Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics, Yale University
M.S., Geosciences, Virginia Tech
B.A., Geology, Macalester College
Areas of Expertise
Stable Isotope Trophic Analyses using Nitrogen and Carbon
The goal of my research is to study ecological responses to natural and anthropogenic
environmental disturbances. In particular, I use the fossil record as a natural laboratory
to test ecological and evolutionary responses that operate at timescales beyond direct
human observation and I determine the pristine ecological baseline of modern ecosystems
in need of conservation or restoration. Research approaches that I employ include:
- Evaluation of multiple stressors in Long Island Sound, specifically commercial fishing,
eutrophication, and hypoxia, by combining modern geochemical evidence with that from
live (and recently dead) organisms, archaeological shell middens, and Holocene fossils.
- Stable isotopes (N and C) to evaluate trophic position (i.e., predatory versus omnivore)
of modern drilling gastropods.
- Taphonomic and feeding experiment approaches that evaluate the amount and kinds of
data we can reliably obtain from shells, including changes in predatory behavior,
predator identity, and predation intensity.
- Morphometric analyses to study placement of predatory drill-holes to investigate changes
in predator-prey interactions and evolutionary trends.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and PaleoGIS, including the study of how abiotic
and biotic factors govern species distribution and species extinctions in deep time.