The Grotzinger Group
I am broadly interested in the interplay between climate, life, and plate tectonics through the lens of sedimentology and stratigraphy. My primary work involves a field study of cap carbonates and associated units in the Naukluft Mountains of southern Namibia, deposited after the Neoproterzoic Marinoan "Snowball Earth" event. This was a period of global glaciation followed by rapid melting and warming, and in the subsequent Ediacaran period macroscopic complex life first appears in the fossil record. Constraining the nature of the Snowball Earth event can help us better understand extreme swings in Earth's climate and its impact on biology. I am also looking into the association of microbial communities and the production of carbonate structures in a modern analog study of Ambergris Cay in the Turks and Cacios. As for other different planets, I am interested in improving our understanding of past habitable environments on Mars, as recorded in the sedimentary record, by taking part in the Curiosity Rover's mission to study Gale Crater.