I am a geology professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College and research past climate and oceanographic changes during times (16- 45 million years ago) when CO2 was as high as what is predicted for the 21st century (500-1000 ppm). With CO2 is rising rapidly today due to anthropogenic fossil fuel use and changes in land use (e.g., cutting down forest, etc.), Humanity has started an uncontrolled experiment that is like putting our climate on a “hot plate”. With Greenhouse gases rising to levels not seen in tens of millions or years, exploring these past time intervals (i.e., 16-50 million years ago) for me is like “Looking Back to Our Future”. To investigate climate change of the past, I look at sediments, microfossil (i.e., the shells made by one-celled organisms), and geochemical data obtained from cores obtained from near-shore to deep-sea locations ranging from the tropics to Antarctica. My research has taken me on expeditions around the world, including four to Antarctica, one of which I was project leader.
I am a Queens (i.e., New York City!) native, growing up in the Rockaways and attending Queens College, first as a 20th century music composition major, but ended up studying Geology and getting my PhD at Rutgers University and doing a Post Doctoral Research at Columbia University.
I am enthralled and in love with exploring and discovering new places, cultures, and ideas. I have traveled to all seven continents (soon to be eight!) and has explored over 50 countries, working in six of them ranging from archeology in France, grape picking in Germany, movie extra in China, to house pianist in a restaurant in Israel. My favorite place has been Antarctica, as it is the most remote place on Earth and for me going there to conduct research is like going to another planet and exploring undiscovered country.