Skip to content

Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research

The Department of Geography’s Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research in the Science and Engineering Research Facility is dedicated to the study of soils and sediments as archives of climate and environmental history.  Directed by Drs. Sally Horn and Yingkui (Philip) Li, the lab includes facilities and equipment for recovering and analyzing sediment cores from lakes and wetlands, sampling and analyzing soil profiles for paleoenvironmental research, and for preparing rock samples for cosmogenic nuclide analysis.  Research projects in the Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research are supported by grants from NSF to faculty and students, grants and contracts from other federal agencies and private foundations, and by UT’s Office of Research.  The photos below show some of the facilities and past and present students in the lab.

Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research

Students examining pollen slides in the Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research.  Photograph shows former Geography M.S. students Joshua Albritton (right) and Ian Slayton, along with undergraduate student Alicia Smith.

Sampling pollen

Geography Ph.D. student Joanne Ballard (left) and Anthropology Ph.D. students Doug Sain and Megan Hoak sampling a sediment core for pollen analysis.

Matt Valente and SEM

Geography Ph.D. student Matt Valente using a table top SEM to examine pollen grains.

Matt Boehm LOI sampling

Geography Ph.D. student Mathew Boehm weighing core samples from a North Carolina bog for loss-on-ignition analysis.

Maria Caffrey processing diatoms

Dr. Maria Caffrey (Ph.D. 2011) processing lake-sediment samples for diatom analysis.

 Madison and macroscopic charcoal

Undergraduate Anthropology major Madison Hammett examining charcoal extracted from the sediments of a pond in the Florida Keys.

 Zack Taylor sampling cores

Dr. Zachary Taylor (Ph.D. 2011) sampling lake-sediment cores from Costa Rica for high-resolution stable isotope analysis.

Rebecca with tour

Geography M.S. student Rebecca Potter explaining cosmogenic nuclide analysis to students from South Doyle Middle school, as Dr. Yingkui (Philip) Li looks on.  Students and faculty in the Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research frequently give lab tours and participate in other science outreach.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.