backResearcher Profile

Dr. Peta Mudie

Job Title: Senior Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor
Employer: Geological Survey of Canada
Place of Birth: Durban, Natal, Africa
Public School attended: Durban Girls College
High School attended: Durban College
Further Education: University of Cape Town, South Africa (B.Sc.), Leicester University, England (M.Sc.), Dalhousie University (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: Atlantic provinces and the Canadian Arctic; Turkey, eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea

Brief synopsis of current research:
I specialise in Marine Palynology has been developed as a powerful tool for quantifying past changes in climate and sea surface conditions, including summer and winter temperature, runoff and sea ice. This technique is applied to understanding the history of climaet and ocean circulation on the eastern and western Canadian margins, in the Canadian Arctic and in the eastern Mediterranean-Black Sea region. This technique has provided important new insight to the dynamics of red tides and other harmful algal blooms, outbreaks of which are the major threat to expansion of Canada's aquaculture industry. Synthesis of these data on a global scale also reveals the strong relationship between changing sea surface temperature and outbreaks of toxic red tide dinoflagellates that are responsible for poisoning (and possible death) of humans and marine animals.


Recent Publications:

MUDIE, P.J., BRAKEL, J., DICKSON, J.H., GREER, S., SCHINKEL, C., PETERSON-WELSH, R , STEVENS, M., TURNER, N., SHADOW, M., WASHINGTON, R., 2005. Forensic Palynology and Ethnobotany of Salicornia species (Chenopodiaceae) in Northwest Canada and Alaska. Canadian Journal of Botany 83 (2), February 2005.

MUDIE, P.J., ROCHON, A., AKSU, A.E., GILLESPIE, H., 2004. Late glacial, Holocene and
modern dinoflagellate cyst assemblages in the Aegean-Marmara-Black Sea corridor.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 256: 1-26.

DICKSON, J. H., RICHARDS, M.P., HEBDA, R.J., MUDIE, P.J., BEATTIE, O., RAMSAY, S.,TURNER, N.J., LEIGHTON, B.J., WEBSTER, J.M., HOBISCHAK, N.R., ANDERSON, G.S., TROFFE, P., and WIGEN, R.J. 2004. Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchí, the first ancient frozen body from a North American glacier: reconstructing his last days by intestinal and biomolecular analysis. The Holocene 14: 481-486.

Palynological studies of terrigenous flux to the deep sea: two examples from 41 o N
latitude. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 256: 81-96

MUDIE, P.J., ROCHON, A., AKSU, A.E. and GILLESPIE, H., 2002. Dinoflagellate cysts, freshwater
algae and fungal spores as salinity indicators in Late Quaternary cores from Marmara and Black
Seas. Mar. Geol. 190, 203-231.

MUDIE, P.J., ROCHON, A. and AKSU, A.E., 2002. Pollen stratigraphy of Late Quaternary cores from
Marmara Sea: land-sea correlation and paleoclimatic history. Mar. Geol. 190, 233-260.

MUDIE, P.J., ROCHON, A. and LEVAC, E., 2002. Palynological records of red tide producing species
in Canada: Past trends and implications for the future. Palaeogeog., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol.
180, 159-186.

ABRAJANO, J, AKSU, A.E., HISCOTT, R.N. and MUDIE, P.J., 2002. Aspects of carbon isotope
biogeochemistry of late Quaternary sediments from the Marmara Sea and Black Sea. Mar. Geol. 190,

YASAR, D., 2002. Persistant Holocene outflow from the Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean
contradicts Noah's Flood hypothesis. GSA Today 12, 4-9.

AKSU, A.E., HISCOTT, R.N., MUDIE, P.J., GILLESPIE, H., and YASAR, D., 2002. Last glacial-
Holocene sea surface temperature and salinity variations in the Black and Marmara Sea: stable
isotopic, planktonic foraminiferal and coccolith evidence. Mar. Geol.190, 119-149.

GIOSAN, L., FLOOD, R.D., ALLER, R.C., RUTZNER, J. and MUDIE, P., 2002. Paleoceanographic
significance of sediment color on western North Atlantic Drifts (ODP leg 172) II. Late Pliocene-
Pleistocene sedimentation. Mar. Geol. 189, 43-61.

HISCOTT, R.N., AKSU, A.E., YASAR, D., KAMINSKI, M.A., MUDIE, P.J., KOSTYLEV, V., MACDONALD, J., F.I. ISLER and LORD, A.R., 2002. Deltas south of the Bosphorus Strait record
persistent Black Sea outflow to the Marmara Sea since ~10 ka. Mar. Geol. 190, 95-118.

ROCHON, A., MUDIE, P.J., AKSU, A.E. and GILLESPIE, H. (2002). Pterocysta gen. nov.: a new
dinoflagellate cyst from Pleistocene glacial-stage sediments of the Black and Marmara seas.
Palynology 26, 95-105.

HISCOTT, R.N., AKSU, A.E., MUDIE, P.J. and PARSONS, D.F, 2001. A 340,000 year record of ice
rafting, paleoclimatic fluctuations and shelf-crossing glacial advances in the southwestern
Labrador Sea. Global and Planetary Change 28, 227-240.

MUDIE, P.J., HARLAND, R., MATTHIESSEN, J. and DE VERNAL, A., 2001. Marine dinoflagellate
cysts and high latitude Quaternary paleoenvironmental reconstructions: an introduction. Journal Quaternary Science
16, 595-602.

MUDIE, P.J. and ROCHON, A., 2001. Distribution of dinoflagellate cysts in the Canadian Arctic marine
Region. Journal Quaternary Science 16, 603-620.

DE VERNAL, A., HENRY, M., MATTHIESSEN, J., MUDIE, P.J., ROCHON, A., BOESSENKOOL, K.P., EYNAUD, F., GROSVELD, K., GUIOT, J., HAMEL, D., HARLAND, R., HEAD, M.J., KUNZ-PIRRUNG, M., LEVAC, E., LOUCHEUR, V., PEYRON, O., POSPELOVA, V., RADI, T. TURON, J-L, VORONINA, E., 2001. Dinoflagellate cyst assemblages as tracers of sea surface conditions in the
northern North Atlantic, Arctic and sub-Arctic seas: the new "n = 677" data base and its
application for quantitative palaeoceanographic reconstruction. Journal Quaternary Science 16, 681-698.

MUDIE, P.J., AKSU, A.E., DUMAN, M., 2001. Quaternary dinocysts from the Black, Marmara and
Aegean Seas: variations in assemblages, morphology and salinity. Marine Microplaeontology,
43: 155-178.

McCARTHY, F.M., MUDIE, P.J. and GOSTLIN, K., 2001. Palynomorphs as sea level proxies: an
example from Quaternary sediments on the New Jersey margin. J. Sedimentology and Petrology.

MATTHIESSEN, J., KUNZ-PIRRUNG, M. and MUDIE, P.J., 2001. Freshwater chlorophycean algae in
recent marine sediments of the Kara, Laptev and Beaufort seas (Arctic Ocean) as indicators of
river runoff. International Journal Earth Sciences 89 (3): 470-485.

E.S. 2001. Paleohydrology of a drowned thermokarst embayment, Richards Island,Beaufort Sea, Canada. International Journal Earth Sciences 89 (3): 503-521

GAJEWSKI, K., VANCE, R., SAWADA, M., FUNG, I., GIGNAC,L,.D.HALSEY, L., JOHN, J., MAISONGRANDE, P., MANDELL,P., MUDIE, P.J., RICHARD,P.J.H., SHERIN,A.G., SOROKO, J. and VITT, D.H.2000. The climate of North America and adjacent ocean waters ca 6 ka. Canadian Journal Earth Sciences 37:661-681.

I started my career in 1972 as a biologist with an MSc in Botany, and I got a job studying the possible use of seawater for irrigation of crops in dry sandy desert soils. We began a plant breeding program to transfer salt tolerance genes to crops - but genetic engineering was not popular at that time, so we did not get enough funding for a successful program. I therefore switched to Geology, and I have spent the past 20 years studying fossil plants that tell us how the climate changed before the Global Warming began. This career in Environmental Marine Geology has taken me from near the Equator to 100 miles from the North Pole - but my main interests are to explore the Canadian Arctic island and waterways (some of the least well-known areas in the World) and to uncover the story of Noah's Ark and the history of agriculture in the eastern Mediterranean.