Jessica Pilarczyk

Assistant Professor, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Natural Hazards
Earth Sciences

Areas of interest

Dr. Pilarczyk aims to understand how coastal systems have been altered by both extreme events (storms, tsunamis) and gradual environmental changes over the Holocene. Her objective is to extend the short-term instrumental record, and through this improved understanding of impacts and processes, enhance our ability to forecast how coastal systems will respond in the future. Many of the best reconstructions of coastal systems have been derived from sedimentological and paleontological proxies. Dr. Pilarczyk primarily uses sedimentary, geochemical, and microfossil evidence to better understand the paleo-record in a variety of coastal systems (temperate, tropical, and arid environments). Her current research interests fall into, but are not limited to, three broad themes: (1) the application of microfossils in monitoring and reconstructing coastal environments, (2) the role of storms and tsunamis on coastal evolution, and (3) the assessment of the risk of future great earthquakes along subduction zone coastlines using paleoseismology. Dr. Pilarczyk is looking for graduate students interested in developing long-term records of coastal hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms.


  • B.Sc. Hons, McMaster University, Canada, 2004
  • Ph.D., McMaster University, Canada, 2011


Future courses may be subject to change.