Laboratory for Environmental and Sedimentary Isotope Geochemistry (LESIG)


Prof. B. Lynn Ingram

Elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of science (08/16/2005) Read More...

In the laboratory for Environmental and Sedimentary Geochemistry, we are studying both modern and past environmental primarily using stable isotope, as well as other geochemical and sedimentary evidence. These types of studies are important for a variety of reasons, including addressing society’s growing concern about the extent to which human activities are altering the Earth’s climate and natural environment. Because instrumental measurements have been made over only a small fraction of Earth’s history, they provide an inadequate perspective on climatic variation and the evolution of climate today. Proxy records are therefore important for documenting long-term variability and providing a basis for testing hypotheses about the causes of climate change.

In our laboratory, we are conducting a variety of studies documenting past changes in salinity, streamflow, temperature, ocean circulation, and coastal upwelling at various locations. Our main tools are environmentally sensitive isotopes (H, C, N, O & S) and elements (such as Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca), contained in fossils, sediments, and other natural climate archives. Our field areas span the Pacific, from California to China and Australia (and a few places in between, such as French Polynesia), in terrestrial, coastal, estuarine, and coral reef environments.

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