Dr Kelly Kirsten

Portrait Kelly Kirsten

Research Officer
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Kelly Kirsten is a researcher at the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her work focuses on understanding the long-term development and responses of water bodies to climate variability in South Africa. The goal for her climapAfrica research project is to provide a sound understanding of climate system variability during the Quaternary for the interior of South Africa, and determine how these changes impact human development, both past, present, and future. Kelly aspires to create novel ways to interpret palaeodata, so as to provide a better understanding of the natural world

Climate change expertise and interests

Key points of interest include natural, long-term climate variability, and its effects on the environment, these include aspects of biodiversity, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and water resources.

Publications (most recent)

Kirsten, K.L., Kasper, T., Cawthra, H.C., Strobel, P., Quick, L.J., Meadows, M.E. and Haberzettl, T., 2020. Holocene variability in climate and oceanic conditions in the winter rainfall zone of South Africa - inferred from a high resolution diatom record from Verlorenvlei. Journal of Quaternary Science.

Humphries, M., Kirsten, K. and McCarthy, T.S., 2019. Rapid changes in the hydroclimate of southeast Africa during the mid- to late-Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 212, pp.178-186

Kirsten, K.L., Haberzettl, T., Wündsch, M., Frenzel, P., Meschner, S., Smit, A.J., Quick, L.J., Mäusbacher, R. and Meadows, M.E., 2018. A multiproxy study of the ocean-atmospheric forcing and the impact of sea level changes on the southern Cape coast, South Africa during the Holocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 496, pp.282-291.

Professional career interests

Palaeolimnology, palaeoclimatology, water system dynamics

I participate at climapAfrica because...

It is a great opportunity to network with fellow scientists in Africa. It will open channels to experts in their field and provide a great learning space. I hope to broaden my research scope to include expert views from the Climate Change and Modelling Working Group.