My research is geared toward understanding global climate change, including current anthropogenic driven changes and past changes to the Earth System. I investigate the natural modes and underlying forcing mechanisms of past climate variability, with the goal of developing a better understanding of how the Earth System responds to natural and human-induced perturbations.
I’m interested in the ways that environmental and climatic information becomes incorporated into the lipids of living organisms and preserved in the geological record, and I take advantage of these mechanisms to examine past environmental change. Lake sediments are comprehensive archives of changes that have taken place through time, and they allow valuable and quantitative reconstructions of past environmental parameters. I use organic compounds and the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen found in them, to reconstruct past climates and environments.