Timothy M Shanahan

Timothy M Shanahan
Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Email: tshanahan@jsg.utexas.edu
Work: +1 512 232 7051
Office: JGB 5.202
Mailcode: C1100

I am interested in the study of past climate variability and its impacts on annual to millennial to orbital timescales. My research combines the use of a variety of geochemical and stable isotopic tools to reconstruct past climate variability in sediment records and climate model output to understand the physical mechanisms behind these changes – to improve our understanding of how and why the climate system changes. I am currently the co-director of the Analytical Laboratory for Paleoclimate Studies (with Terry Quinn).

Click here for the Shanahan Research Group Website (www.jsg.utexas.edu/paleoclimatology-environmental-geochemistry-lab/)

Click here for the ALPS website (www-udc.ig.utexas.edu/external/facilities/alps/)

I attended Brown University as an undergraduate, where I worked on diffusion experiments with Bruno Giletti and coring lake sediments on Cape Cod with Tom Webb. After a brief stint with the USGS and Industry, I returned to get my MS in Hydrology at the University of Arizona doing cosmogenic 36Cl dating of glacial moraines in East Africa with Marek Zreda. I did my PhD with Jonathan Overpeck in Geosciences at Arizona, working on the Lake Bosumtwi (Ghana) crater drilling project and then was a NOAA/WHOI postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Chemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, working with Konrad Hughen. I have been at The University of Texas at Austin since 2009.

Areas of Expertise

The Shanahan research group uses a combination of geochemical and stable isotopic proxy reconstructions of past climate, in combination with climate model simulations, to understand past and future climate change. Our primary focus is the use of organic geochemical and stable isotopic techniques applied to marine, lacustrine and terrestrial sediment records to understand changes on timescales ranging from interannual to millennial, and orbital to tectonic. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our research website.


Research Locations



Kavli Fellow - National Academy of Sciences (2012)

NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship - NOAA (2006)

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2006)

NSF-IGERT research traineeship in Anthropology (2003)

McGinnies Fellowship for Arid Lands Studies, U. Arizona (2002)

NSF research traineeship in hydrology (1997)

Outstanding Graduating Senior, Dept. of Geosciences, Brown U. (1994)

National Association Of Geology Teachers Undergraduate Award (1994)

Sigma Xi (1994)

Graduate Students

Erin M Keenan Early (Co-supervisor)
My research explores the use of geomolecular and biomolecular methodologies to address paleoenvironmental and paleoecological questions. Specifically I am researching the use of proteomics as applied to faunal material as a means of species identification and I am exploring the applications of brGDGTs recovered from various sources to aid in paleotemperature reconstruction. My work is largely restricted to the Quaternary,...

Natasha Piatrunia (Supervisor)
I am interested in using organic biological markers (biomarker) and stable isotope geochemistry to understand past changes in the climate on a variety of timescales. My Ph.D. research focuses on using branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (br-GDGTs) and hydrogen isotopes in leaf waxes of terrestrial plants in finely laminated lacustrine sediments from the North Island of New Zealand to generate...

Victoria L Todd (Supervisor)

Chijun Sun, Ph.D., 2021 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences

Veronica Anderson, Ph.D., 2015 (Supervisor)

Travis Wicks, M.S., 2013 (Supervisor)


Megadroughts in the tropics: insights from the geological record, National Academy of Sciences Kavli Symposium: Indonesia, Solo, Indonesia (2012)

New constraints on the use of IP25 as a paleo-sea ice proxy, First workshop of the PAGES Sea Ice Proxy (SIP) working group on the basis of sea ice proxies, Montreal (2012)

Megadroughts, abrupt climate changes and ecosystem feedbacks in the West African monsoon, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York (2011)

Ecosystem feedbacks and changes in the West African monsoon, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2011)

Abrupt climate change and ecosystem feedbacks in the West African monsoon, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (2011)

Abrupt climate change and ecosystem feedbacks in the West African monsoon, Texas Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, TX (2011)

Megadroughts, abrupt climate changes and ecosystem feedbacks in the West African monsoon, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (2011)

ICDP Drilling at Lake Bosumtwi: Progress and challenges, Workshop on drilling of East African Lakes, Brown University, RI (2011)

Late Holocene megadroughts and temperature changes in the tropics: coherent century-scale climate variability across the tropics, American Geophysical Union annual meeting, San Francisco, CA (2011)

Lakes as archives of environmental change in Southeast Asia, Greater Mekong Delta meeting, Cambodia (2010)

Two millennia of climate change in tropical West Africa: a review., First workshop of the PAGES Africa 2k working group, Ghent, Belgium (2010)

YearSemesterCourse
2020Fall GEO 391 Paleoclimatology-Wb
2020Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology-Wb
2020Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2019Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2019Spring GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2018Fall GEO 391 Paleoclimatology
2018Fall GEO 371T Paleoclimatology
2018Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2018Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2018Spring GEO 291 Paleoclimate Seminar
2018Spring GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2017Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Fall GEO 291 Paleoclimate Seminar
2017Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2017Spring GEO 291 Paleoclimate Seminar
2017Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Spring GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2016Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Fall GEO 391 Paleoclimatology
2016Fall GEO 191 Paleoclimate Topics Seminar
2016Fall GEO 371T Paleoclimatology
2016Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2016Spring GEO 391 Paleoclimatology
2016Spring GEO 291 Current Topics Paleoclimate
2016Spring GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2015Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2015Spring GEO 302C Climate: Past, Present, Future
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Environmental Change
2014Fall GEO 391 Paleoclimatology
2014Fall GEO 303 Introduction To Geology
2014Spring GEO 302C Climate: Past, Present, Future

Undergraduate Positions

Stable isotopes as hydroclimatic indicators
I am looking for an undergraduate student researcher to work on the analysis of stable isotopes in natural waters and plant materials. No experience necessary. The student researcher will be trained in extracting water samples on a vacuum system and analysis of stable isotopes using a laser spectrometer. Depending on progress, there may be opportunities to publish this research

 

Paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rocky Mountains
I am looking for one or more undergraduate student researchers to work on paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rockies using geochemical indicators in lake sediments. No experience necessary. Depending on progress, there will be opportunities to publish.