EOAS Member Directory
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Dept. of Marine & Coastal Sciences
Dr. Sikes’ general research area is paleoceanography. Within this broader field, she employs isotopic and organic geochemical techniques to the questions of sea surface temperature and global circulation change. She has maintained a long-term focus on improving paleo-sea surface temperature (SST) estimates using biomarkers, in conjunction with foraminiferally based estimates. Her studies on deep water ventilation, employing isotopic tools (primarily radiocarbon) are elucidating Southern Ocean influence on carbon cycling during climate driven circulation changes in the past. These concordant studies investigate the interplay between ocean circulation and glacial/interglacial regimes.
The unifying theme in Elisabeth’s work is carbon cycling. These paleoclimate studies are complimented by work on sediment trap and coastal studies investigating sources, pathways, and sinks of both terrestrial and marine carbon in modern environments. Presently she is implementing work to further integrate my biomarker and isotopic studies by employing compound-specific stable and radiocarbon isotopic studies to improve the assessment of carbon partitioning (marine, terrestrial, organic inorganic) and the influences of climate change on carbon pathways over multi-million, millennial, and decadal time scales.