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.
Click here to learn more about current and past research projects.
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 research projects. Please contact me for more information.