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Dr Rosalie Tostevin


Sedimentology, isotope geochemistry, trace metal geochemistry, Precambrian geology and geobiology

  Room 404
  Department of Geological Sciences​
  Phone:  +27 (0)21 650 2140
  Google Scholar


I’m interested in the interactions between life and the environment on the early Earth. To address this, I use a combination of field work, sedimentary geochemistry and experiments to infer how oxygen levels and nutrient availability have changed through time on local and global scales. I then tie these constraints directly to geobiological records.

My specific research interests include:

  • Origins of banded iron formation
  • Patterns of metal availability in seawater through time
  • Bio-availability of phosphorous in anoxic oceans
  • The marine sulfur cycle in the modern ocean and deep time
  • The origin and diversification of animals
  • Changes in oxygen availability in the oceans through time


  • Tostevin R. and Mills, B.J.W. 2020. Reconciling proxy records and models of Earth's oxygenation during the Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic. Interface Focus.10 (4), 20190137 
  • Tostevin, R. (2021). Cerium Anomalies and Paleoredox (Elements in Geochemical Tracers in Earth System Science). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108847223
  • Johnson, B. R., Tostevin, R., Gopon, P., Wells, J., Robinson, S. A., Tosca, N. J., 2019.  Phosphorus burial in ferruginous SiO2-rich Mesoproterozoic sediments . Geology
  • Tostevin, R., Bradbury, H. J., Shields, G. A., Wood, R. A., Bowyer, F., Penny, A., Turchyn, A. V., 2019. Calcium isotopes as a record of the marine calcium cycle versus carbonate diagenesis during the late Ediacaran. Chemical Geology.
  • Tostevin, R., Poulton. S. W., 2019. Oxic Sediments. In: Gargaud M. et al. (eds) Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 
  • Tostevin, R., Poulton. S. W., 2019. Suboxic Sediments. In: Gargaud M. et al. (eds) Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 
  • He, T., M. Zhu, B. J. W. Mills, P. M. Wynn, A. Y. Zhuravlev, R. Tostevin, P. A. E. Pogge von Strandmann, A. Yang, S. Poulton, and G. A. Shields, 2019. Possible links between extreme oxygen perturbations and the Cambrian radiation of animals. Nature Geoscience .
  • Tostevin, R., Clarkson, M.O., Gangl, S., Shields, G.A., Wood, R.A., Bowyer, F., Penny, A.M. and Stirling, C.H., 2019. Uranium isotope evidence for an expansion of anoxia in terminal Ediacaran oceans. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 506, pp.104-112.
  • Tostevin, R., He, T., Turchyn, A. V., Wood, R. A., Penny, A. M., Bowyer, F., Antler, G. & Shields, G. A. 2017. Constraints on the late Ediacaran sulfur cycle from carbonate associated sulfate. Precambrian Research
  • Penny, A. M., Wood, R. A., Zhuravlev,  A. Y., Curtis, A., Bowyer, F., Tostevin, R., 2017. Intraspecific variation in an Ediacaran skeletal metazoan: Namacalathus from the Nama Group, Namibia. Geobiology.
  • Tostevin, R., Wood, R.A., Shields, G.A., Poulton, S.W., Guilbaud, R., Bowyer, F., Penny, A.M., He, T., Curtis, A., Hoffmann, K.H. and Clarkson, M.O., 2016. Low-oxygen waters limited habitable space for early animals. Nature Communications, 7
  • Tostevin, R., Shields, G. A., Tarbuck, G. M., He, T., Clarkson, M. O., & Wood, R. A. (2016). Effective use of cerium anomalies as a redox proxy in carbonate-dominated marine settings. Chemical Geology, 438, 146-162
  • Tostevin, R., Craw, D., Van Hale, R., & Vaughan, M. (2016). Sources of environmental sulfur in the groundwater system, southern New Zealand. Applied Geochemistry, 70, 1-16
  • Wood, R.A., Poulton, S.W., Prave, A.R., Hoffmann, K.H., Clarkson, M.O., Guilbaud, R., Lyne, J.W., Tostevin, R., Bowyer, F., Penny, A.M. and Curtis, A., 2015. Dynamic redox conditions control late Ediacaran metazoan ecosystems in the Nama Group, Namibia. Precambrian Research, 261, pp.252-271.
  • Penny, A.M., Wood, R., Curtis, A., Bowyer, F., Tostevin, R. and Hoffman, K.H., 2014. Ediacaran metazoan reefs from the Nama Group, Namibia. Science, 344(6191), pp.1504-1506.
  • Tostevin, R., Turchyn, A.V., Farquhar, J., Johnston, D.T., Eldridge, D.L., Bishop, J.K. and McIlvin, M., 2014. Multiple sulfur isotope constraints on the modern sulfur cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 396, pp.14-21.



  • PhD, University College London, 2014
  • MSci (with 1st class honours), University of Cambridge, 2011



  • Lecturer, University of Cape Town, 2019 – present
  • Postdoctoral research associate, University of Oxford, 2015–2019
  • Postdoctoral research associate, University of Otago, 2015