Projects

We have lots of ongoing projects, some funded and some (hopefully funded in the future). Here is a sampling. If you are a prospective graduate or undergraduate student and these projects sound interesting, feel free to contact me at tshanahan@jsg.utexas.edu.

 

colombia lake

Holocene climate variability in the equatorial Andes

Status: Ongoing

Funding: Pending

Opportunities: Currently looking for PhD students

This work is focused on high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions of the equatorial Andes from a series of varved lakes in Colombia using a combination of varve thickness and biomarker (leaf wax dD and brGDGTs) approaches in combination with cosmogenic surface exposure dating of glacial deposits. Preliminary work (Bixler MS thesis) has demonstrated that these records contain reliable temperature and precipitation records (in prep) – future work will focus on extending these records beyong the last millennia and connecting paleoclimate variations to the Holocene glacial record.

 

Controls on drought risk and hydroclimate variability over the last two millennia in the southwestern US

Status: Ongoing

Collaborative with C. Routson (UA/NAU), J. Overpeck, C. Woodhouse (UA)

Funding: Preliminary funding from NOAA, additional funding pending

Opportunities: Currently looking for MS/PhD students

Remote alpine lakes from the Colorado rockies preserve remarkable, high resolution records of changing precipitation, temperature highlighting the importance of land surface feedbacks on the availability of winter moisture sources (Routson in prep). This work will continue this work to provide better constraints on the spatiotemporal characteristics of changing temperature, precipitation and drought across this critical part of the SW USA.

Fish Lake

 

Zhada

Late Miocene climate variability in the Zhada Basin, Tibet

Status: Ongoing

Collaborative with Joel Saylor, U Houston

Funding: NSF Sedimentary Geology

Opportunities: Currently looking for undergraduate student workers

This project, led by Joel Saylor at the University of Houston, seeks to examine the magnitude and character of late Miocene orbital scale climate variability in lacustrine sedimentary sequences from the Zhada Basin, Tibet. In conjunction with ongoing work on the fossil record from this region, this project seeks to connect climate variability with changes in tectonics, the environment and ecology.

 

Millenial scale variability in the West African monsoon

Status: Ongoing

Collaborative with Nick McKay, NAU

Funding: pending

Opportunities: Currently looking for interested PhD students

We are continuing our work on the paleoclimate record from Lake Bosutmwi, Ghana, a remarkable, high resolution (varved) archive of past climate variability in this drought sensitive region. Building upon several studies about to be published, we plan to extend the varve and biomarker records from this site to the last interglacial, with an emphasis on millennial to century scale abrupt climate changes.

Bos-pivia