As a doctoral scientist, I focused on the intersection between climate science, oceanography and paleoecology. My doctoral work has revealed that seafloor ecosystems and subsurface zones of dissolved oxygen are abruptly disturbed and reorganized by orbital and millennial climate events. Paleoclimate science directly informs the fundamental ideas of anthropogenic climate change. As anthropogenic climate change progresses, there is a clear scientific imperative to identify and investigate previous events of abrupt climate warming in Earth’s history. The global carbon and climate system is strongly regulated by the biogeochemistry of ocean systems; this means that ocean history is climate history.
My doctoral research has investigated how the California Current Oxygen Minimum Zone expanded into very shallow waters during the recent deglaciation (<300 m), and that this deoxygenation event occurred on a 10-100 year timeline. My work has also described how continental biodiversity is dramatically impacted by OMZ expansion and climate change. I have worked to integrate modern ecology and oceanography into a paleoceaongraphic context, in order to produce science that is directly relevant to understanding our changing world.