I am a Ph.D. student in geochemistry at the University of Michigan’s Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences. My research interests revolve around various records of terrestrial paleoclimate, as well as studying similar systems in the modern. Using stable isotopes and major & trace metal records (primarily iron), I aim to reconstruct conditions at the “critical zone” – the interface of the physical earth, atmosphere, and living organisms – during periods of interest in the geologic past, e.g. times of rapid climate change or during the development of early life. Fossil soils (paleosols), while complex, can provide us with an idea of the climatic conditions that prevailed millions of years ago. By deciphering things like temperature, precipitation, and the composition of the atmosphere during “greenhouse” conditions, we can provide better data on which to base models of future climate. Periods of interest are the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), the Great Oxidation Event, and the modern.
Continental Environments Research Group (CERG)
Advisor: Nathan Sheldon
Iron in terrestrial systems
My ongoing work focuses on constraining the relationship between the concentration and type of iron oxides found in different soil orders under varying climatic regimes, using a novel combination of chemical extractions and analytical techniques. (AGU 2016). This work also considers the coupled cycling of carbon and iron in terrestrial systems. I am also interested in terrestrial iron throughout Earth history and the oxygenation of the atmosphere. I plan to expand this work to include magnetic analyses, as well as a plant biology approach to iron uptake and soil nutrients.
Field sites: Utah; Iceland; anywhere with soils, modern or fossil!
Carbon in terrestrial systems
The other aspect of my current work is carbon in terrestrial systems, which provides a record of life on land as well as atmospheric composition (CO2). Stable (organic) carbon isotopes detail the type of vegetation that existed…
Field sites: Wyoming, India