About

I am interested in paleoclimate, isotope geochemistry, biomineralization, jazz, biking and skiing, although not necessarily in that order. Scientifically, my work is broadly centered on understanding how and why earth's climate varied in the past. This research is motivated by the hope that such information will help mitigate the effects of ongoing change by facilitating more
 accurate climate predictions. 

To reconstruct past climate, I use the trace metal and isotopic composition of biogenic carbonates such as corals or foraminifera as proxies for important variables such as ocean temperature, salinity, pH, circulation and nutrient supply at the time a skeleton or shell was formed. By measuring the geochemical variability in long-lived or fossil specimens preserved in the geologic record, it is then possible to estimate past changes in the above variables. 

However, no proxy is a perfect recorder of a single variable. Rather, the trace metal and isotopic composition of biogenic carbonates often reflect the influence of multiple environmental variables combined with impacts from biological or kinetic effects. In many cases, these complications make interpreting geochemical records in terms of climate less than straightforward. Because of this, it is important to interpret the geochemical signals of biogenic carbonates in the context of both climate and the organism's biomineralization strategy. 

A primary goal of my research is to minimize the influence of non-climatic processes on paleoclimate reconstructions by developing new proxies,  synthesizing existing records and comparing with isotope-enabled global climate models. Analytical capabilities are always evolving and I am interested in assessing if isotope systems now measured with improved precision can serve as valuable new paleoclimate proxies. I also work to combine many paleoclimate records into regional reconstructions that minimize the local, organism-specific effects on proxies, thereby amplifying their common climatic signal.

For more information on specific projects please see the Research tab. If you are interested in getting involved with this work, please Contact me.