Student Vignettes

Michelle Guitard

About my research:

My research focuses on reconstructing the history of the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system (LG-AIS), which terminates in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. To resolve past LG-AIS evolution, I utilize marine sediment cores collected on the Antarctic continental margin on U.S. Antarctic Program cruise NBP01-01. Core lithology and stratigraphy suggests that the LG-AIS system repeatedly retreated and advanced through the late Quaternary (125-0 ka). To date sediments and provide ages of LG-AIS retreat/advance, I use radiocarbon (14C). To investigate how regional environmental conditions, such as ice shelf extent, sea surface temperature, and upwelling, changed through the late Quaternary, I apply various inorganic and organic geochemical tools, including beryllium-10 (10Be), and redox metals to Prydz Bay sediment samples. Apart from my project, my other interests include geochronology, paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, and high-latitude atmosphere-ice-land dynamics.


Coming to the College of Marine Science for my Master’s and Ph.D. has opened up many opportunities for me as a student. I have been able to participate in 2 research cruises to the Antarctic, travel to Europe, Asia, and South America, and collaborate with international scientists on my project. As a result of the college’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research, I have been able to learn about many aspects of oceanography outside my discipline. The student community at CMS is very supportive, and students often work together on class assignments, grant applications, and presentations. The sense of community fosters great collaboration as well as friendship, and students spend much of their free time outside the college with each other.

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