My research interests combine biogeochemistry with sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoceanography, and paleobiology. Specifically, I use stable isotopes (primarily carbon and sulfur) and associated fractionations to understand the chemical and biological evolution of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. My previous research has focused on the linkages of tectonics, oceanography, and climate change to the carbon cycle by looking at strontium, neodymium, and carbon isotopic evolution of Earth’s oceans. I am also focused the causes major transitional periods of Earth’s climate state that have often been associated with mass extinction events. Since being at Indiana University I have been working on mass independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in early Earth history (Paleoproterozoic) and this record relates to oxidation of the atmosphere and/or sulfate reduction pathways associated with organic rich sediments and hydrothermal fluids. Another research project is on the roles of hydrogen sulfide and subsequent sulfide mineralization in preservation of soft tissues in the geologic record. Recent research projects have involved studies of the biogeochemical cycles of sulfur in modern extreme aquatic environments in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica and southwestern Greenland as both are potential analogues for life on Mars and/or icy planetary bodies. My most recent research project is focused on methane and sulfur biogeochemical cycling in western Greenland peatlands and thermokarst lake environments as an analogue for trace gas emissions on Mars.
I have had experience as a primary instructor for Sedimentology & Stratigraphy, Stable Isotope Geochemistry, and Earth: Our Habitable Planet (Earth Systems Science for non-majors course). I have also been a guest- and/or co-instructor for Paleontology & Geology of Indiana, Historical Geology, Physical Geology, Introduction to Paleobiology, and the History of Life on Earth.
*I am currently searching for an academic faculty position where my passions for teaching and research can continue to coalesce to educate people about the fascinating world of Earth Sciences, and to train future generations of geoscientists.