Benjamin Uveges is a stable isotope and organic geochemist with broad interests in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, depositional characteristics of anoxic marine basins, and the use of molecular biomarkers for both paleoenvironmental and ecological studies. Ben received his PhD from Syracuse University where his work centered around characterizing the development and variability of chemically stratified aquatic basins through the use of sedimentary stable isotopes and pigment biomarkers. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.
Biogeochemical nutrient cycling is a fundamental control on marine ecosystems as all organisms have certain basic requirements of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other trace elements. The passing of these elements between various marine sedimentary and organic reservoirs, can be profoundly influenced by the redox state of the water column. As we look towards an increasingly perturbed modern Earth and atmospheric system, regional zones of hypoxia and anoxia are, and will continue to expand under a warming climate. In order to better understand how the cycling of essential elements in the ocean will change with warmth and expanding low oxygen conditions, Ben’s research looks to ancient anoxic ocean basins during major climate transitions for context. By understanding how climate events affected nutrient cycling in the past, as well as the ecological response to that change, we can begin to make better predictions of how modern systems will respond. Changes in redox state and in the balance of the processes cycling carbon and nitrogen in aquatic systems can be recorded in the isotopic composition of these elements in sediments.
While MIT, EAPS postdoc Ben will be working in the Summons group with sedimentary samples surrounding the Great Oxidation Event in order to better understand how the marine system responded to one of the most profound changes to the atmosphere in Earth History.
Uveges, B.T., Junium, C.K., Teece, M.A., Fulton, J.M., 2018
Environmental controls on pigment distributions in the freshwater microbialites of Fayetteville Green Lake. Organic Geochemistry Volume 125, Pages 165-176 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2018.08.012
Uveges, B.T., Junium, C.K., Boyer, D.L., Cohen, P.A., Day, J.E., 2018
Biogeochemical controls on black shale deposition during the Frasnian-Famennian biotic crisis in the Illinois and Appalachian Basins, USA, inferred from stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.05.031
To be included in the special issue “Global events of the Late Devonian to Early Permian: Prelude and progression of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age”