My research involves components of trace element and stable isotope geochemistry, biomineralization, and marine biology. I develop and use proxies, primarily trace elements in marine calcifiers, for reconstructing ocean circulation, temperature, and chemistry in the past.
A few of the primary research questions I seek to answer: How do marine calcifiers make their shells? How do they exert control over trace element/Ca ratios and modify the trace element/Ca ratios so greatly from seawater. For example, understanding how foraminifera calcify and control their geochemistry has broad implications for the use of trace element/calcium ratios as paleo-proxies. Decades of research and empirically derived relationships show that many foraminiferal based paleo-proxies are fundamentally sound (the proxies work, we just don't know exactly why and/or how). I seek to find answers to these questions to improve paleo-proxies through culturing live specimens and applying laboratory based developments to specimens from fossil record.
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Ph.D., University of Chicago, Department of Geophysical Sciences, 2010
M.S., University of Chicago, Physical Sciences Division, 2003
B.S., Northern Illinois University, Department of Geology, 1997
I am currently recruiting undergraduate students and graduate students for current and future reserach projects. Please contact me for more information.