Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Cerling, Thure E.
Location University of Utah
Primary Field Geology
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Election Citation
Cerling is a leading authority on the geochemistry of processes occurring at or near the surface of the Earth. He has applied novel geochemical methods to study the geological record of ecological change, the evolution of modern mammals and other terrestrial life, the evolution of landscapes, and the chemical composition of the atmosphere.
 Research Interests
My research is in geochemistry of processes occurring at or near Earth's surface and the geological record of ecological change. My work includes the isotope physiology and diets of modern mammals as well as the history of diets of different mammalian lineages extending over millions of years. I am also interested in the geology of Old World paleoanthropologic sites, such as are found in the Turkana Basin in East Africa and other Rift Valley sites. I study modern soils, lakes, and ecosystems in an effort to apply isotope systematics to understand the evolution of ecosystems, monsoons, and the atmosphere over geological time scales. By using isotopes produced by cosmic rays in situ in rocks my research group studies the evolution of the landscapes over the last 1 million years. I am also involved in environmental studies, including the use of tritium and helium as hydrological tracers, and in understanding contaminant migration in surface or groundwaters.

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