- Paleoecological change across extinction events
- low oxygen communities and the sedimentological
- geochemical and biological record of environmental conditions
- Paleozoic paleoecology
- inorganic geochemistry
My students and I are working to better understand the dynamics of the end Devonian Mass Extinction Events. This particular series of events, despite resulting in dramatic losses in diversity and ecological restructuring of marine communities, is poorly understood. I am using a combination of fossil and geochemical evidence to reconstruct bottom water oxygen levels through these intervals. Anoxia, or the absence of oxygen, has widely been cited as a potential kill mechanism. My research is testing at high resolution the potential impacts of oxygen stress on marine communities through a multi-proxy approach.
I am also working with students on the incredibly fossil rich Ordovician carbonate deposits of the Trenton Group in central New York. These units preserve a large diversity of invertebrate body fossils in a range of community structures. We are investigating specific groups of fossils as well as how the overall community structure reflects variations in climatic conditions.