People

    Faculty

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Ken Miller

The research interests of our Stratigraphy-Earth history group are focused on sea-level and paleoceanographic changes of the past 200 million years. As co-leader of the group, I am a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University who received an A.B. from Rutgers College (1978) and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography (1982). I worked at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory from 1983-1988 (with current Rutgers scientists Greg Mountain, Jim Wright, Dennis Kent, and Rick Faibrbanks) and am a veteran of 8 scientific cruises and numerous drilling campaigns, including the New Jersey Coastal Plain Drilling Project (ODP onshore Legs 150X and 174AX), the Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure, DSDP/ODP Legs 95, 150, and Expedition 313. I grew up in Medford, NJ in the heart of the Pine Barrens and live in Pennington, NJ. I enjoy skiing and running in my spare time.

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Greg Mountain

My research is based on applying reflection seismology to understanding Earth history recorded in marine sediments. Topics of most interest include the record of Cenozoic sea-level change, the transport of sediments across shelves and slopes, and the control of deep-sea sedimentation by abyssal currents. Each of these illuminates the impact of global climate change on the Earth system at a range of scales in both time and space. I teach courses on these topics from the introductory level for non-majors to hands-on, data-driven seminars for graduate students. I received my Ph.D. in 1981 at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory where I pursued an active sea-going research career until joining the EPS faculty in 2002. I continue going to sea to conduct my research and to help train the next generation of marine-based Earth scientists. Meanwhile, I live far enough inland to have realistic hopes of mastering a killer knuckleball before rising sea level forces me to move and quit 40-and-over baseball.

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Jim Browning

My scientific interests include microfossils (foraminifera) and sedimentology, as well as their application to sequence stratigraphy. I received a B.S. from the Ohio Wesleyan University (1980), a M.S. in Paleontology from the University of Southern California (1983), and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University (1996) and am currently a Research Scientist and Core Curator in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. 

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Don Monteverde

My scientific interests include sedimentology and using sequence stratigraphy to better understand the 3 dimensionality of sedimentary bodies. I received my B.S. (1977) and M.S. (1984) from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2008. I am a Research Scientist at the New Jersey Geological and Water Survey (NJGWS) and an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University. My work at the NJGWS and Rutgers involves geologic mapping using outcrops, downhole geophysical logs, and seismic data from the Middle Proterozoic to Pleistocene.

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Peter Sugarman

I am a Research Scientist at the New Jersey Geological and Water Survey (NJGWS) and an Adjunct Member of the graduate faculty at Rutgers after receiving my Ph.D. from Rutgers (1994) specializing in sequence and strontium isotope stratigraphy. My main responsibilities at the NJGWS involve geologic mapping, including subsurface stratigraphic and hydrostratigraphic investigations. I have been a Chief Scientist on many of the New Jersey Coastal Plain boreholes, and participated as a sedimentologist on IODP Leg 313 – the New Jersey Shallow Shelf. I also teach as an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers where I developed and teach a course in Environmental Geology.

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Pete McLaughlin [University of Delaware]

Peter P. McLaughlin, Jr. is a Senior Scientist at the Delaware Geological Survey at the University of Delaware with a secondary appointment as Professor in the UD Department of Geological Sciences. He is a frequent collaborator with Rutgers Stratigraphy-Earth History team geoscientists on Coastal Plain drilling projects and, more recently, CO2 sequestration. He received a B.S. from the University of Delaware (1984) and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University (1982). Pete's scientific interests include sequence stratigraphy, microfossils (palynology and foraminifera), and sedimentology, as well as their application to hydrogeology and petroleum geology. He worked in a variety of scientific and leadership positions at research and exploration divisions of Exxon between 1989 and 1999 before returning to his alma mater at Delaware in 1999.

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Masha Makarova [Lafayette College]

I conduct preliminary work for the IODP cruise that is scheduled in 2022 to acquire seismic and core data in the North Atlantic. This prohect is designed to improve our understanding of surface ocean circulation and help to characterize the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and its influence on the Miocene climate. It aims to reconstruct meridional thermal gradients from the North Atlantic (33-57°N) throughout the middle Miocene climatic optimum (ca. 17-14.7 Ma) and the following cooling (14.7-8 Ma) using the organic paleothermometer TEX86 and stable isotopic and Mg/Ca records of foraminifera from legacy DSDP and ODP sites.

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    Students

    Ph.D.

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Anya Hess

Advisor: Ken Miller

Thesis title: pending

I have always been fascinated by what the sedimentologic record of marine systems can tell us about Earth history and vice versa. As an undergraduate at Bucknell University, I combined detailed stratigraphy of a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic system with stable carbon isotope geochemistry to better understand the Silurian-Devonian boundary interval in the central Appalachian Basin. For my Master’s at the University of Kansas, I studied the controls on cool-water carbonate facies trends and reconstructed the Pliocene relative sea-level history for a mini-basin in southeastern Spain. After spending 4 years as a geologist in the petroleum industry and 1.5 years as an editor at the USGS, I am thrilled to be working towards a PhD at Rutgers. My research focuses on paleoclimatology using a combination of sedimentology and geochemical proxies to better understand oxygen-limited marine systems. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for potential collaborations!

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John Schmelz

Advisors: Greg Mountain, Ken Miller

Thesis title: "New insights on the Mesozoic evolution of the Mid-Atlantic Continental Margin from Integrated Sequence Stratigraphy and Forward Stratigraphic Modelling"

I am generally fascinated by shallow marine sedimentary processes and the depositional architectures they create, and the implications of these records for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. My research has focused on the spatial and temporal transitions between fluvial, estuarine, deltaic, and marine paleoenvironments through the climatic fluctuations of the mid-Cretaceous to assess the potential to store supercritical CO2 in porous sandstones capped by impermeable shales offshore southern New Jersey and Maryland. I have made primary interpretations through an integrated sequence stratigraphic analysis and am numerically modelling the stratigraphy to extricate the implied, interconnected tectonostratigraphic history of the Baltimore Canyon Trough and global mean sea level record. I earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Connecticut College and my recent experience includes contributing to research projects examining geomorphological change within coastal National Parks.

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    M.S.

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Victor Pincay Pacheco

Advisor: Ken Miller

Thesis Title: pending

My research interests lie within the realm of sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and paleoceanography.  I received my B.S. degree in Geology from Queens College, NY on the summer of 2016. There, I worked with Dr. Stephen Pekar, who got his M.S. and PhD at Rutgers, and presented evidence for a heavily glaciated Antarctica during the Early Oligocene recovery (33-30 Ma) at the 2016 GSA Northeastern section meeting. My masters thesis project will consist on mapping the onshore NJ Cohansey-Kirkwood formation using a sequence stratigraphy framework.

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Ashlyn Spector

Advisor: Ken Miller

Thesis Title: pending

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JN Stanley

Advisor: Ken Miller

Thesis Title: Evaluating the effectiveness of Near Surface Geophysics to interpret varying geological environments

I am interested in stratigraphy and seismics and their applications to sequence stratigraphy. For my current research project I am looking at the sequence stratigraphy of the Pliocene Chowan and Yorktown Formations from the Eyreville, Va core. I plan to improve the chronology of the sequences using strontium isotopic stratigraphy and determine water depth variations using benthic foraminiferal biostratigraphy.

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    Alumni

Sophie Benaroya [B.S. 2020, Senior Honors Thesis, Advisor K. Miller] – MS student, Rutgers
Mariya Galochkina [B.S. 2020, Senior Honors Thesis, Advisor K. Miller] – PhD student, MIT/WHOI
Oliver McLellan [M.S. 2020, Advisor K. Miller] – PhD student, The Ohio State University
Chris Johnson [Ph.D. 2019, Advisor K. Miller] – Chevron Energy Technology Corporation
Alexandra Adams [M.S. 2019, Advisor K. Miller] – USGS
Leslie Jordan [M.S. 2019, Advisor K. Miller] – SIA Solutions, Environmental Consulting 
Luca Podrecca [M.S. 2019, Advisor K. Miller] – PhD student, Northwestern
Stephen Graham [M.S. 2019, Advisor K. Miller] – Teacher
Masha Makarova [Ph.D. 2018, Advisor K. Miller] – Visiting Assistant Professor, Lafayette College
Gabe Gallegos [M.S. 2017, Advisor K. Miller] – Halliburton
Jesse Thornburg [Ph.D. 2017, Advisor K. Miller] – Assistant Professor, Temple University
Chris Lombardi [Ph.D. 2017, Advisor K. Miller] – Deceased
Kim Baldwin [M.S. 2015, Advisor G. Mountain] – BOEM
Lindsey Lugrin [M.S. 2015, Advisor G. Mountain] – Community Manager
Selen Esmeray-Senlet [Ph.D. 2015, Advisor K. Miller] – Chevron Energy Technology Corporation
Tuçe Değirmenci [M.S. 2014, Advisor G. Mountain] – Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO)
Turan Işçimen [M.S. 2013, Advisor K. Miller] – Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO)
Roni Dell Baluyot [M.S. 2013, Advisors J. Wright, K. Miller] – Brown and Caldwell
Svetlana Misintseva [Ph.D. 2013, Advisor K. Miller] – Marymount Manhattan College
Sarp Karakaya [M.S. 2012, Advisors G. Mountain, K. Miller] – Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO)
Zuhal Şeker [M.S. 2012, Advisors K. Miller, G. Mountain] – Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO)
Ashley Harris [Ph.D. 2010, Advisor K. Miller] – Chevron Energy Technology Corporation
Aimee Pusz [M.S. 2009, Advisor K. Miller] – Hess Corporation