Rebecca Totten Minzoni

Assistant Professor|Director of Evolutionary Studies

  • (205) 348-2685
  • Bevill 1032


Geology and Geophysics, University of New Orleans, 2004-2005
BS, Geology and Geophysics, University of Kansas, 2009

PhD, Earth Science, Rice University, 2015

Shell Exploration and Production Co., 2015-2016

Courses Taught

Evolution for Everyone (AS 150)
Advanced Evolutionary Studies (AS 480)
The Dynamic Earth (GEO 101)
Paleoclimatology (GEO 401/GEO 501)
Introduction to Micropaleontology (GEO 424/525)
Sedimentology/Stratigraphy (GEO 367)


Research Interests

My research is driven by the impacts of historic climate change; I strive to better understand recent observations within a geologic context.  My primary field area is in marine basins of Antarctica, where I reconstruct the behavior of tidewater glaciers from sediment cores, diatom microfossils, and geophysical data.  Analyzing regional differences in glacial behavior will help elucidate controls on their stability, including internal glacial dynamics, drainage basin size, orography, oceanographic conditions, and climate.  Understanding these controls can help us better predict glacial responses to ongoing climate and oceanographic changes.

I am also interested in flooding history and storm impacts in the Gulf of Mexico region, and specifically how climate and land use changes affect coastal environments.  Sedimentology, algal bloom records, and geochemical signatures of sediment cores collected from bays that drain major metropolitan areas are used to identify and compare post-industrial vs. natural Holocene flooding history.

Following my experience in industry, I am fascinated by paleoenvironments of the ancient Gulf of Mexico, namely the Jurassic aeolian Norphlet Fm.  I am currently pursuing research on core and log datasets from the Alabama region with the Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies. The aim is to integrate core lithofacies with petrofacies to better predict paleoenvironments and reservoir quality at the regional scale.

Current Research Projects

I am searching for motivated students of sedimentology and micropaleontology to investigate some of our most pressing questions about environmental impacts of past and present climate change. Contact me if this is you!

Research Group

Sedimentary Geology and Micropaleontology Laboratory

Research Group Members

Asmara Lehrmann, 1st year PhD: Paleofloods of the Mobile-Tensaw system and Ecological Response; and, Past Stability of Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica

Tyler Wood, 1st year MS: Biostratigraphy and Geologic Mapping of Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary and the Coatopa Quadrangle, Alabama

Victoria Rios Fitzgerald, 1st year PhD, NSF-GRFP: Paleoenvironments of the Norphlet Formation in the Gulf of Mexico; and, Past Stability of Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica

Kyle Olsen, penultimate MS: Improving Paleoenvironment Prediction and Interpretation of the Norphlet Formation in the Conecuh Sub-Basin of Southwestern Alabama

Lauren Parker, penultimate MS: Holocene Frequency of Storm Impacts, Flooding, and Eutrophication in Galveston and Mobile Bays

Lucas Nibert, co-advised with Dr. Marcello Minzoni, Sedimentary Environments of Mudbanks in Cuba and Florida Bay

Adlai Fonseca, August 2019 MS: Paleoenvironmental and paleoceanographic reconstruction of Collins Bay, Antarctic Peninsula

Leah Travis Taylor, August 2019 MS: Investigating Alabama Mosasaur Paleobiology from Isotopes in Fossil Teeth

Representative Publications

Minzoni, R.T., Anderson, J.B., Wellner, J.S., Fernandez, R., under consideration, Increasing glacier sensitivity to climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Bregy, J., Wallace, D.J., Minzoni, R.T., Cruz, V.J., accepted to Marine Geology, 2500-year paleotempestological record of intense storms for the Northern Gulf of Mexico, United States.

Minzoni, R.T., Majewski, W., Anderson, J.B., Yokoyama, Y., Fernandez, R., Jakobsson, M.,  2017. Oceanographic controls on the stability of the Cosgrove Ice Shelf, The Holocene. doi: 10.1177/0959683617702226

Swilo, M., Majewski, W., Minzoni, R.T., and Anderson, J.B., 2016. Diatom Assemblages from Coastal Settings of West Antarctica, Marine Micropaleontology, v. 125, p. 95-109. doi: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2016.04.001

Fernandez, R.A., Anderson, J.B., Wellner, J.S., Minzoni, R.L., and Hallet, B., 2016. Latitudinal variation in glacial erosion rates from Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula (46°-65°S), GSA Bulletin, v. 128 (5-6), p. 1000-1023.

Minzoni, R.T., Anderson, J.B., Fernandez-Vasquez, R.A., Wellner, J.S., 2015. Marine record of Holocene climate, ocean, and cryosphere interactions: Herbert Sound, James Ross Island, Antarctica, Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 129, p. 239-259.

Stroynowski, Z., Minzoni, R., and Majewska, R., Diatom Research, 4thPolar Marine Diatom Taxonomy and Ecology Workshop, Cardiff University, UK, 4-9 August 2013.

Jakobsson, M., Anderson, J.B., Nitsche, F., Dowdeswell, J.A., Gyllencreutz, R., Kirchner, N., Mohammad, R., O’Regan, M., Alley, R.B., Anandakrishnan, S., Eriksson, B., Kirshner, A., Fernandez, R., Stolldorf, T., Minzoni, R., Majewski, W., 2010. Geological record of ice shelf break-up and grounding line retreat, Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica, Geology, vol. 39, no. 7, p. 691-694.


Evolutionary Studies

Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies

Alabama Stable Isotope Laboratory

Social Media@BMinzoni