Dr. Sukanya Sengupta

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the evolution of seawater temperature through geologic time - a highly debated and controversial topic in spite of decades of research. Using high-precision triple oxygen isotope data of terrestrial material offers a fresh new approach to address this old but important problem with. Combined with conventional geochemical analyses and modeling the rare 17-O isotope is a new critical piece of the puzzle.

In order to have a holisitic approach to questions regarding paleoenvironments, I am focusing on analyzing both rocks and fluid samples for their triple – O isotopes. I am interested in finding out about past environmental conditions on Earth that made life possible and how they have changed over time. For this I would like to gradually explore the use of different isotopes and some mathematical modeling as tools to understand our mysterious past.

Laboratory infrastructure that facilitates my research work includes sample fluorination and gas extraction lines, gas source mass spectrometers, multi-collector ICPMS, SEM and traditional microscopy.

Professional and educational career

2016 to present: Post-doctorate researcher, Isotope Geology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen (Germany). Project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under the Priority Program SPP 1833 “Building a Habitable Earth”. P.I. Prof Dr Andreas Pack.

2012-2016: PhD (Dr. rer. nat.), Isotope Geology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen (Germany). Funded by a DAAD scholarship under the program Postgraduate Degree Courses with Relevance to Developing Countries.

2011-2012: UGC – NET Junior Research Fellow, Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Kolkata (India). Funded by UGC –NET scholarship.

2009-2011: M.Sc., Applied Geology, Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Kolkata (India).

2006-2009: B.Sc., Geology Hons., Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Kolkata (India).


Sengupta, S. and Pack, A. Triple oxygen isotope mass balance for the Earth’s oceans with application to Archean cherts. Chemical Geology. In press.
Herwartz, D., Pack, A., Krylov, D., Xiao, Y., Muehlenbachs, K., Sengupta, S., and Di Rocco, T. (2015). Revealing the climate of snowball Earth from Δ17O systematics of hydrothermal rocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 5337-5341.
Pack, A., Höweling, A., Hezel, D.C. Stefanak, M., Beck, A., Peters, S., Sengupta, S., Herwartz,D., & Folco, L. (2017). Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth’s atmosphere using cosmic spherules. Nature Communications, 8, 15702.
Pack, A., Tanaka, R., Hering, M., Sengupta, S., Peters, S., & Nakamura, E. (2016).The oxygen isotope composition of San Carlos olivine on the VSMOW2-SLAP2 scale. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 30, 1495–1504.
Sharp, Z. D., Gibbons, J. A., Maltsev, O., Atudorei, V., Pack, A., Sengupta, S., Shock, E.L., & Knauth, L. P. (2016). A calibration of the triple oxygen isotope fractionation in the SiO2–H2O system and applications to natural samples. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 186, 105-119.