Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences (GE-AT)

Stable Isotope Paleo Environments Research Group (SIPERG)

Prospective Students



"Good students never go out of style"

If you are a motivated and a curious student looking to join the SIPERG, please contact me (515-294-5142 or I am actively recruiting talented students who share similar research interests with me.

Research Interests of Dr. Alan Wanamaker

My research is largely dedicated to documenting and understanding past climates, especially in the North Atlantic region during recent millennia. Additionally, I am interested in developing new geochemical tools and proxy records for paleoclimatic applications. For my research, I primarily utilize light stable isotopes in both biogenic and inorganic carbonates. I direct the Stable Isotope Laboratory in the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences.

Current Research:

  • Climate variability and mechanisms of climate change, in the northern North Atlantic Ocean during the Holocene.
  • Dynamics of atmospheric and oceanic shifts in the North Atlantic region during recent climate anomalies, especially during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) transition.
  • Using the radiocarbon signature in long-lived bivalves, which have been absolutely-dated via crossdating techniques, as a tracer of ocean circulation.
  • Biomineralization in carbonates, and the development of new geochemical techniques and proxies using molluscs, corals, and corallines.
  • Sclerochronology and isotope geochemistry of long-lived biogenic carbonates, and the development of advanced sclerochronology techniques.
  • Development of novel paleothermometry techniques using the isotope and elemental geochemistry from biocarbonates.
  • Paleohydroclimate using oxygen and carbon isotopes derived from speleothems and tufa deposits.
  • Clumped isotope geochemistry in biogenic carbonates.
  • Carbon dynamics, cycling, and anthropogenic impacts (e.g., ocean acidification, 13C Suess effect) on Earth systems.