My research focuses on the study and reconstruction of marine and lacustrine Quaternary climates, primarily through the application of foraminiferal geochemistry (trace element and stable isotope) and other micropaleontology and geochemistry techniques. I am particularly interested in using proxies for climate response such as temperature and seawater carbonate chemistry to study the effect of climatic forcings on marine systems and the role of oceans in the climate system.
My PhD work focused particularly on improving and applying a proxy for past seawater carbonate chemistry (the planktic foraminiferal B/Ca proxy). Such proxies are needed to study and quantify the past response of the ocean to changing CO2 concentrations and the range of past natural carbonate system variability in different areas and the ecosystem response, which are questions made particularly urgent by modern anthropogenic CO2 release and resulting ocean acidification. In this work, I generated new empirical coretop-based calibrations of the planktic foraminiferal B/Ca proxy in the Pacific Ocean, which I in turn used to quantify the changes in surface water carbonate chemistry and temperature from the most recent deglaciation to present in the near-coastal northeast Pacific (a southern California upwelling-influenced area). Another portion of my PhD studied the relatives roles of climate and human activity in varying fire history in northern Israel using geochemical and microscopy techniques.
In my current work, I am expanding and applying trace elemental and stable isotope proxies for past seawater conditions (temperature, salinity, oxygenation, carbonate chemistry) in benthic foraminifera from the Baltic Sea to reconstruct conditions over the past glacial-interglacial cycle. This region has experienced dramatic environmental changes linked to global and regional climate cycles and serves as a valuable archive for northern European climate, but quantitative reconstruction of seawater conditions has been limited by a lack of appropriate proxies for marginal marine environments. My work uses cultured Baltic foraminifera to generate new proxy calibrations for this region and applies them to the past glacial cycle using cores from IODP/ECORD Expedition 347 to study links between northern European and North Atlantic climate.
Our initial report from IODP Expedition 347 (Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment, 2013-2014) can be accessed here: http://publications.iodp.org/proceedings/347/347toc.htm
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