Pete Akers

Pete Akers
Visiting Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Georgia MS, University of Georgia BS, Purdue University
322 Jessup Hall
Office Hours: 
Wednesday 12-3
Curriculum Vitae: 

My research investigates how past changes in climate have affected landscapes, ecosystems, and human societies. I analyze stalagmites (cave formations that grow from the floor up) to reveal information preserved about changes in regional atmospheric circulation, hydroclimate, and vegetation. The study of these past environmental changes is necessary to understand the full natural range of climate variability and controlling mechanisms.

I am also interested in examining how and why different human societies exhibit varied responses when affected by significant changes in their local environment. By studying past interactions between environmental changes and the human reactions to these changes, we can gain a greater intellectual grasp on these complex systems and produce a modern society more resilient to future changes in our environment. 


GEOG:1020 Global Environments

GEOG:2013 Introduction to Sustainability

Grants & Funding: 

Grants & Funding: 
  • National Science Foundation Grant #BCS-1433904 (2014-2016)
    • High-Resolution, Late Quaternary Climate and Vegetation Record for the American Midwest: Isotope and Pollen Evidence from Stalagmites and Flowstone; $15,964; Co-PI
  • Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant, University of Georgia (2015-2016)
    • Predicting future climate by understanding the past: an innovative stalagmite-based paleoclimate reconstruction of a warming climate for a previously unstudied region of the American Midwest; $1500; PI
  • Association of American Geographers Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group Student Research Competition Grant (2015-2016)
    • Expression of the 8.2 ka event in southern Indiana preserved in stalagmite stable isotopes; $200; PI
      • Office of STEM Education Small Grant (2012-2014), University of Georgia
    • The Development of "Inquiry-Based" Exercises on Local Physical Geographic Processes and Landforms for Geography 1111L: An Introduction to Physical Geography Laboratory Sections; Co-PI
Selected Publications: 

Akers, P.D., Brook, G.A., Railsback, L.B., Liang, F., Webster, J.W., Reeder, P.P., Cheng, H. and Edwards, R.L., 2016: Extended and higher-resolution record of climate and land use from stalagmite MC01 from Macal Chasm, Belize: connections between major dry events, climate variability, and Maya sociopolitical changes. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 459, 268-288.

Railsback, L.B., Xiao, H., Liang, F., Akers, P.D., Brook, G.A., Dennis, W.M., Lanier, T.E., Tan, M., Cheng, H., and Edwards, R.L., 2014: A stalagmite record of abrupt climate change and possible westerlies-derived atmospheric precipitation during the Penultimate Glacial Maximum in northern China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 393, 30-44.

Railsback, L.B., Akers, P.D., Wang, L., Holdridge, G.A., and Voarintsoa, N.R., 2013: Layer-bounding surfaces in stalagmites as keys to better paleoclimatological histories and chronologies. International Journal of Speleology, 42, 167-180.

Grundstein, A.J., Ramseyer, C., Zhao, F., Pesses, J.L., Akers, P., Qureshi, A., Becker, L., Knox, J.A., and Petro, M., 2010: A retrospective analysis of United States football hyperthermia deaths. International Journal of Biometeorology, 56(1), 11-20.