Mailing address: PO Box 208109, New Haven CT 06520-8109
Street address: 210 Whitney Ave., New Haven CT 06511
I am interested in the co-evolution of life and environments. I investigate the relationship between Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological records through geologic time. Physical features of sedimentary rocks and biogeochemical signatures provide evidence of paleoenvironments, allowing us to learn how Earth has changed. I explore how these environmental proxies correlate with changing morphologies and inferred physiologies of fossils, to further understand how life and environments have evolved together.
To date my research has centered on the Neoproterozoic Era (1000-541 Ma), a period that saw large perturbations in both environment and biology. In particular, I have worked on probable new records of eukaryotic diversity within the Scottish Dalradian Supergroup.
I have recently initiated new projects in southwestern Mongolia and Scotland using experimental, analytical and field methods to investigate taphonomy of eukaryotic microfossils during both the Neoproterozoic Era and during the Cambrian Period when biomineralising forms diversified. Specifically I am interested in the role that clay minerals play in organic fossil preservation. Understanding the preservational biases enables us to reconstruct patterns of diversity temporally with respect to environmental change and to refine biostratigraphy of these intervals.
Other areas of active research include the visual system and ecological role of Silurian eurypterids, biological and physical controls on modern ooid formation, and late Ediacaran tectonics of the Avalonia terrane in Newfoundland, Canada.
NASA Astrobiology Institute - Foundations of Complex Life Team (MIT)