E25-625, 45 Carleton St
Cambridge, MA 02142
David McGee is Assistant Professor of Paleoclimatology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research builds records of past climate changes using geochemical tools, with a focus on applications of uranium-series isotopes. Current projects seek to improve our understanding of the response of atmospheric circulation and the hydrological cycle to different boundary conditions. In marine sediments, he uses uranium and thorium isotopes to quantify accumulation rates in an effort to understand changes in the emission and transport of dust from the world’s drylands. In speleothems and lake carbonates, uranium and thorium provide precise and accurate dating of changes in water balance and precipitation source. Building upon these robust chronologies, we can then compare records from different locations in order to build a global picture of past climate changes. McGee’s group is also testing ways to reconstruct past variations in the isotopic composition of uranium and molybdenum in the world’s oceans, as these isotope systems have been shown to sensitively track changes in ocean oxygen levels.