Research Interests

I study ocean oxygenation, particularly in tropical oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), areas with very low oxygen concentrations that have been expanding in response to recent climate change. I'm interested in the interactions between ventilation (ocean circulation, stratification), water column structure, and productivity as they relate to oxygenation. My dissertation focuses on reconstructing how OMZs responded to warming during the Miocene Climatic Optimum, when temperature and atmospheric pCO2 was similar to what is projected for the next 100 years. Using multi-proxy approach that includes trace elements and isotopes in planktonic and benthic foraminifera allows me to reconstruct not just oxygenation, but the things that affect it. I'm always excited to meet potential collaborators so if you're interested in similar problems, please reach out!

Selected Volunteer Experience, including DEI

  • Rutgers University Earth and Planetary Sciences Graduate Student Organization, President 2019-2021
  • Science Olympiad, Geologic Mapping exam preparation 2019, national competition grading 2021
  • Association for Women Geoscientists, 2007-present - Lone Star Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson 2013-2016, Brunton Award Committee Member 2014-2020, Brunton Award Committee Chairperson 2021-2022
  • University of Kansas Geoscience Mentorship Program, 2010-2011 - Co-Founder, Sedimentology Section Head

Advisor: Dr. Yair Rosenthal


  • Hess, A.V., Auderset, A., Rosenthal, Y., Miller, K.G., Zhou, X., Sigman, D.M., and Martinez-Garcia, A., 2023, A well oxygenated eastern tropical Pacific during the warm Miocene. Nature.
  • Zhou, X., Hess, A.V. (co-first authors), Bu, K., Sagawa, T., and Rosenthal, Y., 2022, Simultaneous determination of I/Ca and other elemental ratios in foraminifera using sector field ICP-MS, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Geosystems, v. 23, e2022GC010660.
  • Hess, A.V., and Trop, J.M., 2019, Sedimentology and carbon isotope (d13C) stratigraphy of Silurian–Devonian boundary interval strata, Appalachian Basin (Pennsylvania, USA): PALAIOS, v. 34, p. 405–423.
  • Hess, A., 2011, Heterozoan carbonate facies in accommodation-limited areas—A study of Pliocene age strata of the Agua Amarga basin, Southeastern Spain: Lawrence, University of Kansas, M.S. thesis, 255 p.
  • Hess, A., 2008, Paleoenvironmental analysis of the Silurian-Devonian boundary interval in central Pennsylvania: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, undergraduate thesis, 79 p.