Our team’s objective is to understand how the environment responded to regional tectonic changes and global and regional climate change throughout the Miocene. We use climate modelling techniques, along with stable isotope and organic geochemistry, paleobotany, and ecometrics, to evaluate the relationships between ecology at the site level and basin-scale climate.
- Stable isotope geochemistry: Analysis of carbonates, fossil enamel, and plant wax biomarkers that preserve paleoenvironmental isotope signatures enables estimates of precipitation source and water balance (from δ18O, δ2H), vegetation cover type (δ13C), and temperature of formation (Δ47).
- Paleobotany: Analysis of plant micro- and macrofossils includes pollen, phytoliths, leaves, and fossil wood to reconstruct vegetation types, often to family or tribe level for grasses, will allow for ecosystem reconstructions. These will be coupled with stable isotope data from carobonates, teeth, and biomarkers as well as molecular distributions of plant waxes.
- Ecometrics: Statistical evaluation of faunal communities provides insight to population and diversity changes over time, in response to environmental changes