Our Group

Leanne Elder, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate 2016-Present

Laboratory Manager 2013-2015

I currently study how climate change, both past and present, impacts the biology and ecology of foraminifera. I developed methods for semi-3D digitization of microfossils used in the Hull lab’s brute-force community morphometrics technique (AutoMorph). We are quantifying the contributions of macroevolutionary and ecological processes in the context of environmental change to determine the drivers of morphological change. I am also interested in how body size evolution is influenced by temperature and oxygenation and how those factors impact organismal metabolic rates.

Michael Henehan, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate 2014-Present

My research centres around the reconstruction of climate and ocean-atmosphere carbonate system conditions in the past (primarily the Palaeocene and Late Cretaceous) using geochemical proxies (e.g. boron, oxygen and carbon isotopes, and trace element composition) in foraminifera. I am also interested in the calibration and ground truthing of these geochemical proxies through live culturing, inorganic precipitation experiments, and core-top calibration.

Donald Penman, PhD

Flint Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-Present

My research focuses on the interplay between Earth’s climate and the fluxes of carbon from the lithosphere into the atmosphere, ocean, and finally into sediments. As the oceans represent the largest surficial reservoir of carbon, characterizing the marine carbon cycle is crucial to understanding the long-term regulation of atmospheric pCO2 and climate.

I am trained in a suite of inorganic proxies for carbonate chemistry and climatic parameters preserved in geological archives, particularly deep-sea sediment cores from the Cenozoic.

Janet Burke

PhD Student            2014-Present

My areas of interest include paleoecology, oceanography and macroevolution. My goal is to study the effects of climate change events on evolutionary trajectories and community structure and function throughout time. I also hope to gain knowledge of the biology and ecology of planktonic foraminifera as well as the methods for analyzing foraminiferal assemblages from the past and present.

Shuang Zhang

PhD Student            2015-present

My current research focuses on testing and applying the boron isotope-pH proxy to reconstruct the carbonate system in past oceans and past atmospheric pCO2. Shallow modern marine carbonates and planktonic foraminifera from the Eocene (e.g., during the MECO) are my primary focus. My other research interests include organic carbon degassing during metamorphism and mineral carbonation in ultramafic/mafic rocks.

Sophie Westacott

PhD Student            2016-present

I’m interested in mass extinctions, their recovery intervals, and the interplay between the biosphere and the geosphere surrounding those events. I’m also interested in fossil preservation and how it affects our understanding of the fossil record.

Daniel Gaskell

PhD Student            2016-present

I am broadly interested in how marine ecosystems respond and adapt to environmental pressures, with a view towards understanding how to best manage modern-day marine ecosystems and natural resources. In particular, I am interested in developing and using high-throughput techniques to analyze foraminiferal assemblages and geochemical data on a global scale. My past work has centered around using fossilized teeth to investigate how fish populations respond to abrupt climate change.


Independent study/ Thesis students:

Jack Shaw 2016-present ‘Bleaching’ across early Eocene hyperthermals
Maddie Shankle 2013-present Volcanic glass in marine sediments

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Francine Rois-Fetchko 2016-present
Christian Hart 2016-present
Than Minh Tran 2014-present

Former Postdoctoral Researchers:

Allison Hsiang 2014-2016 current info & whereabouts linked here
Simon D’haenens 2014-2016 current info & whereabouts linked here
David Evans 2015-2016 current info & whereabouts linked here
Luke Strotz 2016 current info & whereabouts linked here

Former Interns & Independent Study Students:

Romy Carpenter (Research 2016: Long Island Sound Invert. Physiology), Casey Culligan (Independent Research [high schooler] 2015-2016: Planktonic foraminiferal shape evolution),  Chris Bowman (Research & Thesis Student 2015-2016: Isotopic sensitivity of Eocene foraminifera),  Paige Breen (Research & Thesis Student 2014-2016: Middle Eocene isotopic community structure),  Sara Kahanamoku-Snelling (STARS II Fellow & Thesis Student 2014-2016: Macroecology of foraminifera and limpets),  Rain Tsong (Research & Thesis Student 2014-2016: Middle Eocene paleoceanography & Li Isotopes), Megan Mikenas (Summer Intern & Independent Study 2014-2015: Ecological response to the K-Pg),  Volkan Özen (Summer Intern 2014: Boron isotopes across the K-Pg),  Yusu Liu (Independent Study 2013-2014: Bioinformatics of shape),  Liana Epstein (Thesis Student 2013-2014: Geochemistry of the K-Pg),  Samantha Lichtin (Independent Study 2013-2014: High throughput shape),  Frances (Yuchen) Lui (Independent Study 2013-2014: Atlantic foraminifera)


Former Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Molly Mullen (2013-2016), Emma Tipton (2013-2016), Corrin Laposki (2014-2016), Rachelle Graham (2014-2016), Rebecca Dendy (2013-2015), Joanne Zhenheng Li (2013-2015), Saad Syed (2014-2016), Sergio Lopez-Valdez (2015), Katherine Bradley (2014), ​Kevin Ennis (2014), Jason Entgelmeier (2014)Ivy Nyayieka (2014), Susan Rundell (2014), Adam Sokol (2014), Nicholas Shintaro Ten (2014), Sophia Kecskes (2013-2014), Yumi Koga (2013-2014), Emma Speer (2013-2014), Juan Aragon (2013), Sofia Carrera (2013), Shalila de Bourmont (2013), Mina Himwich (2013), XinXin Xu (2013), Sarah Gilbert (2012-2013)


Former Evolutions Students & Mentors:

Evolutions 2016: Gabriela Villanueva, Aaliyah Shabazz

Evolutions 2015: Ahmad Keita, Janae McMillan, Juhi Nath, Diego Ospina

Evolutions 2014: Zariah Altman, George Baldwin, Meeshali Patel, Sywia Zambrycka

Evolutions 2013: Jenna LaFontaine, Kurt LoPresto, Amanda Plaza

Evolutions Undergraduate Mentors: Matt Ormrod (2013-2014), Jennifer Messervy (2015), Georgienna Driver (2016)