Department Chair; Murray and Martha Ross Professor of Environmental Sciences; Harvard College Professor
Ann Pearson is the Murray and Martha Ross Professor of Environmental Sciences. Her research focuses on applications of analytical chemistry, isotope geochemistry, and molecular biology to biochemical oceanography and Earth history.
Through study of the “how, when, and why” of microbial processes, her work yields insight about environmental conditions on Earth today, in the past, and about potential human impacts on our future. Recent projects have focused on the carbon and nitrogen cycles and on pathways of lipid biosynthesis.
Pearson received a Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in 2004, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship in 2009, and was named a Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2012. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, where she was awarded the C. G. Rossby Award for Best Dissertation in the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate; and a B.A. in Chemistry from Oberlin College.
Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and co-Director of Graduate Studies
Isotope geochemistry and historical geobiology. Re-animating ancient ecosystems and ocean chemistry using stable isotope systems, chemical speciation techniques, modern microbial experiments (for calibration) and theoretical considerations.
Before joining the Knoll Group, Drew received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from Virginia Tech. As a paleontologist and geobiologist, his work focuses on fossils of complex eukaryotes in the late Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic interval (~1000-450 Ma) of the geologic record. By studying the paleobiology and paleoenvironments of these fossils, his work aims to understand the rise of animal life and its impact on the Earth system.
Post-Doctoral Fellow Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows Knoll - Pierce - Lauder Groups
Elizabeth is both a paleontologist and biological oceanographer. She is broadly interested in the evolution, structure, and function of ocean ecosystems. She uses a multi-proxy approach to study how the open ocean ecosystem has changed through time, with a focus on how it has responded to climate and biotic events in the past. Elizabeth works primarily with ichthyoliths, microfossil fish teeth and shark scales found in deep-sea sediments world wide, which preserve an unparalleled record of fish diversity, abundance, and community structure through geologic time.
Interactions between organic and inorganic processes are fundamental to development and growth. The initiation of shell formation in extant shelled molluscs appears to be an evolutionarily conserved process. Nevertheless, the physiology that coordinates biomineralization can be hindered by adverse environmental conditions, during which shells also retain environmental information that can...
Date calibrations for applying molecular clocks to phylogeny are typically provided by fossil or other geologically preserved evidence. However, for the vast majority of the Tree of Life, no fossil record exists. While the paleontological record of lipid biomarkers and microbial microfossils provides some information, these records are extremely sparse, and often ambiguous. ...