Breecker is interested in pursuing a process-based understanding of the critical zone with a focus on the formation of calcium carbonates in soils and caves and the stabilization of organic carbon in soils. Goals include improving and developing paleoclimate proxies and better understanding changes in climate and the carbon cycle across a range of timescales.

Areas of Expertise

Soil biogeochemistry, calcic soils, stable isotope geochemistry


Research Locations



Current Research Programs & Projects

Calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer for vertic paleosols by monitoring soil CO2 in modern Vertisols


Graduate Teaching Award (for Proposal Writing class) - Jackson School of Geosciences (2011)

NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Science Foundation (2008 - 2009)

Outstanding Ph.D. student - Earth and Planetary Science Department (UNM) (2008)

Frank E. Kottlowski Award - New Mexico Geological Society (2004)

Outstanding Teaching Assistant - the University of New Mexico (2004)

Outstanding M.S. student - Earth and Planetary Science Department (UNM) (2004)

Vincent C. Kelley Graduate Fellowship - Earth and Planetary Science Department (UNM) (2004 - 2007)

Robert Wellnitz Scholarship for excellence in field research - New Mexico Geological Society (2003)

Outstanding Beginning Teaching Assistant - Earth and Planetary Science Department (UNM) (2003)

John Mason Clarke 1877 Fellowship - Amherst College (2002 - 2004)

Magna cum Laude - Amherst College (2001)

Pond Prize for Most Distinguished Thesis in Geology - Amherst College Department of Geology (2001)

Postdocs

Elizabeth J Cassel
The interactions between tectonics, climate, and erosion; Earth surface processes; tectonic geomorphology; stable isotope geochemistry and its applications to paleo-elevation, -climate, and -hydrology; fluvial and alluvial depositional environments; sediment provenance and drainage evolution through detrital mineral geochronology; sedimentology and stratigraphy; major, trace element, rare earth element, and stable isotope compositions of volcanic glass; Laramide tectonics and drainage system responses.


Graduate Students

Peter E Carlson, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Co-supervisor)

John G Warden, Ph.D., expected 2015 (Supervisor)

Colin J McNeece (Committee Member)

Lacey Pyle, M.S., 2012 (Supervisor)

Kyle Meyer, M.S., 2012 (Supervisor)

Junyeon Yoon (Supervisor)

Nate Meyer, M.S. (Supervisor)


Calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer, Royal Society of London, Kavli Royal Society International Centre (2011)

Seasonality of soil carbonate formation: Implications for reconstructing paleoelevations and paleoatmospheric CO2, the University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2011)

Modern soils and ancient atmospheric CO2: calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (2010)

Modern soils and ancient atmospheric CO2: calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer, the University of Hawaii, (2010)

Modern soils and ancient atmospheric CO2: calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer, Baylor University, Waco, TX (2010)

The stable isotope composition of CO2 in soils and caves: investigating processes in the critical zone, the University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, (2009)

The stable isotope composition of CO2 in soils and caves: investigating processes in the critical zone, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Geological Sciences, (2009)

Extreme conditions of pedogenic carbonate formation: Implications for reconstructing paleoenvironments, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (2008)

Extreme conditions of pedogenic carbonate formation: Implications for reconstructing paleoenvironments, the University of Houston, (2008)

Extreme conditions of pedogenic carbonate formation: Implications for reconstructing paleoenvironments, the University of Texas at Austin, (2008)

Calibrating pedogenic carbonate as a paleoenvironmental indicator, Los Alamos National Laboratory, (2008)

Improved understanding of soil carbonate formation reveals sensitivity of Earth’s climate to atmospheric CO2, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM (2008)

YearSemesterCourse
2015Spring GEO 376E/GEO 388H Environmental Isotope Geochem
2015Spring GEO 191 Proposal Writing
2015Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2014Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2014Spring GEO 191 Proposal Writing
2014Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2013Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2013Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2013Spring GEO 376E/GEO 388H Environmental Isotope Geochem
2013Spring GEO 191 Proposal Writing
2013Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2012Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2012Fall GEO 376E/GEO 388H Environmental Isotope Geochem
2012Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem
2012Spring GEO 191 Proposal Writing
2012Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Stbl Isotp Biogeochem