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Gerta Keller - Research

Link to The Chicxulub Debate

Link to Deccan Volcanism and Deccan Volcanism (Beyond India)


Integrated multi-disciplinary approach to stratigraphy, paleoclimate, sea-level changes, paleoecology, evolution and mass extinctions, using the fossil records, geo-chemistry, mineralogy, stable isotope geochemistry and sedimentology.

The research covers a wide variety of climatic and oceanographic problems from the Gnozoic and Cretaceous and concentrates on the global aspects of major environmental changes. Fieldwork in various countries is an integral part of thesis projects and connects deep-sea marine with continental shelf environments. Emphasis is on an interdisciplinary approach, drawing information from paleontology, biology, stable isotope geochemistry of foraminifera, and geochemistry of sediments.

Particular Research Projects of current interest are:

1. The Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary mass extinction in marine plankton. The nature, rate, and cause(s) of this mass extinction; the geographic variation in the extinction phenomena between high and low latitudes; evidence for or against extraterrestrial impact or long-term environmental changes.

2. The Paleocene/Eocene global climatic crisis. The nature and cause of this global event, its effect on marine benthic and planktic foraminifera; the magnitude of the carbon-13 shift in high vs. low latitudes and deep-sea vs. continental shelves.

3. Maastrichtian climate changes. Chrono-, Bio-, and isotope stratigraphy of the Maastrichtian to determine climatic and oceanographic variations during the Maastrichtian and their effects on marine plankton and terrestrial systems prior to the mass extinction.

4. History of sea level fluctuations during the late Cretaceous.  Chronostratigraphy of sea level changes, hiatuses associated with sea level regressions, and faunal turnovers related to these environmental changes.