Research

Climate controls on submarine volcanism:

Large scale continental glaciations transfer large masses of water from the oceans onto land, changing sea level by over 100 meters between interglacial and glacial periods during the Pleistocene. Such water mass transfers change the overlying pressure above mid-ocean ridges and may alter the rate of melt production and volcanic output observed in submarine volcanic systems.
 
Do rapid sea level changes affect the output of submarine hydrothermal systems? I am addressing this question by measuring trace element concentrations (including Fe and Cu, among others) and mass accumulation rates (determined using the extraterrestrial helium-3 constant flux proxy) of marine sediment cores collected near mid-ocean ridges to build records of hydrothermal vent output across Pleistocene glacial cycles.
 
Recent results from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge suggest that hydrothermal systems DO respond to rapid sea level change.
 

Ice Age variability in dust delivery to the oceans:

Sedimentary archives of dust delivery to the open ocean can be used to investigate changes in continental aridity, atmospheric circulation, mineral aerosol burden, and nutrient delivery to the marine environment over a wide range of climatic conditions. I use the same data sets generated to study hydrothermal systems to constrain variability in dust delivery to the Mid-Atlantic and examine its implications for African climatic conditions over the last glacial cycle.

Ice sheet stability:

I am interested in the stability of Antarctic ice sheets over periods of climatic change. An additional component of my graduate work is to constrain the behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the past ~5 million years using cosmogenic exposure dating of rock samples collected above and below the ice in the Trans-Antarctic Mountains.