The broader aim of my research is to develop a more reliable atmospheric CO2 proxy that can stretch across the Cenozoic and into the Mesozoic. To achieve this I study the stable carbon isotopic ratio of cellular components derived from coccolithophores, single-celled phytoplankton. The enigmatic carbon isotopic signature of coccolithophores is related, in part, to the ambient concentration of CO2. Through combining coccolithophore isotopic flux models with sedimentary data I recreate past CO2 levels and reveal insights into coccolithophore physiology. My current aim is to reconstruct CO2 during the Eocene ‘hothouse’ 55-34 million years ago.
View Selected Publications
Chen, T., Robinson, L. F., Beasley, M. P., Claxton, L. M., Andersen, M. B., Lauren, J., Harpp, K. S. (2016). Ocean mixing and ice-sheet control of seawater 234 U / 238 U during the last deglaciation. Science, 1015, 626-629.
Chen, T., Robinson, L. F., Burke, A., Claxton, L., Hain, M. P., Li, T., Rae, J. W. B., Stewart, J., Knowles, T. D. J., Fornari, D. J., & Harpp, K. S. (2020). Persistently well-ventilated intermediate-depth ocean through the last deglaciation. Nature Geoscience, 13(11), 733–738. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0638-6