Research


I am a paleoceanographer who studies the role of the oceans in past and future climate change. Most of my work revolves around the geochemistry of planktonic foraminifera, tiny creatures that live in the upper ocean and produce carbonate shells that eventually accumulate on the seafloor. Their isotope chemistry tells us about past patterns of ocean temperature and salinity, and helps us reconstruct the interactions of the ocean and atmosphere in the climate system. My main focus is on the eastern tropical Pacific and on the dynamics of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) a climate phenomenon of global reach. I participate in seagoing expeditions to collect deep-sea mud, collect and analyze foraminifera samples in the lab, and perform data analysis to understand and interpret geochemical data. Students participate in all aspects of this research and have carried out many cool projects! In addition to our ocean work, we have smaller projects on land examining terrestrial archives of global change such as cave deposits and tree rings. A sampling of some of our projects is given below.