Our group seeks a deeper understanding of how Earth’s natural systems have bahaved in the past, and how this knowledge can better inform us of the future. We are principally focused on reconstructing the evolution of Earth’s climate and ecosystems using biogeochemical tracers preserved in various geological archives. To better constrain the mechanisms responsible for observed changes, ongoing work also involves modern calibration studies and paleoclimate simulations using complex earth system models.

The lab is directed by Michael Griffiths, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science at William Paterson University of New Jersey.

Featured Articles

Deciphering local and regional hydroclimate resolves contradicting evidence on the Asian monsoon evolution*Wolf, A., Ersek, V., Braun, T., French, A., McGee, D., Bernasconi, S.M. Skiba, V., Griffiths, M.L., Johnson, K.R., Fohlmeister, J., Breitenbach, S.F.M., Pausata, F.S.R., Tabor, C.R., Longman, J., Roberts, W.H.G., Chandan, D., Peltier, W.R., Salzmann, U., Limbert, D., Trinh, D.A., 2023. Nature Communications, 14, 5697.
Endothermic physiology of extinct megatooth sharksGriffiths, M.L., Eagle, R.A., Kim, S.L., Flores, R.J., Becker, M.A., Maisch IV, H.M., Trayler, R.B., Chan, R.L., McCormack, J., Akhtar, A.A., Tripati, A.K., and Shimada, K., 2023. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120 (27) e2218153120.  See related Commentary
Glacial changes in sea level modulated millennial- scale variability of Southeast Asian autumn monsoon rainfallPatterson, E.W., Johnson, K.R., Griffiths, M.L., Kinsley, C.W., McGee, D., Due, X., Pico, T., Wolf, A., Ersek, V., Mortlock, R.A., Yamoah, K.A, Bùij, T.N., Trầnj, M.X., Đỗ- Trọngk, Q., Võj, T.V., and Đinh, T.H., 2023. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120 (27) 2219489120.
Constraining clouds and convective parameterizations in a climate model using paleoclimate dataRamos, R. D., LeGrande, A. N., Griffiths, M.L., Elsaesser, G. S., Litchmore, D. T., Tierney, J. E., Pausata, F. S. R., Nusbaumer, J., 2022. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems,
doi: 10.1029/2021MS002893.
Cenozoic megatooth sharks occupied extremely high trophic positionsKast, E.R., Griffiths, M.L., Kim, S.L., Rao, Z.C., Shimada, K., Becker, M.A., Maisch, H.M., Eagle, R.A., Clarke, C.A., Neumann, A.N., Lüdecke, T., Leichliter, J.N., Martínez-García, A., Akhtar, A.A., Wang, X.T., Haug, G.H., Sigman, D.M, 2022. Science Advances 8, eabl6529.See related Focus
Trophic position of Otodus megalodon and great white sharks through time revealed by zinc isotopesTrophic position of Otodus megalodon and great white sharks through time revealed by zinc isotopesMcCormack, J., Griffiths, M.L., Kim, S.L., Shimada, K, Karnes, M., Maisch IV, H., Pederzani, S., Bourgon, N., Jaouen, K., Becker, M.A., Jöns, N., Sisma-Ventura, G., Straube, N., Pollerspöck, J., Hublin, J.J., Eagle, R.A., and Tütken, T., 2022. Nature Communications 13, 2980.
End of Green Sahara amplified mid-to late Holocene megadroughts in mainland Southeast Asia.Griffiths, M.L., Johnson, K.R., Pausata, F.S., White, J.C., Henderson, G.M., Wood, C.T., Yang, H., Ersek, V., Conrad, C. and Sekhon, N., 2020. Nature Communications 11, 4204.
​​East Asian hydroclimate modulated by the position of the westerlies during Termination I.Zhang, H., Griffiths, M.L., Chiang, J.C.H., Kong, W., Wu, S., Atwood, A., Huang, J., Cheng, H., Ning, Y., Xie, S., 2018. Science 362, 580-583.See related Perspective
Western Pacific hydroclimate linked to global climate variability over the past two millennia.Griffiths, M.L., Kimbrough, A.K., Gagan, M.K., Drysdale, R.N., Cole, J., Johnson, K., Zhao, J.-x., Cook, B., Hellstrom, J.C., Hantoro, W.S., 2016. Nature Communications 7, 11719.
Rapid interhemispheric climate links via the Australasian monsoon during the last deglaciation.Ayliffe, L.K., Gagan, M.K., Zhao, J.-x., Drysdale, R.N., Hellstrom, J.C., Hantoro, W.S., Griffiths, M.L., Scott-Gagan, H., St. Pierre, E., Cowley, J.A., Suwargadi, B.W., 2013. Nature Communications 4, 2908.
Increasing Australian–Indonesian monsoon rainfall linked to early Holocene sea-level riseGriffiths, M.L., Drysdale, R.N., Gagan, M.K., Zhao, J.-x., Ayliffe, L.K., Hellstrom, J.C., Hantoro, W.S., Frisia, S., Feng, Y.-x., Cartwright, I., St. Pierre, E., Fischer, M.J., and Suwargadi, B.W., 2009. Nature Geoscience 2, 636-639.See related Backstory

What can cave minerals reveal about past climate?

We build paleoclimate records using geochemical tracers preserved in cave stalagmites

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What do fossils tell us about ancient ecosystems?

We reconstruct past biology and ecology of marine vertebrates using various isotope systems

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How can computer models help test hypotheses?

We use computational earth system models to infer the processes responsible for climate changes imprinted in the natural archives

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