Associate Professor Stephen Dornbos led fieldwork in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan earlier this month as part of an NSF grant with Dr. Aradhna Tripati of UCLA entitled “Exploring the potential for the 1.1 Ga Copper Harbor Conglomerate to yield information on terrestrial environments during the rise of the eukaryotes.”
The team included Dr. Victoria Petryshyn, an Assistant Professor at USC, Bryce Mitsunaga, a UCLA Ph.D. student, and Nick Fedorchuk, a UWM Ph.D. student. The project will utilize a novel geochemical technique called clumped isotope paleothermometry to reconstruct paleotemperature conditions in freshwater settings of 1.1 billion years ago. The results should help scientists understand terrestrial climatic conditions, including atmospheric oxygen and CO2 levels, during a time when complex eukaryotic cells were first evolving.
Nick Fedorchuk’s M.S. research at UWM served as a foundation for this project. He is senior author on a recent paper in Precambrian Research based on that work. (doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2016.01.015)