Research InterestsResearch Interests
I am interested in the role of climate change in the evolution of organisms and ecosystems. More specifically, I am interested in the way that changes in the cycling of oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen cause organismal responses to global warming events. My undergraduate honors thesis focused on examining changes in global terrestrial mammal diversity through the Miocene Climatic Optimum (14mya) and the Pliocene rebound (5.3 to 2.58 mya) in temperatures. For my PhD dissertation, I am continuing my previous research on the Pliocene warming event but with a focus on the response of marine invertebrates. My research focuses on the response of mollusc communities to Pliocene climate change. I also utilize stable isotope proxies (carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen) from calcareous microfossils (Foraminifera) and sediment to determine the environmental drivers of observed organismal responses. A thorough analysis of the response of nearshore marine communities to geologically recent global warming events could help elucidate biological responses to future climate change.