New Paleo-biology, -Ecology, and Biogeochemistry Laboratory (PEBL)

The Paleo-biology, – Ecology, and Biogeochemistry Laboratory (PEBL) is a newly formed research space in the Department of Geosciences at UWM. PEBL research reflects the collaborative efforts of Drs. Margaret Fraiser, Stephen Dornbos, and Erik Gulbranson. Drs. Fraiser, Dornbos, and Gulbranson investigate the evolution of life, biogeochemical cycles, paleoclimatology, and marine and terrestrial paleoecology over vast expanses of geologic time across the world.

Examples of research projects currently underway include: the biogeochemistry of carbon and nitrogen in fossil wood towards paleoecologic reconstructions of fossil forests (Gulbranson), the nature of the Early Triassic “recovery” interval following the end-Permian biotic crisis (Fraiser), and the evolution complex animals and their paleoecology during their emergence in the “Cambrian explosion” (Dornbos).

Built upon several research spaces, PEBL includes a variety of microscopy instrumentation (Fraiser and Dornbos) and a versatile geochemistry laboratory (Gulbranson).


Laboratory analyses that can be accomplished at PEBL include: carbon isotope analysis of CO2 and CH4 from a variety of geologic materials and environmental settings; position-specific carbon isotope analysis of carbohydrates; carbonate petrography and FTIR tomography*; clay mineralogy and geochemistry*; dendrochronology; and major and trace element geochemistry of fossils, paleosols, and sedimentary rocks*.

* Denotes the use of supporting facilities in the College of Letters and Science.