John Higgins

Assistant Professor
Department of Geosciences
Princeton University
Phone: 609-258-7024

My research interests are the global carbon cycle and the processes that stabilize Earth’s climate and control the chemistry of its atmosphere and oceans on geologic timescales. My group approaches these topics using laboratory experiments, analytical measurements of stable and radiogenic isotope ratios, and numerical models of ocean and atmosphere chemistry. Current research questions include:

  1. How has the chemistry of sea salt changed over the last 65 million years? What does this tell us about the global carbon cycle and variations in Earth’s climate on geologic timescales?
  2. How does Earth’s CO2 thermostat operate? What is the role of clay formation (both terrestrial and marine)?
  3. What controls the isotopic and elemental geochemistry of sedimentary carbonates through time? How is this related to changes in the oxidation state of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean and the evolution of complex life?