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PhD projects

Investigating the timing, extent and significance of Quaternary glaciations in Patagonia

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Research Interests

I am interested in Quaternary paleoclimate research and understanding natural climate change. In this regard, I focus on geochronology and glacial geomorphology. I want to understand when and why glaciers and ice sheets expanded and contracted or thickened and thinned in the past. This sort of firm geologic data of past change is crucial to understanding the climate system and what future changes we can expect in a warming world.

I measure the concentration of cosmogenic nuclides such as 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, 21Ne and 14C that have accumulated in Earth surface sediments. Doing so enables me to answer a range of questions regarding both paleoclimate and Earth surface processes. For example, you will see in the brief project descriptions below, I have been able to determine the timing of major advances of the Patagonian Ice Sheet throughout the Pleistocene, the rate at which the Patagonian landscape is eroding and lowering through time, and the amount and timing of thinning of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Weddell Sea region. My research is interdisciplinary; it involves collaborations with geologists, geomorphologists, palaeoecologists and glacial modelers, and I have been fortunate enough to work with several accomplished collaborators in their respective fields. My research activities focus on two regions, Antarctica and southern South America. A brief description of some of these projects can be found below.

Check out our blog detailing our current (November 2012) Ellsworth Mountains Blue-ice project


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