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Contact PU-BIOS today for more information about applying to the program:

Please contact Prof. Daniel Sigman in GEO or Chloe Baron at BIOS.

Visit Geosciences Research for complete information on faculty research.

Geosciences faculty examples of BIOS related research:

Michael Bender - research is centered on two themes. One is glacial-interglacial climate change, and the other is the global carbon cycle. Since 1984, Bender's paleoclimate research has involved measuring gas properties in ice cores to date critical climate changes of the ice ages, and to advance our understanding of changes in the biosphere on glacial-interglacial timescales. The carbon cycle research involves studies characterizing the fertility of ecosystems at the global scale, at the scale of ocean basins, and at regional to local scales within the oceans.

Adam Maloof - research centers on the relationship between ancient life, climate and geography. The Neoproterozoic Era (1000-542 million years ago (Ma)) is a particularly important interval in Earth history because, at the same time that Earth endured radical drift of the continents and a glaciation that sealed the global ocean in ice for millions of years, animals first evolved and quickly became large and diverse. His goal is to tell rich stories of Earth history that shed light on the origin of animals and the evolution of Earth's climate.

François Morel - research deals with metals and their roles in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen in marine and terrestrial systems. Metals play a key role in the response of the biosphere on land and in the ocean to increasing atmospheric CO2.

Michael Oppenheimer - interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. Much of his research aims to understand the potential for “dangerous” outcomes of increasing levels of greenhouse gases by exploring the effects of global warming on ecosystems such as coral reefs, on the ice sheets and sea level, and on patterns of human migration. He also studies the process of scientific learning and scientific assessments and their role in problems of global change.

George Philander - Why is the ocean so cold? What processes determine the thermal structure of the ocean? His research addresses these questions by means of a hierarchy of models, from simple to complex, that give a global context for measurements in one region at one time. Assessing conditions in the eastern equatorial Pacific at 3 Ma in the context of conditions in other oceanic upwelling regions at that time, and in the context of preceding and subsequent conditions, can help resolve controversies.

Jorge Sarmiento - primary research interests are in the oceanic cycles of climatically important chemicals such as carbon dioxide, and in the use of chemical tracers to study ocean circulation. Ongoing research includes the use of ocean general circulation models to estimate uptake of anthropogenic CO2, and the use of atmospheric general circulation models constrained with atmospheric CO2 observations to estimate transport of CO2 in the atmosphere. He is working in conjunction with ocean biologists to develop ecosystem models for predicting photosynthetic uptake of carbon in the surface ocean, as well as remineralization of organic matter in the deep ocean.

Daniel Sigman - interests in the environmental dynamics of the biologically-important elements, at scales ranging from single-celled organisms to the global biosphere. The analytical focus is on the isotope ratios of nitrogen, which is used to investigate the biogeochemistry of modern and ancient environments, the ocean in particular. He also develops and applies geochemical models of the ocean.

Frederik Simons - research encompasses various aspects of solid-earth geophysics. Most notably, studying the physical properties of the terrestrial lithosphere, focusing in particular on the elastic and thermomechanical properties of the continents, by seismic tomography and the spectral analysis of gravity and topography,designed wavelet-based signal processing methods for seismology, and developed oceanic instrumentation to close the seismic coverage gap over the Earth's oceans.

Bess Ward - research concerns the marine and global nitrogen cycle, using molecular and immunological probes for marine bacteria and bacterial processes (especially nitrification and denitrification), and measuring the rates of N transformation processes.

Student looks into a microscope
Tropical fish swimming away
Faculty and students in the field
View into a microscope

(Photos courtesy of Prof. Daniel Sigman)