If you just found this page through a session at NSF welcome! I am an organic geochemist working at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and Pennsylvania State University. My primary work involves characterizing light-dependent metabolites in tree leaves that preserve on geologic time scales. I use “fossil molecules” to determine canopy density in the past. I am interested in how dense tropical forests respond to climate change so I look at fossils from a global warming event that occurred 56 million years ago.
On slightly different time scales I also study the co-evolution of fungi and the first terrestrial plants ~460 million years ago as well as rainfall reconstructions of the Mayan empire using cellulose in structural woods from temples.
I am very curious about the natural history of terrestrial life but sometimes I think my science is an excuse to justify my deep love of chromatography and spectroscopy.