Jon Husson, Ph.D. Student
Deciphering Earth's history through the sedimentary record requires a decidedly multidisciplinary approach. Physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and modeling can all play important roles. Among the countless questions of earth history, I am currently interested in studying how climate, ocean chemistry and biology interacted to set the stage for the rise of animals. I seek to couple geological field observations and mapping with low-temperature geochemical analyses to help contribute to this question. Additionally, I will also learn techniques of U-Pb geochronology. Absolute dates are vitally important to the study of earth history, as they help to test and constrain our models of evolutionary, chemical and climatic change.
Blake Dyer, Ph.D. Student
Ancient atmospheres and organisms are intricately tied to the geologic processes defining the surface of our planet, particularly the way in which sedimentary geology manifests itself in the geologic record, physically and chemically. The rocks in this record represent pages of a vast history book from which we can glean fascinating stories of the ancient earth. Interpreting these clues to the past requires fundamental understanding of the chemical behaviors of isotope systems as well as the ability to piece together complex and incomplete field observations while maintaining a firm handle on time. I am interested in investigating the current natural world as well as the geologic record with this perspective in an attempt to garner a greater understanding of the interactions between different forces of our dynamic planet throughout Earth’s history.
Kevin Lewis, Hess Postdoctoral Fellow
I am a planetary scientist interested in using the stratigraphic records exposed on planetary bodies to understand their geologic history. On Earth, I am actively working on the Eocene Green River Formation of the western United States, which records the evolution of a number of large lacustrine basins over several million years. The goal of this research is to investigate the causes of repetitive fluctuations in depositional conditions through time, which have been suggested to result from changes in the Earth's orbital (Milankovitch) parameters. Our study involves the synthesis of remote sensing data and field observations to quantitatively evaluate this hypothesis by applying spectral techniques to the recovered stratigraphic signals.
Elizabeth Lundstrom (Carleton '12) is the lab manager for John Higgins and Adam Maloof, and she works with John Higgins studying the isotope geochemistry of dolomites and the low-temperature alteration of ridge flank basalts. Before coming to Princeton Elizabeth studied geology at Carleton College and spent two summers working on the Cascade Range Hydrothermal Monitoring Project at the USGS in Menlo Park, CA. This project provided the data for her senior thesis, titled "Hydrothermal chloride flux from the area of ongoing uplift west of South Sister volcano, Oregon."
Christine Chen ‘13 studied the 565 million year old Wonoka Formation paleo-submarine canyons of South Australia for her Junior thesis. For her senior thesis, she is mapping and dating transgressive Bonneville shoreline sequences from around Great Salt Lake, Utah. Her goal is to understand how and when Lake Bonneville (one of many large lakes that were established in the Basin and Range) was established during the decline of the Laurentide ice sheet (20-15 ka). Also, she will model the deformation of the Bonneville shorelines to extract information about the temporal and spatial extent of nearby ice sheets.
Sarah Bluher ’13 is conducting her senior thesis on the stratigraphy, geochemistry and geochronology of Siluro-Devonian carbonate beds in upstate New York. Specifically, she is looking at temporal and spatial gradients in the trace element and carbon and oxygen isotope composition of shells preserved in ash bound limestone beds.
Charlotte Conner '14 is conducting a Junior thesis focused on the forensic geoarchaeology of the materials used to build the ancient city of Marion (7th-4th century BCE) in Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus. Specifically, she is using a combination of trace elements, δ13C, δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr to fingerprint specific building materials and link them to ancient quarries in Cyprus and abroad.
Previous Group Members
Nick Swanson-Hysell *11 currently is a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Rock Magnetism (University of Minnesota) under the supervision of Josh Feinberg. The focus of his work at the IRM involves generating paleomagnetic intensity records from 1.1 billion year old mafic volcanic rocks in Ontario and South Africa. Before starting his Postdoc, Nick served as a visiting faculty member at Carleton College and taught Sedimentology. Nick Graduated from Princeton in September 2011 with a thesis entitled: Stratigraphic Records of Paleogeography, Climate and Ocean Chemistry from Two Late Proterozoic Basins. In July 2013, Nick will begin his new appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Science at UC Berkeley. PhD Thesis
Catherine Rose *12 currently is the Steve Fossett Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University, collaborating with David Fike. Catherine graduated from Princeton in May 2012 with a thesis entitled Comings and Goings of the end-Cryogenian ice sheet: A stratigraphic study of the pre-, syn-, and post-glacial deposits, South Australia. PhD Thesis
Bob Kopp is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University, serves as the Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, and is an associate member of the graduate faculty of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Prior to his appointment at Rutgers, Bob served as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Policy and International Affairs. From 2007-2009, Bob was a STEP Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton with Michael Oppenheimer and Adam Maloof. During that time, Bob and Adam published papers on sea level during the last interglacial period, magnetization of Holocene platformal carbonates in the Bahamas, and Paleocene-Eocene boundary climate and ocean geochemical change recorded in marine sediments from the Atlantic margin of the US.
Ryan Ewing was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton in 2009-2010. While here, Ryan helped develop the aeolian curriculum and field trips for GEO 370/570 Sedimentology. He also drew on his expertise studying sand dunes on Earth and Mars, and began a project studying aeolian sediments deposited during the Marinoan glaciation, 640 million years ago. Ryan currently is an assistant professor at University of Alabama.
Claire Calmet spent a semester as a postdoc at Princeton in 2009. Initially trained as a population geneticist, and deeply interested in all aspects of Earth and Life History, she participated in the 3D modeling of pre-Marinoan fossils, and performed geochemical analyses on sediments from the Cryogenian period. Claire currently is working at a publishing house in Paris, France editing Earth and Life Science textbooks.
Amandine Katz - Amandine was a visiting M.S. student in Spring 2012 that studied the δ18O record of changing sea surface temperature and ice volume during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age. Specifically, she separated phosphate from the apatite teeth of ancient eel-like fish (conodonts) for the δ18O analyses, and she studied δ18O variability at very high temporal resolution, with up to 25 samples per shallowing-upward carbonate parasequence thought to define a glacial-interglacial cycle. She also studied the lateral variability of δ18O as carbonate lithofacies change on lengthscales of 0.1-10 km within individual carbonate parasequences.
Laura Poppick - After graduating from Bates College, Laura spent 2010-2011 at Princeton as the lab manager for Blair Schoene and Adam Maloof. Currently she is a graduate student in the science writing program at UC Santa Cruz.
Andrew Budnick '13 is conducting a senior thesis investigating the effects of the addition of a phosphorous cycle to ecosystem model ED2 under the supervision of David Medvigy and Lars Hedin. He spent the summer of 2012 conducting greenhouse experiments in Panama to measure the effects of shade, carbon dioxide, and nutrients, such as phosphorous and molybdenum on the growth and nitrogen fixation of common rainforest trees, for the purpose of testing the model.