I am interested in examining the sources of organic matter to glacier environments and receiving downstream ecosystems, and how this may be changing due to human impacts. In my research I am investigating common endmember sources of organic matter to glacier systems, and investigating how degradation pathways (particularly photochemistry) can modify these sources in comparison to what is observed in glacier environments. This endmember approach to assessing glacier organic matter sources will then be examined versus real-world glacier samples from the Himalayas and Alaska. In my research I am using a suite of optical analyses as well as ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry to fingerprint organic matter sources.
After conducting research in the Spencer biogeochemistry laboratory as an undergraduate and taking part in a NSF funded international research experience for students at the Soil Cryology Laboratory in Pushchino, Russia I have developed a strong interest in the mobilization and fate of permafrost carbon. As such a large and vulnerable pool of carbon my research seeks to better assess how future thaw due to climate change will impact the global carbon cycle. To do this I’m currently working at sites in Siberia examining the drivers of what makes some of this ancient carbon so biologically labile. My research encompasses a suite of techniques including radiocarbon dating, compositional measurements (absorbance, fluorescence and FT-ICR MS) and incubation studies.