Isotope Biogeochemistry

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Tristan Horner

Marine sediments are valuable historical archives that document the evolution of the Earth System. However, relating the geochemistry of certain sedimentary deposits back to the environment in which they formed is not necessarily straightforward, since the information recorded can be ‘blurred’ by additional processes taking place during and after deposition (e.g., biomineralization artifacts, overprinting by diagenesis, misidentified control variable). Thus, it is imperative to conduct studies in diverse modern marine environments to fully appreciate how the chemistry of the geological record is ‘written’.

Student projects in the NIRVANA Lab will use a range of multi-element geochemical (e.g., trace element abundances) and/or stable-isotopic techniques (e.g., Ba-, Cd-, Fe-, Tl-, V-, and Zn-isotopic analyses) to probe the ‘language’ of the geological record with the goal of using these tools to understand the evolution of primary productivity, ocean redox, and nutrient recycling through Earth History.

NIRVANA research group