Professor Peter Doran


Dr. Peter Doran
John Franks Endowed Chair
Louisiana State University
Department of Geology and Geophysics
E235 Howe Russell Kniffen
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Ph: 225-578-3955
Fx: 225-578-2302

Click here to email me

NEWS: Wall Street Journal Video in December 2018 about Peter Doran's career

Research Interests

With broad research interests focused on field techniques in aquatic, climate, Quaternary and astrobiological sciences, Dr. Doran has conducted more than ten field seasons in the Canadian High Arctic and at last count over twenty in the Antarctic in this pursuit.

Specific research areas include modern hydrological and biogeochemical processes in polar lake systems, and the use of this modern calibration in paleoenvironmental reconstruction, paleolimnology and sedimentology of perennially ice-covered Antarctic lakes, problems in Quaternary dating in the Antarctic dry valleys, biogeochemistry of deeply ice-covered lakes, physical controls on and ecological impact of persistent lake ice covers, modern controls on carbon isotopic signatures in lacustrine systems, and the use of the dry valleys as analogs to help in the search for evidence of extant or extinct life on other worlds. He has also conducted research in microclimatology of polar regions using automated weather stations. This research has been mostly connected to defining the climate controls on ice covers and modeling of polar lake systems. He also has an interest in subglacial environments.

Interests in global change and communicating science lead to Dr. Doran be named a Leopold Fellow in 2008 by Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment.

Long time interests in the crossovers between planetary and polar research has pulled Dr. Doran into planetary sciences and for the last decade or so he has become an active member in the global planetary protection community. He served 10 years on the NASA Planetary Protection Subcommittee, and now is member of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Planetary Protection Subcommittee.