I have spent my research career studying deep-sea cores in an effort to read some meaningful history from the minerals and fossils they contain. My interests now include the history of climate change over the past three million years, specifically the factors that contributed to the initiation of large advances and retreats of northern hemisphere glaciers toward the beginning of this period and why the climate response of the two hemispheres is so extraordinarily symmetrical despite asymmetrical geography and forcing.
A second kind of history that has caught my fancy is the evolutionary history recorded by the myriad microfossil specimens entombed in as little as a gram of deep-sea sediments. Migrations, speciations and extinctions all can be precisely documented in space and time through our global array of deep-sea cores.
I work primarily with a group of siliceous microfossils known as Radiolaria. These extraordinarily beautiful microfossils have large numbers of species in both high and low latitudes. This high diversity has made them useful stratigraphically and is proving important in their paleoecological and paleobiological utility.