Students and Postdocs

Graduate Students

Kateyln Gray

Katelyn is developing a terrestrial climate proxy for the hydrological cycle by applying phosphate oxygen isotope and clumped isotope methods to modern gar fish scales. By elucidating how changes in Earth’s heat distribution affects the cycling of its water, she plans to address climate questions from across the K-Pg boundary as well as during past greenhouse climates using fossil gar scales.

James Super

James Super’s research focuses on the use of light stable isotopes and biomarkers to evaluate the evolution of climate from the Miocene to the Pliocene.

Robin Canavan

Robin is interested in the distribution of heat during “Greenhouse” climates and uses geochemical proxies including clumped isotopes and TEX86 to reconstruct latitudinal temperature gradients in the past. Current research projects involve both Cretaceous and Eocene records of sea surface temperatures and Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate paleoecology.

Courtney Warren

Courtney earned her B.A. in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Redlands’ Johnston Center in 2007. Her research interests include interactions between dynamic biological and inorganic systems and the investigation and application of compound-specific biogeochemical proxies to evaluate climatic and evolutionary changes within the geological record.

Former Students and Postdocs

Yi Ge Zhang

Yige earned his B.S. in Geochemistry at Nanjing University in 2007, followed by a M.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of Georgia in 2009. He’s interested in using geochemical proxies to reconstruct paleoclimate, as well as how how the biogeochemical cycling of gases (CO2, CH4, etc) and elements (Ca, Fe, etc) interacts with the climate system. He’s interested in climate changes from the timescale of tectonic to millennial as well, primarily in the Cenozoic. Current research projects involve Miocene climate reconstructions from both marine and terrestrial records.

Srinath Krishnan

Srinath’s work evaluated hydrological changes during rapid hyperthermal events during the Eocene, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ELMO and X-Event, using compound-specific hydrogen and carbon isotope records. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Yale Climate and Energy Institute working on a regional climate assessment of the Northeast States with Matt Huber at the University of New Hampshire.

Peter Douglas

Peter completed his Ph.D. in 2014 and is now working as a postdoc at Caltech.  His thesis applied biomarker and compound specific isotope proxies to constrain late Holocene hydrological variability in Central America and its effect on the Maya Civilization. 

Sitindra Dirghangi

Studied the biosynthetic hydrogen isotope fractionation of specific lipids for various eubacteria, protozoa, and archaea.

Micheal Hren

Michael was a Bateman Postdoctoral Fellow (2007-2009). He earned his B.A. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, followed by his Ph.D from Stanford University in 2007. His research at Yale was focused on applying compound specific stable isotopes and organic molecular temperature proxies to reconstruct the paleoclimate and paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada and Western U.S. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut.

Brett Tipple

Brett earned his B.S. in Geological Sciences from Indiana University in 2003. His Ph.D. was broadly focused on understanding the response of terrestrial plants to climate using plant-specific biomarkers and isotopic signatures. Research includes a variety of temporal and spatial scales and includes reconstructing the history of C4 photosynthesis, environmental controls on hydrogen and carbon isotope compositions of leaf waxes, and climate during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. He completed his Ph.D. in 2009 and is currently Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah.

Kate French

Kate was an Undergraduate Researcher and chemistry major who turned her attention toward geochemistry. Her senior thesis required her to travel to Italy to collect sediments that span a period of rapid global warming in the middle Eocene ~45 million years ago. The goal of her research is to reconstruct the character of sea-surface temperatures during warming, using a technique based on archaeal membrane lipids. She is now a Ph.D. graduate student at MIT/WHOI.

Zhonghui Liu

Zhonghui received his Ph.D from Brown University and was a Bateman Postdoctoral Researcher between 2006-2008. Part of his work focused on carbon dioxide and temperature reconstruction for the past 5 million years with particular attention on the global warmth of the early Pliocene. Another project evaluated temperature and carbon dioxide records across the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition ~34 million years ago. He now is a faculty member at Hong Kong University.

Nikolai Pedentchouk

Nikolai received his Ph.D. from Penn State University and was a Bateman Postdoctoral Fellow between 2004-2006. His efforts at Yale included evaluating the isotopic composition of leaf wax biomarkers at an experimental set-up in Eastern Washington State, USA and Arctic hydrological conditions during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. He is now a Lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

Steve Meyers

Steve received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and was a Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Postdoctoral Fellow between 2003-2005. He has broad research interests that span the mechanisms of climate change, the controls on the global carbon cycle, and the measurement of geologic time (geochronology). At Yale, Steve focused on establishing spatial patterns of climate change related to the North Atlantic Oscillation using tree ring data and a variety of advanced spectral methods. Meyers is now an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Sara Enders

Sara is currently a doctoral student at the University of California, Davis. Her Yale undergraduate research, published in Limnology and Oceanography, required her to travel to Colorado and sample high alpine lake sediments in the Rocky Mountain National Park in order to evaluate changes in nutrient supply related to regional climate changes over the past 50 years. This work applied three compound-specific isotope systems to determine changes in nitrate, lichen growth rates, and hydrology.

David Zinniker

David Zinniker received his Ph.D from Stanford University and was a Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Postdoctoral Fellow between 2006-2008. He is an organic geochemist with interests in terrestrial biogeochemistry and petroleum geology. While at Yale, David Zinniker studied  biomarker distributions and isotopic compositions of pack rat middens in the southwest USA.