Gabriel Filippelli Ph.D.

Professor, Earth Sciences
Director, Center for Urban Health


1994 Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

1986 B.S. Geology, University of California, Davis

Current Research

My research focuses on biogeochemical cycling in the environment and the connections between geochemistry and the geologic record of climate change. Student projects involve field study, followed by detailed geochemical analyses in the biogeochemistry laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with a plasma emission spectrometer for elemental analyses, as well as specialized spectrometers for analysis of carbon, mercury, and phosphorous.

I have worked extensively on the chemistry and geologic history of nutrient cycling in the ocean and on land. Current research projects involve determining the controls on nutrient cycling on land during glaciation, examining the timing and driving forces of biological productivity in the ocean, assessing the content and distribution of the potentially harmful element mercury in coal resources of Indiana and examining the links between lead distribution and children's blood lead levels in urban areas.

Select Publications

Filippelli, G.M., 2010. Phosphorus and the gust of fresh air. Nature, 467: 1052-1053.

Filippelli, G.M. and Laidlaw, M.A.S., 2010. The Elephant in the Playground: Confronting lead-contaminated soils as an important source of lead burdens to urban populations. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 53: 31-45.

Nelson, J.A., Licht, K., Yansa, C., and Filippelli, G.M., 2010. Climate-related cyclic deposition of carbonate and organic matter in Holocene lacustrine sediment, Lower Michigan, USA. Journal of Paleolimnology, 44: 1-13; doi:10.1007/s10933-009-9381-0.

Pandit, C., Filippelli, G.M., and Li, L., 2010. An estimation of heavy metal concentration in soils using reflectance spectroscopy and partial least squares regression. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 31: 4111-4123, doi:10.1080/01431160903229200.

Curry, B.B. and Filippelli, G.M., 2010. Episodes of low dissolved oxygen indicated by ostracodes and sediment geochemistry at Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA. Limnology & Oceanography, 55(6): 2403-2423, doi:10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2403.

Filippelli, G.M. and Flores, J.A., 2009. From the warm Pliocene to the cold Pleistocene: A tale of two oceans. Geology, 37: 959-960, doi:10.1130/focus102009.1

Filippelli, G.M., Souch, C.S., Horn, S., and Newkirk, D, 2009. The pre-Colombian footprint on terrestrial nutrient cycling in Costa Rica: Insights from phosphorus in a lake sediment record. Journal of Paleolimnology. doi:10.1007/s10933-009-9372-1.

Filippelli, G.M. and Laidlaw, M.A.S., 2009. Response to Comment by Bogden and Kemp “Soil lead, blood lead, and vitamin D.” Applied Geochemistry, 24: 1041.

Sen, A.K., Filippelli, G.M., and Flores, J.A., 2009. An application of wavelet analysis to paleoproductivity records from the Southern Ocean. Computers and Geoscience, 35(7): 1445-1450.

Filippelli, G.M., 2008. The global phosphorus cycle: Past, present and Future. Elements, 4(2): 89-95. Highlighted as an Editor’s Choice in Science, May, 2008.

Laidlaw, M.A. and Filippelli, G.M., 2008. Resuspension of urban soils as a persistent source of lead poisoning in children: A review and new directions. Applied Geochemistry, 23: 2021-2039.

McPeek, T., Brown, K., Wang, X., and Filippelli, G.M., 2008. Rates of carbon ingrowth and nutrient release from young Icelandic basalts. Joküll, 57: 37-44.

Schuster, D., Filippelli, G.M., and Thomas, C., 2008. Secondary student’s subject matter representation of climate change. Journal of Geoscience Education, 56: 307-315.

Filippelli, G.M., Latimer, J.C., Murray, R.W., and Flores, J.A., 2007. Productivity records from the Southern Ocean and the equatorial Pacific Ocean: Testing the Glacial Shelf-Nutrient Hypothesis. Deep Sea Research II, 54/21-22: 2443-2452. Highlighted as an Editor’s Choice in Science, October, 2007.

Barker, P.F., Filippelli, G.M., Florindo, F., Martin, E.E., and Scher, H.D., 2007. Onset and role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Deep Sea Research II, 54/21-22: 2388-2398.

Latimer, J.C. and Filippelli, G.M., 2007. Sedimentary iron records from the Cape Basin. Deep Sea Research II, 54/21-22: 2422-2431.

Warnke, D., Filippelli, G.M., and Flores, J. A., 2007. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology of the Southern Ocean: A synthesis of three decades of scientific ocean drilling. Deep Sea Research II, 54/21-22: 2291-2292.

Glenn, C. and Filippelli, G.M., 2007. Authigenic mineral formation in the marine environment: Pathways, processes and products. Deep Sea Research II, 54 (11-13): 1-6.

Filippelli, G.M., Souch, C., Menounos, B., Slater-Atwater, S., Jull, T.A.J., and Slaymaker, O., 2006. Alpine lake records reveal the impact of climate and rapid climate change on the biogeochemical cycling of soil nutrients. Quaternary Research, 66: 158-166 (doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2006.03.009).

Latimer, J.C., Filippelli, G.M., Hendy, I., Gleason, J.D., and Blum, J.D., 2006. Glacial-interglacial terrigenous provenance in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean: The importance of deep water sources and surface currents. Geology, 34: 545–548 (doi:10.1130/G22252.1).

Latimer, J.C., Filippelli, G.M., Hendy, I, and Newkirk, D.R., 2006. Opal-associated phosphorus: Implications for the marine P cycle. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 70: 3843-3854.

Mastalerz, M. and Drobniak, A., G. Filippelli, G.M, 2006. Mercury content and petrographic composition in Pennsylvanian coal beds of Indiana, USA. International Journal of Coal Geology, 68: 2-13.

Laidlaw, M., Mielke, H.W., Gonzales, C.R., Filippelli, G.M., and Johnson, D., 2006. Response to Comment by Brown and Jacobs “Sources of blood lead in children.” Environmental Health Perspectives, 114 (1): A19.

Filippelli, G.M and Souch, C., 2006. Rapid climate change and climate surprises: A look back and ahead. Oceanography, 19: 40-45.

Filippelli, G.M., Laidlaw, M., Raftis, R., and Latimer, J.C., 2005. Urban lead poisoning and medical geology: An unfinished story. GSA Today, 15: 4-11 (doi: 10.1130/1052-5173(2005)015<4:ULPAMG>2.0.CO;2). Highlighted in Science News, 2005; named top Science article of 2005 by GSA Today in 2009.

Laidlaw, M., Mielke, H.W., Filippelli, G.M., Johnson, D., and Gonzales, C.R., 2005. Seasonality and children’s blood lead levels: Developing a predictive model using climatic variables and blood lead data from three US cities. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113 (6): 793-800 (doi:10.1289/ehp.7759)

Flores, J.A., Sierro, F.J., Filippelli, G.M., Bárcena, M.A., Pérez-Folgado, M., Vázquez, A. and Utrilla, R., 2005. Surface water dynamics and phytoplankton communities during deposition of cyclic late Messinian sapropel sequences in the western Mediterranean. Marine Micropaleontology, 56: 50-79.

Huerta-Diaz, M.A., Tovar-Sánchez, A., Filippelli, G.M., Latimer, J.C., and Sañudo-Wilhelmy, S.A., 2005. A novel method for the determination of phosphorus associated with sedimentary iron oxyhydroxides. Applied Geochemistry, 20: 2108-2115.

Filippelli, G.M., Sierro, F.J., Flores, J.A., Vázquez, A., Utrilla, R., Pérez-Folgado, M., and Latimer, J., 2003. A sediment-nutrient-oxygen feedback responsible for productivity variations in late Miocene sapropel sequences of the western Mediterranean. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, and Paleoecology, 190: 335-348.

Awards & Honors

2009-2011 Chair, Science Planning Committee, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

2006-2009 Science Planning Committee, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

2007-2009 Vice-Chair, Science Planning Committee, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

2007 Research Award, School of Science, IUPUI

2006-2007 Chair, Geology and Health Division, Geological Society of America