Needle in a haystack
The chemical composition of the calcite shells of foraminifera preserved in deep sea sediments hold a wealth of information about the past temperature and chemistry of the oceans, which in turn provides clues about the role of the ocean in carbon cycling and climate. In many deep sea sediments, the assemblage of shells is dominated by planktonic foraminifera that dwell near the ocean’s surface. Rarer are the shells of benthic foraminifera that live in the sediments on the ocean floor and record the conditions of bottom waters. By looking at the chemical composition of fossil planktonic and benthic foraminfera we can begin to piece together a three dimensional view of the ocean chemistry, temperature and circulation through time.
These pages highlight paleoceanography and paleoclimate work of our group. My own interest in past climate change and an interest in environmental issues has recently drawn me to ALSO work more squarely within environmental science related to present climate change and disruption of natural biogeochemical cycles, including the carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions. My focus in this area has been on the impact of agriculture at regional and global scales. To accommodate growing research interest in this area, I have created a second research group in environment, food and agriculture; you can find details here.