​Dr Andrea Baker

Postdoctoral fellow, Earth Sciences Department, Stellenbosch University

e-mail: andrea_baker@sun.ac.za

phone: +27 21 808 3814



Current research / role

Setting up a GDGT palaetemperature method at Stellenbosch University to facilitate more in-depth and high resolution climate reconstructions in the Mfabeni peatland and other regional terrestrial climate archives.

Set up and manage the portable Picarro carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotope analysers.

Academic Qualifications

02/2011 – 11/2015 PhD Geology (Organic Geochemisty)
Department of Earth Science
Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Thesis:  Bulk geochemical, biomarker and leaf wax isotope records of Mfabeni peatland, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa since the late Pleistocene.
02/2010 – 11/2010 BSc Honours Geology (Environmental geochemistry)
Department of Earth Science
Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Thesis:  Geochemical Characteristics of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) core from the Congo Basin, Leg 175, Site 1077A.
02/2007 – 11/2009 BSc Geology (Cum Laude)
Department of Earth Science
Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa



1. Baker, A., Routh, J., Blaauw, M., Roychoudhury, A.N., 2014. Geochemical records of palaeoenvironmental controls on peat forming processes in the Mfabeni peatland, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa since the Late Pleistocene. Palaeogeography. Palaeoclimatology. Palaeoecology. 395, 95–106.

2. Baker, A., Routh, J., Roychoudhury, A.N., 2016. Biomarker records of palaeoenvironmental variations in subtropical southern Africa since the late Pleistocene: evidence from a coastal peatland. Palaeogeography. Palaeoclimatology. Palaeoecology. 451, 1-12.

3. Baker, A., Pedentchouk, N., Routh, J., Roychoudhury, A.N., 2017. Climate variability in Mfabeni peatlands (South Africa) since the Late Pleistocene. Quaternary Science Reviews. 160, 57-66.

Conference proceedings

• IMOG 2013, Tenerife, 15 – 20 September 2013: Biomarker and n-alkane stable isotope records of climatic and environmental controls in the Mfabeni peatland (South Africa) since the Late Pleistocene.

• GSA 2014, Vancouver, 19-22 October 2014: Biomarker records of environmental changes and their climatic inferences in the Mfabeni peatland (South Africa) since the Late Pleistocene. 

• AfQUA 2015, Cape Town 30 Jan – 7 Feb 2015: Leaf wax and bulk stable carbon isotope records of plant type assemblages and palaeoenvironment changes in Mfabeni peatland (South Africa), since the Late Pleistocene.

Mentoring and tutoring

I have mentored several undergraduate Earth Scientists in environmental geochemistry, helping them to make the right elective choices for their chosen career paths and served as a demonstrator during 2nd and 3rd year practical sessions.  I’ve also helped to orientate honours students in the Geochemistry lab, by training them on varied analytical machinery and given them guidance and training for the more common experimental lab procedures.  I have found mentoring of my fellow students to be a very rewarding experience, watching them grow and discover new skills and techniques that will one day stand them in good stead in their corporate / research careers.

Extra-Curricular Activities

• Geological Society of South Africa – Western Cape Branch (GSSA_WCB) committee member, Memberships portfolio.
• Earth Sciences representative on the Natural Sciences committee, Stellenbosch University
• Undergraduate class representative for Earth Sciences on the Student Council Committee, Stellenbosch University.

Professional Memberships

• Geological Society of South Africa
• Geological Society of America