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Sarah Finkelstein

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Toronto

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Our research group acquires and analyzes paleoecological data to determine how ecosystems have responded to environmental change in the past. Paleo-records can supply quantitative predictions of the responses of ecosystems to contemporary global change, and they can also be used to test hypotheses of the roles of biodiversity and biological productivity in modulating these responses. Much of our research focuses on the Arctic – a region now changing rapidly in response to climatic change. Other projects are situated in Ontario's boreal forest and in wetlands of the Great Lakes region.

We focus on microfossil records – including pollen and diatoms – preserved in lake and wetland sediments. These are powerful indicators for the past dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We are also equipped for sedimentological, geochemical and tree-ring analysis and we run some projects in conjunction with the Green Plant Herbarium at the Royal Ontario Museum.

To learn more about this research, please visit the U of T Paleoecology Lab website: