Research

 

Transitions in the Earth System

My research is focused on using geochemical tools to reconstruct the chemistry and ecology of the oceans in the deep past. I’m especially interested in transitional periods in Earth’s history, when extreme climate states and changes in the marine environment led to expansions or contractions in biodiversity.

I’m especially interested in the end-Permian and end-Triassic mass extinctions, the two great crises that punctuated the transition from the Paleozoic to the Mesozoic world. These extinctions have been tied to large volcanic eruptions and rapid warming of the climate, setting off a chain reaction of environmental changes worldwide. Marine nutrients (especially nitrogen), and the role they play in controlling primary productivity during these greenhouse climate states, may be the key to understanding how mass extinction events can impact even remote open ocean environments.

To learn more about any of my ongoing projects, click the links below:


I  contribute data to the Sedimentary Geochemistry and Paleoenvironments Project