation to assure a smooth presentation on the day. Presenters are requested to provide a short abstract for their presentation that will be made available on this web site one week before the presentation.