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Category : Students

Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Science Student Spotlight: Fall 2023 Edition

Rebekah Grmela

Welcome back to this fall's Science Student Spotlights! Throughout the year, we'll be featuring the science and work of some of our best and brightest SEPM Student Members, including some of our SEPM Foundation Research Grant awardees. This is the last batch of winners from last year's grant competition. 

Check out some of this month's featured student work:

Name: Amanda Hartstein
School: University of Nebraska
Research Statement: Microplastics in the Sediment of the Platte River in Nebraska

Name: Philip Boan
School: University of California Riverside
Research Statement: Filling in the Spaces: spatial patterns and ecology of the Ediacara Biota

Name: Barbora Krizova
School: University Ferrara (Italy)
Research Statement: The Occurrence and Demise of Rudists Bivalves in the Upper Cretaceous Carbonate Platforms of the peri Adriatic Area 

Name: Maya LaGrange
School: University Alberta (Canada)
Research Statement: Understanding global marine paleo-redox conditions during deposition of the Middle to Late Devonian Horn River Group, Northwest Territories, Canada

Summary: My thesis focuses on the Devonian Canol Formation, an organic-rich mudstone unit in Canada’s North, which was deposited when much of western North America was covered by tropical seas. I aim to understand ocean conditions in the study area at that time, including oxygenation, circulation, relative sea-level, sediment sources and transport, biological productivity, and nutrient availability. To achieve this objective, I am combining sedimentological descriptions with geochemical datasets that comprise the abundance and distribution of elements, minerals, and stable isotopes of C, N, and Mo.

An outcrop of the Devonian Canol Formation in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Photo credit: Viktor Terlaky.


Name: Eduardo Menozza da Rosa
School: University Wisconsin Milwaukee
Research Statement: The paleogeography of the Paraná-Huab-Kaokoveld Basin during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age

Summary: The Paraná-Huab-Kaokoveld Basin (Brazil and NW Namibia) is pivotal in developing a detailed reconstruction of the late Paleozoic Ice Age glaciation episodes and distribution of ice masses across west-central Gondwana (Figures 1 and 2). The goal of my PhD project is to reconstruct the paleogeography in this region and evaluate the hypotheses concerning duration and extent of late Paleozoic ice masses. Specifically, I have been trying to unravel the glacial depositional history in key-areas in this basin that few is known such as the western Paraná Basin and the glacial paleovalleys in NW Namibia (Figure 2).

Figure 1: A) Paleogeographic reconstruction of Gondwana with sedimentary basins that contains the LPIA glacial record. The Paraná-Huab-Kaokoveld is highlighted in red. (B) Inferred LPIA ice-spreading centers and migration of the South Pole during the LPIA (modified from Rosa and Isbell, 2021).


Figure 2. Paleogeographic reconstruction map of the Paraná-Huab-Kaokoveld Basin with generalized geology and the study areas in western Paraná Basin and northwestern Namibia.


Name: Thammy Mottin
School: Federal University of Paraná (Brazil)
Research Statement: Paleoenvironment, sedimentary dynamicsand paleoecology of a lycopsid fossil forest buried in the early Permian (Brazil)

Name: Priscilla Martinez
School: California State University Northridge
Research Statement:  The Origin and Correlation of Mafic Volcaniclastic Intervals in the Pleistocene Marine Sedimentary Succession Recovered During Expedition 385, Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California
Expedition 385 site locations (orange circles) and bathymetry of the Guaymas Basin. Inset map shows the tectonic setting of the Guaymas Basin in central Gulf of California (indicated in green shading), along with the study location (indicated by a blue box). DSDP Leg 64 previous drilling sites are indicated by yellow circles. The colored arrows depict some volcanic and sand sources from the Sonora channel (white), Yaqui delta (yellow), Baja California (green), and Isla Tortuga volcano (red). Submarine volcanic centers indicated by the red stars. Modified from (Teske et al., in press).


Want to get to know more about our research grant awardees? Learn more here.