Bergmann comes to EAPS after recently completing a Harvard Society of Fellows postdoctoral fellowship.
Although JUST starting at MIT in the summer of 2015, sedimentologist Kristin Bergmann already has plenty of experience working with a team, including the one she worked with teaching earth and life sciences for three years at a school in New Jersey—where the team included 6th, 7th and 8th graders and other educators.
It’s part of what she calls the “roundabout path” to becoming an Assistant Professor with the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, with a bachelor of arts in geology from Carleton College before embarking on her career as a teacher, followed by earning her PhD at Caltech under the tutelage of John Grotzinger, Woody Fischer, and John Eiler.
But it was vital, Bergmann said, because hiking and delving into the rocks of suburban Pennington showed the miraculous in the mundane, revealing an ancient environment similar to the East African Rift and evidence of everything from worm tracks to dinosaur footprints.
“It cemented my desire to spend more time studying the interaction between ancient environments and the life living in them,” she said.
Her research on marine carbonate sedimentary rocks and fossils at field sites in the United States, Oman, and Norway focuses on reconstructing the record of environmental change from latest Precambrian to end-Ordovician time—using sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, and geobiology to understand how the chemistry and climate of the oceans and atmosphere affected the evolution of complex life.
“This is particularly useful because not only do we get a sense for the potential drivers of early evolution, but we also get a sense of the extremes that the Earth’s climate is capable of in the ancient past,” she said. Bergmann comes to EAPS after recently completing a Harvard Society of Fellows postdoctoral fellowship.
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