Francine M.G. McCarthy

Professor, Earth Sciences

Office: Mackenize Chown D418
905 688 5550 x4286

Micropaleontologist interested in 1) paleoceanographic, paleolimnological and paleoclimatic reconstructions of late Cenozoic sediments, 2) the impact of taphonomy on microfossil records, 3) freshwater dinoflagellates and their cysts; 4) non-pollen palynomorphs as proxies of anthropogenic impact.

  • Ph.D. (Earth Science) and B.Sc. (Hons.– Geology & Biology) Dalhousie University
  • M.Sc. (Geology) University of Toronto
  • 2002–present: Professor of Earth Sciences
  • 2015-present: Associate Member, Biological Sciences
  • 2017–present: Member Core Faculty, Sustainability Science and Society
  • 2017–2020: Graduate Program Director, Earth Sciences
  • 2017–2020: Graduate Program Director, Sustainability Science and Society
  • Non-pollen palynomorphs (dinoflagellate cysts and green algal palynomorphs) as paleolimnological indicators
  • Geoarchaeological applications of microfossils
  • Postglacial climatic and hydrological changes in the Great Lakes region recorded by pollen/spores, algal palynomorphs and testate amoebae
  • Palynomorphs (pollen/ spores and dinoflagellate cysts/ acritarchs) as sea level indicators; Late Cenozoic sea level change and the stratigraphy of the Atlantic Coastal Plain/ New Jersey margin, and most recently as part of IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) Expedition 313, New Jersey Shallow Shelf
  • Potential of varved sediments of Crawford Lake, Ontario, as GSSP (‘golden spike’) to define the Anthropocene as a formal interval of geologic time, and the potential implications of such a designation
  • Assessing seismic risk in eastern North America from microfossils in lake sediments

Select Recent Publications; student coauthors underlined

  • McCarthy, F.M.G., Drljepan, M., Hubeny, J.B., Krueger, A.M., Pilkington, P.M., Riddick, N.L. and MacKinnon, M.D. (2017). The influence of dissolved oxygen on dinoflagellate cyst distribution across Sluice Pond, a meromictic lake in NE Massachusetts, USA. Manuscript TPAL-2016-0041, published online April 2017. Palynology.
  • Volik, O., McCarthy F.M.G., Riddick, N.L. (2016). Insights from pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs and testate amoebae into the evolution of Lake Simcoe. J. Paleolimnology v. 56, p. 137-152.
  • Krueger, A.M. and McCarthy F.M.G. (2016). Great Canadian Lagerstätten 5: Crawford Lake – a Holocene lacustrine Konservat-Lagerstätte with two-century-old viable dinoflagellate cysts. Geoscience Canada v. 43(2), p.123-132.
  • Hubeny, J.B., McCarthy, F.M.G., Lewis, J., Cantwell, M., Drljepan, M., Morissette, C., King, J.W., Crispo, M.L. (2015). Holocene stratigraphy, environmental history and regional hydroclimate significance of Sluice Pond, northeastern MA. Journal of Paleolimnology v. 53, p. 251–287
  • Drljepan, M., McCarthy, F.M.G., Hubeny, J.B. (2014). Natural and cultural eutrophication of Sluice Pond, MA recorded by algal and protozoan microfossils. The Holocene v. 24, p. 1731–1742
  • Kotthoff, U., Greenwood, D.R., McCarthy, F.M.G., Müller-Navarra, K., Prader, S., Hesselbo, S.P. (2014). Late Eocene to middle Miocene (33 to 13 million years ago) vegetation and climate development on the North American Atlantic Coastal Plain (IODP Expedition 313, Site M0027). Climate of the Past Discussions, v. 10, p. 1523–1539
  • Danesh, D., McCarthy, F.M.G., Volik, O., Drljepan, M. (2013). Non-pollen palynomorph record of cultural eutrophication in Lake Simcoe. Palynology v. 37, p. 231–245
  • McCarthy, F.M.G., Katz, M.E., Kotthoff, U., Browning, J.V., Miller, K.G., Zanatta, R., Williams, R., Drljepan, M., Hesselbo, S., Bjerrum, C., Mountain, G. (2013). Eustatic control of New Jersey margin architecture: palynological evidence. Geosphere v. 9(6), p. 1457–1487
  • McCarthy, F.M.G. and McAndrews, J.H. (2012). Early Holocene drought in the Great Lakes basin caused hydrologic closure of Georgian Bay. Journal of Paleolimnology v. 47, p. 411-428.
  • McCarthy, F.M.G., Tiffin, S.H., Sarvis, A.P., McAndrews J.H., Blasco, S.M. (2012). Early Holocene brackish closed basin conditions in Georgian Bay: microfossil evidence. Journal of Paleolimnology v. 47, p. 429–445
  • McCarthy, F.M.G., Mertens, K.N., Ellegaard, M., Sherman, K., Pospelova, V., Ribeiro, S., Blasco, S., Vercauteren, D. (2011). Resting cysts of freshwater dinoflagellates in southeastern Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) as proxies of cultural eutrophication. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology v. 166, p. 46-62,
  • Neville, L.A., McCarthy, F.M.G., MacKinnon, M.D., Swindles, G.T., and Marlowe, P. (2011). Thecamoebians (testate amoebae) as proxies of ecosystem health and reclamation success in constructed wetlands in the oil sands of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 41, p. 230- 247
  • Sylvia Hussein (2018). Resilience of water policy to major 21st century challenges, climate change and human population growth: comparison between Great Lakes jurisdictions and Ghana. Major Research Paper, Sustainability Science and Society (co-supervised with D. Dupont)
  • Paul Michael Pilkington (2019). The rise of the green algae: using algal palynomorphs as proxies of natural events and anthropogenic activities. M.Sc. thesis, Earth Sciences
  • Autumn Heyde  (2021). The fossil record of consumers in sediments from Crawford Lake. M.Sc. thesis, Biological Sciences
  • Brendan Llew-Williams (2022). The physicochemical characterization of water masses in Crawford Lake, Ontario, and Old Crow Flats, Yukon (co-supervised with M. Head and K. Turner)

Media Interviews

  • Weather Network filming, Crawford Lake research, 2011
  • National Geographic Naked Science documentary on the Great Lakes, filmed spring 2008
  • CBC Radio interview on natural hazards, broadcast Dec. 19, 2005

National and International committees and editorial boards

  • Board Member, International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) (2017– )
  • President, Canadian Association of Palynologists (AASP) (2013–2016)
  • Councillor, Geological Association of Canada (2012-2015)
  • President, American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (AASP) (2006–2008)
  • Member, NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Selection Committee #186: Earth Sciences and Ecology (2003–2006)