This research will explore the cumulative effects and feedback mechanisms of climate change, volcanism, tectonism, and carbon, nutrient, and trace metal cycling during Early Cretaceous greenhouse conditions on ecosystem functioning of then widespread polar forests. Study of past episodes of greenhouse warming from geological, geochemical, and ecological perspectives provide insight into the impact of climate change on ecosystems that can be used to predict Earth’s response to unabated carbon emission in the future. This multi-disciplinary research will acquire and integrate new knowledge on carbon, nutrient, trace metal cycling, and terrestrial ecosystem functioning from Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks exposed in high northern latitudes. Application of novel geochemical techniques and modern ecological multivariate statistical modelling to long-time perspectives will produce insight into community-level ecosystem dynamics and their response to environmental changes associated with episodic emplacement of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province, development of the Amerasia Basin, and global carbon cycle perturbation.
Understanding the behaviour of global climate during relatively warm periods in Earth’s history advances our understanding of drivers of climate change over geologic time. Jennifer Galloway is a geologist, palynologist (study of pollen and spores), and paleoecologist who studies the role of climate variability on terrestrial ecosystem functioning on various time scales. Jennifer has applied palynology to the study of ancient marine, lacustrine, and peatland environments to better understand the role of climate change in geochemical cycling, organic matter accumulation, and environmental change. Much of Jennifer’s research has been focused on the extinct polar forest biome that existed during the Mesozoic in high northern latitudes despite the long polar night and summers with continuous sunlight.
Arctic Terrestrial ecosystem functioning during the dynamic Early Cretaceous Greenhouse World Arctic
Area of research:
Earth Sciences, micropaleontology, paleoclimatology, paleoecology
01 Feb 2019 – 31 Jan 2020
Jennifer Galloway standing on strata of the Deer Bay Formation, Axel Heiberg Island, Canada.