Research

Peru fin 2 (400x300)

My research seeks to understand climatic and environmental change relevant to human society past, present and future. Even though we live on land, it is in lakes and the oceans that we often find the best-preserved records because of the slow but consistent accumulation of sedimentary archives under water, and we sample this by coring from boats large and small. Back in the lab, meticulous work centers on teasing out the climatic, environmental and biological signals contained within organic molecules. In particular, my lab specializes in extracting molecular level isotopic information out of the waxy molecules from plant leaves. To best interpret the evidence for past climate and environment, we work in parallel on modern environments – in ecological surveys and in experimental test scenarios – to continue to improve our understanding of how living plants record environmental information and how those molecules make their way into the sedimentary archives. More information on different aspects can be found on the links to the top right.