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Kathryn Pauls

Teaching Asst-Doct
Geosciences - General
 Lapham Hall 332

Advisor: Dr. John Isbell

Research Interests: My research focuses on a high-latitude shelf edge to slope fauna from the Tepuel-Genoa Basin in Chubut Province in Patagonia, Argentina in order to better understand the responses of a high-latitude fauna to changing environmental conditions, and to develop a more robust understanding of climate change and its impacts on the biosphere during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA). I work with Dr. Margaret Fraiser and Dr. John Isbell to recreate the paleocommunities as well as the varying depositional environments in the Pampa de Tepuel Formation in the Tepuel Basin. Most of the known LPIA marine faunal data come from low-latitudinal regions, and have been used as a global proxy. However, modern organisms in the tropics and polar regions respond differently to changing climate, and the same can be proposed for paleocommunities during the LPIA. The Tepuel Basin contains a nearly-continuous depositional history during the LPIA, and holds the potential to provide in-depth insight into the collapse of the LPIA. The changes and adaptations of the biota can also serve as a proxy for understanding future trends in Earth’s climate system. By continuing research on the LPIA, we may be better able to understand the fundamental factors of species and ecosystem instability because of the substantial environmental and climatic shifts that occurred.