Projects

I am currently looking for graduate research assistants to work on projects related to the origins and evolution of life on Earth, starting as early as Fall 2023. If you are interested, find my contact info here. Also, see grad school application requirements for the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at Purdue.

The Bryant Lab will be equipped with state-of-the-art IC, Q-ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS and laser ablation systems. These instruments will allow us to tackle almost any problem related to stable isotopes (e.g., sulfur, calcium, magnesium, strontium, boron, uranium) and major and trace elements in sedimentary rocks. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Investigating fossilization pathways (e.g., the Burgess Shale-type soft body preservation pathway) using sedimentary geochemistry and lab-based fossilization experiments.
  • Tracing the oxygenation of Earth’s surface through geologic time (particularly around the GOE), using redox proxies (e.g., sulfur and carbon isotopes, and many more…).
  • Early Earth analog studies – seeking to understand the conditions under which life may have originated by studying putative similar environments on modern-day Earth.
  • Understanding environmental instability around mass extinctions – using geochemistry to map out environmental dynamics related to the onset of and recovery from mass extinctions (e.g., in the Early Triassic).
  • Reconstructing ocean pH through geologic time and across environmental perturbations, using new and existing pH proxies.