Recent Alumni and Senior Theses

This page contains a repository for senior papers in the Yale Department of Geology & Geophysics, since 2008.  Titles link to downloadable PDF files.  Papers from 2007 and earlier years are stored in hardcopy in the Yale geology library.  Please consult the Orbis online catalog of the Yale library, under the series call number QE1 Y34.  A direct link to this series is provided here.

Abbreviations for the five “tracks” of the G&G major: AOC = Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate; Env = Environmental and Energy Geoscience; Geol = Geology and Natural Resources (BA); Paleo = Paleontology and Geobiology; Solid = Solid Earth Science.


Max Andersen (BS Env, double major with Environmental Engineering).  Essay: Paleotempestology: Exploring methods to develop tropical storm records in response to theoretical interactions between changing climates and hurricane intensity (Mark Pagani, adviser)

Stella Cao (BS Env).  Essay: Natural gas flare reduction: Case studies in Russia, Nigeria, and the United States (Mike Oristaglio and Brian Skinner, advisers)

Wendy DeWolf (BS Env).  Thesis: Investigating the glacial and topographic history of the central Patagonian Andes using (U-Th)/He thermochronology (Mark Brandon, adviser)

Sarah Ditchek (BS AOC).  Thesis: A genesis potential index for Asian-Australian monsoon low pressure systems (Bill Boos, adviser)

Abigail Eurich (BS Env).  Thesis: Examining the boron isotope-pH proxy: the role of vital effects on d11B of Porites coral and implications for proxy use (Zhengrong Wang, adviser)

Emily Farr (BS Env).  Thesis:  Gas transfer velocities in small forested ponds: Toward an understanding of carbon cycling in small inland waters (Peter Raymond, adviser)

Frieda Fein (BS Env, double major with Political Science).  Thesis: Temperature dependence of phosphate content in Thermus thermophilus: Characterizing the source of temperature signatures recorded in dissolved phosphate oxygen isotope ratios (Ruth Blake, adviser).

Beata Fiszer (BS Env).  Thesis: Modeling the relationship between stable isotopes in precipitation and mountain elevation (Mark Brandon, adviser)

William Gearty (BS Paleo).  Thesis:  Resolving the relationships of the squamate tree of life: An assessment of new approaches and problems (Jacques Gauthier, adviser)

Allegra Gordon (BS Env).  Thesis: An analysis of satellite skin temperatures in the Beaufort Sea region in conjunction with in-situ air temperature measurements (Mary-Louise Timmermans, adviser)

Jenna Hessert (BS Solid, double major with Environmental Engineering).  Thesis: Paleomagnetic baked-contact tests in the Mesoproterozoic Sinclair region of Namibia (David Evans, adviser)

Ryan Laemel (BS Env).  Thesis: Late Cenozoic glacial erosion and relief change in Fjord Steffen and Cordon Los Nadis of the Patagonian Andes from apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology (Mark Brandon, adviser)

Nicole Shibley (BS Physics).  Thesis:  The Arctic’s Atlantic water double-diffusive staircase: From the basin boundaries to the interior (Mary-Louise Timmermans, adviser).

Wells Thorne (BS Paleo, double major with Theater Studies).  Thesis: Paleoecology and preservation of faunal assemblages in phosphatic nodules from the Pennsylvanian Midcontinent (Derek Briggs, adviser)

Robert Young (BS Paleo).  Thesis: Laboratory testing of a substrate mechanism for decay inhibition and exceptional preservation (Derek Briggs, adviser)


Anthony Fragoso (BS Physics).  Thesis:  On the formation of icicles: Compositional supercooling and instabilities in a free boundary problem (John Wettlaufer, adviser)

Jennifer Kasbohm (BS Solid, double major with Humanities).  Thesis: A paleomagnetic reanalysis of the Auborus Formation, Namibia (David Evans, adviser)

Florence Loi (BS Solid).  Essay:  Asbestos: Yesterday’s insulator of public buildings, today’s threat to public health (Catherine Skinner, adviser)

Eli Mitchell-Larson (BS Env, double major with Environmental Studies).  Thesis: Temperature and salinity variability recorded by Cladocora caespitosa: a multi-proxy analysis of a shallow-water Mediterranean coral (Mark Pagani, adviser)

Benjamin Mullet (BS Physics).  Thesis: Markov chain Monte Carlo inversion for the rheology of olivine single crystals (Jun Korenaga, adviser)

Natalee Pei (BS Env, double major with East Asian Studies).  Essay:  The hydrologic issues associated with shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale (Brian Skinner, adviser)

Evan Sniderman (BS Solid, double major with Economics).  Thesis: Detrital zircon geochronology and provenance analysis of Scotland Group sediments, Barbados (Mark Brandon, adviser)

Alexandra Turrini (BS Physics).  Thesis: Analysis and modeling of aerosol effects on temperature
change: Comparison of trends in radiation data to atmospheric models (Trude Storelvmo, adviser)

Ilya Uts (BS Physics).  Thesis: Effect of laser annealing of pressure gradients in a diamond anvil cell using common solid pressure media (Kanani Lee, adviser).

Thomas Winger (BS Solid).  Thesis: Pressure solution mass transfer of the Purgatory Conglomerate (Mark Brandon, adviser)

Cole Yeager (BS Env).  Thesis: Hawaiian Picrite Basalt (ML647-2B) reactivity with CO2-bearing solution on a microscale: Implications for carbon sequestration via mineral trapping (Zhengrong Wang, adviser)


Nicolas Casasanto (BA Geol).  Essay: Frack Attack: Weighing the debate over the hazards of shale gas production (Jay Ague, adviser)

Catherine Chamberlin (BS Chemistry).  Thesis: Using δD in Biological n-alkanes for Altimetry Purposes in New Zealand (Mark Pagani, adviser)

Lucila Dunnington (BS Solid).  Thesis: Mineral reactions during natural carbon sequestration in low-permeability rocks (Jay Ague, adviser)

Margaret McCall (BS AOC).  Thesis: Changes in the character of the Pacific Water in the Central Canada Basin from 2004-2012 (Mary-Louise Timmermans, adviser)

Daksha Rajagopalan (BS Physics).  Thesis: Characterizing fjord oceanography near tidewater glaciers Kronebreen and Kongsvegen, in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (Mary-Louise Timmermans, adviser)

Joseph O’Rourke (BS Solid; double major with Physics and Astronomy).  Thesis: Thermal and chemical evolution of Venus and super-Venus planets (Jun Korenaga, adviser)

Rick Russotto (BS AOC).  Thesis: Microphysical Modeling of Cloud Droplet Activation over Dominica (Trude Storelvmo, adviser)


Alexandra Andrews (BS Solid).  Thesis: The effect of diffusion on P-T conditions inferred by cation-exchange thermobarometry (Zhengrong Wang, adviser)

Roxanne Carini (BS Applied Math).  Thesis: Crack formation in desiccated colloidal suspensions (John Wettlaufer, adviser)

Matthew Ramlow (BA Geol; double major with Environmental Studies).  Essay: Sources of error within stable isotope and carbonate dissolution measurements of early Paleocene hyperthermals (Mark Pagani, adviser)

Ariel Revan (BS Paleo).  Thesis: Reconstructing an icon: Historical significance of the Peabody’s mounted skeleton of Stegosaurus and the changes necessary to make it correct anatomically (Jacques Gauthier, adviser)

Jake Sayler (BS Paleo).  Thesis: A new species of baenid turtle from the Upper Cretaceous of North Dakota and a revised maximum parsimony phylogenetic analysis of Paracryptodira (Jacques Gauthier, adviser)

Natasha Vitek (BS Paleo).  Thesis: Giant fossil soft-shelled turtles of North America (Jacques Gauthier, adviser) Link to published version

Chelsea Willett (BS Solid).  Thesis: History of long-term glacial erosion in the Patagonian Andes (Mark Brandon, adviser)


Lee Christoffersen (BA Geol; double major with BS in Environmental Engineering).  Essay: A strategic metal for green technology: The geologic occurrence and global life cycle of lithium (Jay Ague, adviser)

Sarah Dewey (BS AOC).  Thesis: Observations of shear-driven mixing in Arctic winter high-wind events using ice-tethered profilers (Mary-Louise Timmermans, adviser)

Rebecca Jackson (BS Physics).  Thesis: Entrainment in turbulent gravity currents (John Wettlaufer, adviser)

Sophia Merrifield (BS Physics; double major with BS in Mechanical Engineering).  Essay: El Niño hindcast with a simple dynamical model (Alexey Fedorov, adviser)

Michele Trickey (BS Physics).  Thesis: Atmospheric physics in coastal Ecuador:  Establishing a daily rainfall cycle in a climatic transition zone (Ronald Smith, adviser)


Claire Bucholz (BS Solid).  Thesis: Fluid flow and Al transport during quartz-kyanite vein formation, Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland (Jay Ague, adviser)  Link to published version

Andrew Delman (BS Solid).  Thesis: Erosion and overwash: Tracking and numerical modeling of coastal barrier evolution at Little Homer pond, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (Jay Ague, adviser; with Andrew Ashton, WHOI)

Abigail Fraeman (BS Solid).  Thesis: The thermal evolution of Mars modulated by mantle melting (Jun Korenaga, adviser) Link to published version

Kimberly Lau (BS Paleo).  Thesis: Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography of the New York Appalachian Basin Eurypterids (Derek Briggs, adviser)

Ian Rose (BS Solid).  Thesis: Paleomagnetism of mafic dikes in the northern Pilbara craton, Western Australia (David Evans, adviser)

Nathaniel Wilson (BS Solid).  Thesis: Modeling Patagonian ice sheet extent during past glaciations (Mark Brandon, adviser)


Elizabeth Wong (BS Solid).  Thesis: When do rocks move? Sediment transport and geomorphic processes in the Italian Alps, Switzerland (Mark Brandon, adviser)

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