David Hastings

Professor of Marine Science & Chemistry (Retired)

Lloyd W. Chapin Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the Arts, May 2015
Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award, May 2012

Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory (GMSL) 127
727-864-7884, Fax: 727-864-7964

Paleoclimatology, Chemical oceanography, Marine biogeochemistry


Ph.D., Oceanography, University of Washington, 1995

David Hastings

My primary research interest is paleoclimatology, or the history of past climate changes. The reconstruction of past ocean temperature is an essential component in understanding the controls of past and future climate change. I am able to determine sea surface temperatures over geologic time, using the incorporation of Mg and Sr into the shells of foraminifera and ostracodes. Currently, I am focusing on rapid climate changes in the Gulf of Mexico during the deglacial period from 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.

As a marine geochemist, I responded quickly to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with the help of many Eckerd College students. I am interested in how redox sensitive metals in sediments are responding following the large pulse of organic matter to the sea floor to estimate changes in oxygen in marine sediments.

I actively engage in policy conversations regarding climate change with the public and with elected officials. I have written several op eds regarding climate change science and solutions. Most recently, I met with Governor Rick Scott, regarding the science of climate change, and the imperative of taking action in Florida to mitigate the impacts. I was selected as 2014 “Science Champion” by Union of Concerned Scientists for “speaking (scientific) truth to power.”

In both lectures and the smaller classes I teach, I rely on case studies, small group work, and hands-on learning. I place a strong emphasis on active, collaborative learning and encourage critical thinking. Field work with students is central in my teaching, as reflected in recent articles in the Tampa Tribune and recent research on microplastics with students in the Tampa Bay Times.

I am frequently asked by members of our local community to discuss issues related to climate change, sustainability, and environmental change. Many of these talks focus on justice and the appropriate actions we can take to mitigate the negative effects of environmental degradation. I eagerly participate in these discussions and enjoy the opportunity to help guide the public conversation and community response to what I consider a critical and urgent issue.

  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Introduction to Marine Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Oceanography of Tampa Bay
  • Climate Change: Past and Present
  • Geochemical Tracers (intensive lab-based course)
  • Chemistry and Oceanography of Tampa Bay (field course)
  • Natural History of the Galapagos (field course)
  • Marine Geochemistry
  • Earth Systems Science of the Everglades (field course)

Tara Roeder, May 2012. Trace metals as indicators of oil contamination in marine and beach sediments following the Deep Water Horizon blowout.

Charles S. Adams, May 2012, Paired O-18 and Mg/Ca from benthic foraminifera G. ruber to indicate LIS meltwater input to the Gulf of Mexico 24-28 kyr BP.

Nicola Zenzola, May 2012, Biogeochemistry techniques in sediment cores to investigate petroleum traces caused by the Deepwater Horizon Blowout, Eckerd College.

Zoe G. O’Donoghue, May 2012. Identifying Bioactive Compounds from U.S. Algae Biofuel ponds Sarah Mass balance analysis of oyster biodeposits at Marinetics oyster farm, Cambridge, MD.

Jennifer Hendricks, May 2010. Presence of Meltwater Pulse 1A in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kaela Wuesthoff, May 2009. Seasonal Distribution of Algal Symbionts of Anthopleura elegantissima in the Intertidal Zone.

Noura Randle, May 2008. Assessing the integrity of a stratigraphic sequence using paired AMS radiocarbon dates on planktonic foraminifera: Development of a high-resolution chronology.

Kelli Hoover, May 2008. Holocene climate variability as recorded in the benthic foraminifera Ammonia beccarii  from Tampa Bay, FL.

Christopher Maupin, May 2006. High-resolution record of climate proxies from fast growing coral Acropora cervicornis to identify extreme weather events.

Danielle Greenhowe, May 2006. West Florida Shelf Phosphate Concentration Analysis Using In Situ Determination.

Melissa Gilbert, December 2005. A high-resolution deglacial record of climate and melt water discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jennifer Flannery, 2005. Records of oceanic and continental response to abrupt climate changes during the late Holocene (2,000 BP – present) from the PigmyBasin, Gulf of Mexico

Terill Hollweg, May 2004. A multi-proxy, multi-species approach to determining climate change in Tampa Bay, Fl over the past 21,000 years.

Jenna LoDico, May 2003. A multi-proxy approach to distinguish between past changes in sea surface temperature and meltwater input in the Gulf of Mexico.

Anne Whitko, May 2002. New paleotemperature calibration and estimates in the South China Sea.

Amanda Hopkins, May 2001. Bioavailable trace metal concentrations in Tampa Bay, FL.

John Akl, December 2000, Properties of Colored Dissolved Organic Matter Along the Orinoco River Plume.

Hastings D. W., et al. (2014Changes in sediment redox conditions following the BP DWH Blowout eventDeep Sea Research, special volume: The Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem: Before, During, and After the Macondo blowout. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.12.009

Williams, C., B. Flower, and D. W. Hastings. (2012) Seasonal Laurentide Ice Sheet Melting During the Mystery Interval. Geology, 40

Flower, B.P., D. W. Hastings, N. R. Randle* (2011). Paired AMS 14C dates on planktic foraminifera from a Gulf of Mexico sediment core: An assessment of stratigraphic continuity. Radiocarbon, 53 (2): 337-344

Williams, C., B. P. Flower, D. W. Hastings, T. P. Guilderson, K. A. Quinn, and E. A. Goddard (2010), Deglacial abrupt climate change in the Atlantic Warm Pool: A Gulf of Mexico perspective. Paleoceanography, 25, PA4221, doi:10.1029/2010PA001928

Flower, B.P., C. Williams, H.W. Hill, and D.W. Hastings, accepted to Abrupt Climate Change: Mechanisms, Patterns, and Impacts, (edited by H. Rashid. L. Polyak, and E. Mosley-Thompson), Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during the last glacial cycle: A view from the Gulf of Mexico, AGU Geophysical Monograph, 2010BK001016.

Greaves, M., N. Caillon,  D. Hastings,  and others. Interlaboratory comparison study of calibration standards for foraminiferal Mg/Ca thermometry. Geochem, Geophys., Geosyst. 9(8) 2008. doi:10.1029/2008GC001974

Cronin, T. D., N. T. Edgar, G. R. Brooks, D. W. Hastings, R. Larson, A. C. Hine, S. D. Locker, B. C. Suthard, B. P. Flower, D. J. Hollander, J. Wehmiller, D. A. Willard and S. M. Smith (2007). Sea Level Rise in Tampa Bay. EOS 88(10).

Williams, C. W., B. P. Flower, and D. W. Hastings. Deglacial Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater and seasonality changes based on Gulf of Mexico sediments. For submission to Paleoceanography.

Flower, B. P., D. W. Hastings, H. W. Hill and T. M. Quinn (2004). Phasing of deglacial warming and Laurentide ice sheet meltwater in the Gulf of Mexico.  Geology, 32(7):597-600.

Whitko, A. N., D. W. Hastings, and B. P. Flower (2002). Past sea surface temperatures in the tropical South China Sea based on a new foraminiferal Mg calibration. MARSci., DOI:01.020101.

Shen, C. C., D. W. Hastings, T. Lee, C. H. Chiu, M. Y Lee, K. Y. Wei, and R. L Edwards (2001). High-precision glacial-interglacial benthic foraminiferal Sr:Ca record from the eastern equatorial Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 190:197-209.

Villanueva, J., and D. W. Hastings (2000). A century scale record of the preservation of chlorophyll and its transformation products in anoxic sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 64: 2281-2294.

Hastings, D. W., A. Russell and Emerson S. (1998). Foraminiferal magnesium in G.sacculifer as a paleotemperature proxy. Paleoceanography, 13:161-169.

Hastings, D. W., S. Emerson, J. Erez, and B. Nelson (1996). Vanadium in foraminiferal calcite- Evaluation of a method to determine paleo-seawater vanadium concentrations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 60: 3701-3715.

Hastings, D. W., S. Emerson, and A. Mix (1996). Vanadium in foraminiferal calcite as a tracer for changes in the areal extent of reducing sediments. Paleoceanography, 11: 665-678.

Hastings, D. W., S. Emerson, and B. Nelson (1996). Determination of picogram quantities of vanadium in foraminiferal calcite and seawater by isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry with electrothermal vaporization. Analytical Chemistry, 68: 371-378.

* indicates undergraduate student under my supervision

Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem II (C-IMAGE) funded by The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI.  Principal Investigator with 22 other lead investigators from 17 other institutions.  $221,000 for D. W. Hastings.  1/1/15-12/31/17

Plastics and Microplastics in Tampa Bay: Education and Action. For public education and outreach regarding microplastic pollution in Tampa  Bay. Tampa Bay Estuary Program. $4,133 to D. Hastings and K. Sharp.

Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) funded by The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Co-Principal Investigator. $170,000 to D. W. Hastings. 9/1/11-8/31/14

Deep-C: Deep Sea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative,. $70,000 to D.W. Hastings. 9/1/11-8/31/14.

Penetration, accumulation and degradation of BP DWH oil in Florida sandy beaches. Awarded September 2010 from Gulf Research Initiative. With Drs. Markus Heutel, Florida State University and Joel Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology. $58,139 to D. W. Hastings.

Assessing the impact of Deepwater Horizon oil and dispersants on sediments and benthic communities on the West Florida Shelf and Slope. Awarded September 2010 from Gulf Research Initiative. $25,000 to D.W. Hastings.

Laurentide meltwater input to the Gulf of Mexico during the last deglaciation. Comer Foundation, May 2006. Awarded $60,152. With Dr. Ben Flower, University of South Florida.

Climate Variability in Tampa Bay: Trends of Salinity and Temperature from the Sediment Record. U. S. Geological Survey, July 2002 – February 2008. Awarded $131,500 over six years, reviewed and awarded annually.

Development of paleoceanographic and paleoclimatological proxies for climate change research. Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Natural Sciences Summer Research Program, Eckerd College, 2001-2011. Awarded total of $56,100.

Historical Trends in Salinity and Temperature in Tampa Bay. U. S. Geological Survey, July 2001 – June 2002. Awarded $8,000.

Seasonal Calibration of Paleoceanographic Proxies, by Florida Institute of Oceanography, 2003. Awarded ten days of ship time, equivalent value of $33,000.