September 2015 Lab Members (from left): Nicholas Hitt, Pamela Grothe, Lucas Everitt, Kayla Townsend, Hussein Sayani, Shellby Miller, Kim Cobb, Chris Bosma, and Tianran Chen

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Cobb Lab People

Dr. Kim Cobb

Georgia Power Chair

Education:
2002: Ph.D. Oceanography, Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
1996: B.A. Honors in Geology and Biology, Yale University.

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Contact:
Office: Ford ES&T 3240 (map)
Phone: (404) 894-3895
Email: kcobb@eas.gatech.edu
Website: Home Page
Twitter: @coralsncaves


Bio:
Kim Cobb’s research uses corals and cave stalagmites to reconstruct tropical Pacific temperature and rainfall patterns over the last decades to millennia. She received her B.A. from Yale University in 1996, and her Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 2002. She spent two years at Caltech in the Department of Geological and Planetary Sciences before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in 2004. Kim has sailed on six oceanographic cruises and led five caving expeditions to the rainforests of Borneo in support of her research. Her papers regularly appear in high-profile journals, including 5 papers in Nature or Science. Kim has received numerous awards for her research, most notably a NSF CAREER Award in 2007, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2008, and a Sigma Chi Best Paper Award in 2013. She sits on the AAAS Climate Science Panel, the international CLIVAR Pacific Panel, and the international PAGES-CLIVAR Intersection Panel.
 

Hussein Sayani

Doctoral Student

Education
2009 B.S. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

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Contact:
Office: ES&T 1162
Email: hussein.sayani@gatech.edu
Twitter: @hsayani
Webpage: http://www.hsayani.com

Research Interests:
- Tropical Pacific climate over the last 1000 years
- Trace-elements and oxygen isotopes in corals
- ENSO variability during the Holocene
 

Pamela Grothe

Doctoral Student

Education
2012 M.S. Department of Geosciences, University of Colorado, Boulder
2006 B.S. Honors in Geology, University of Mary Washington

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Contact:
Office: ES&T 1106
Phone: 540-847-8617
Website: http://pamelagrothe.weebly.com/
Twitter: @MoxieGATech
Email: pamela.grothe@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
I am interested in using past climate reconstructions as a means to understand future climate change. Currently, my focus is in the tropical Pacific where I am seeking to understand how ENSO will evolve in a warmer world by reconstructing its response to past natural climate forcings. My goal is to reconstruct past ENSO variability over the last 7,000 years from the central tropical Pacific using oxygen isotopes from dozens of fossil corals. Coral oxygen isotopes from the Line Islands (4°N, 160°W) track ENSO variations over the 20th century with remarkable fidelity, enabling us to build "proxy" records of past ENSO activity through the more distant past. While state-of-the-art climate models fail to agree on future ENSO trends, most of them agree that ENSO should have been dramatically weaker 6,000 years ago, when changes in Earth's orbit resulted in a stronger seasonal cycle. Coral records of ENSO from 6,000 years ago will allow us to test the accuracy of this multi-model result. Such model tests are very difficult to achieve, yet are central to the development of more accurate models of future climate trends.
 

Tianran Chen

Visiting Scholar

Education
2009 M.Sc. & Ph.D. in Marine Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2004 B.S. Environmental Science, Chang'an University, Xi'an

Contact:
Office: ES&T 1114
Email: chentianran@scsio.ac.cn

Research Interests:
See Tianran's Google Scholar profile
Coral reef geochemistry, sedimentology and ecology:
-Global warming, extreme weather events, human impacts, and the responses of marginal coral communities in the subtropical northern South China Sea (SCS)
-High-resolution paleoclimatic reconstruction through coralline geochemical proxies (trace elements, oxygen and carbon isotopes) in the central Pacific
-History of SCS coral reefs: Development patterns and controlling factors----explored through ecological surveys, seismic profiles, reef core drilling, reef facies analyses, high-precision U/Th dating, and geochemical proxy analyses
 

Chris Bosma

Research Assistant

Education
2015 B.S. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Contact:
Email: christopher.bosma@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
My research involves the generation and interpretation of a new dataset of ultra-high-resolution rainwaters from our stalagmite research site in northern Borneo. These samples, collected every 2-10min for several hours across several convective events, show dramatic excursions in oxygen isotopes associated with the movement of water vapor through the convective system. We are pairing these data with high-resolution rainfall data to probe the fractionation processes underlying various rainfall regimes at our site.
 

Shellby Miller

Undergraduate Student

Education
EAS/EnvE 4th Year, Georgia Institute of Technology

Contact:
Email: smiller94@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
My research focuses on developing Favia coral samples into an archive of paleoclimate of the central tropical Pacific, complementing the lab's long-time focus on Porites spp. Favia are slower-growing than Porites, enabling the extraction of many more years of data for a given core length, and hold great potential in this domain.
 

Colin Stone

Undergraduate Student

Education
CHEM 3rd Year, Georgia Institute of Technology

Contact:
Email: cstone35@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
My research involves the measurement of Sr/Ca in corals from the central tropical Pacific, including fossil corals from the last millennium, as a proxy for ocean temperature through this time.
 

Kayla Townsend

Undergraduate Student

Education
EnvE 3rd Year, Georgia Institute of Technology

Contact:
Email: kayla.townsend15@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
My research involves analyzing modern-day and fossil coral samples from the tropical Pacific using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to help aid in climate reconstructions. Climate change is a very important topic to me and I hope to use my Environmental Engineering knowledge to make a difference in the way people view the changes that are happening in our world.
 

Lucas Everitt

Undergraduate Student

Education
Exchange Student, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)

Contact:
Email: leveritt3@gatech.edu

Research Interests:
My research focuses on investigating the relationship between stable water isotope composition and salinity of seawater at various sites in the tropical Pacific.


Former Students

Cobb Lab Alumni (LINK)

  • Jessica Moerman (PhD student)
  • Bronwen Konecky (Postdoc, CIRES, University of Colorado & Oregon State University)
  • Jess Conroy (Postdoc, currently Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
  • Stacy Carolin (PhD student, currently Postdoc at University of Oxford, UK)
  • Eleanor Middlemas (undergrad, currently Graduate Research Assistant at Rosenstiel
    School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami)
  • Liz Wiggins (undergrad, currently Graduent Research Fellow at University of California, Irvine)
  • Danja Mewes (undergrad, currently applying for M.Sc. programs in Sustainable Technology)
  • Intan Suci Nurhati (PhD student, currently postdoc at MIT-Singapore)
  • Julien Emile-Geay (postdoc, currently Asst. Prof. at USC)
  • Jud Partin (PhD student, currently postdoc at UT Austin)
  • Laura Zaunbrecher (Master's student, currently PhD student at GSU)
  • Nitya Sharma (technician, currently bioengineering MS student, GT)
  • Kim Brady (undergrad, currently PhD student at GT)
  • Kathleen Salome (undergrad, currently NSF Graduate Research Fellow at GT)
  • Alison Graab (undergrad)
  • Anna Williams (undergrad)
  • Jenni Williams (undergrad)
  • Sara Harrold (REU student, currently PhD student at UW)
  • Andrea Page (grad student)
  • Mindy Drinkuth (undergrad)
  • Matt Johnson (technician)