Student opportunities

I am currently seeking motivated Ph.D. students to join the new Konecky lab at Washington University in St. Louis in Fall 2018. If you’re interested in tropical climate or paleoclimate, especially via biomarkers, light stable isotopes, and/or models, please get in touch: bronwen.konecky at colorado dot edu. In your email, please describe your interests and background, and attach a resume or CV if you have one.

Potential project topics include the following, but feel free to pitch your own idea. See my Research Interests for more information.

(I’m also recruiting a Laboratory Manager. More info here.)

The modern tropical water cycle

  • Continental moisture recycling and African climate. How does moisture from the Congo rainforest contribute to rainfall variability and agricultural decision-making in western Uganda? How do the dynamics of seasonal wetlands influence land-atmosphere feedbacks in semi-arid Botswana? Current opportunities include water isotope, meteorological, and remote sensing observations in western Uganda as part of a newly funded initiative to understand rainfall variability and agricultural decision-making. This project will be in partnership with physical and human geographers at the University of Colorado, University of New Hampshire, and Georgia State. More info here.

Ancient climates and environments

  • Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the high Andes. How did large-scale climate variations affecting South America — e.g., variations in monsoons, the ITCZ, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation — shape the environments and human societies of the high Andes during the past several thousand years? Current opportunities include lake sediment coring and organic geochemical analyses in the high Peruvian Andes, with a field season in late summer 2018. More info coming soon!
  • Modern calibration and proxy system modeling of leaf wax hydrogen isotopes. Can we quantify uncertainties (structural as well as parametric) on leaf wax hydrogen isotopes using a forward model embedded in a GCM? How much uncertainty is reduced when we add rich new measurements of modern tropical plants, soils, and waters? Current opportunities include greenhouse studies and model investigations.

Earth system modeling and data synthesis

  • Synthesis of hydroclimate proxy records and comparison with isotope-enabled climate model simulations. What physical mechanisms of climate variability and change, explored using models, can explain observations in the geologic record? I am especially interested in the past millennium, the Holocene, and the Last Glacial Maximum. Current opportunities include analysis of existing/upcoming simulations of the LGM and the past millennium, and data synthesis-model comparison of the past 2,000 years using the brand new Iso2k database.