Assistant Professor
The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd.,Flushing, N.Y., 11367-1597
Tel: (718) 997-3305
Office: Science Building, Rm. D-204 E-mail: spekar@qc1.qc.edu

Adjunct Associate Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Palisades, NY 10964, USA
Tel: (845) 365-8362. FAX: (845) 365-8150
Office: Seismology Bldg., Rm. 216 E-mail pekar@ldeo.columbia.edu
 
     
     
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I am a geologist with research interests that encompass a wide variety of problems related to the oceanographic and climatic evolution of the late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. To tackle these problems, I develop sedimentological, microfossil, and geochemical data obtained from cores that were taken from estuaries, near-shore, and the deep-sea. These are used to extract climatic, oceanographic, and eustatic (global sea level) signals at the decadal-, millennium-, to million-year scale.

My research uses a variety of techniques as well as the design of new methods, which facilitate a better understanding of the stratigraphic record. My research can be broadly divided into four groups. The first group combines projects that use a new method to constrain global sea-level amplitudes that I developed and then implemented for pre-Pleistocene records. This involves an integrated approach using lithofacies, age control (biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, and Sr-chemostratigraphy), benthic foraminiferal biofacies, and two-dimensional backstripping to develop a high-resolution chronostratigraphic framework and to reconstruct the stratal geometry of the margin. The second group of projects have been aimed at gaining greater insights into paleoceanographic, climatic, and sea-level changes during important warm periods in Earth's history: the early Miocene (21-16 Ma), late early Eocene to middle Eocene (51-42 Ma) and late Paleocene (59-55 Ma). These projects use stable isotopes and trace metal ratios to reconstruct past climates and paleoceanographic changes. A third area of research of mine is focused on developing a better understanding of the climatic history and evolution of the Antarctic continent from the early Eocene (Greenhouse world), to the Oligocene (the start of the icehouse world), and until Recent. To this end, I have become a member of ANDRILL (ANtarctic DRILLing), which "is a multinational initiative with the objective to recover stratigraphic core records for the use of interpreting Antarctic’s climatic, glacial, and tectonic history for the past 50 Ma". I am currently a member of the U.S. ANDRILL Steering Committee and the site survey committee for Southern McMurdo Sound (SMS) drilling project, which is planned to be drilled in 2007. I recently particapated on a seismic expedition that included 30 days collecting data on the sea ice in McMurdo Sound for the drilling project scheduled for 2007. Recently, I was also selected to be a member of the on-ice scientific team as a sequence stratigrapher for the Southern McMurdo Sound Project. I also am the lead PI on a proposal to collect seismic data in the Offshore New Harbor area in the Ross Sea. If funded, this project would seismically image strata that were deposited in Antarctica during the Greenhouse World (50-34 Ma). This study would provide the requisite data to develop a drilling project to recover these sediments. Finally, a fourth group refers to projects that are using a new integrated approach for using estuarine records to determine climate variability and environmental changes of the Hudson River region by estimating paleosalinity changes in the estuary for the past 7,000 years.

 

last updated 3/10/04