Research in the Petersen Group (SCIPP Lab) focuses on reconstructing past climate using geochemical tools, in particular, stable and clumped isotopes of carbonate fossils. We have ongoing projects focusing on reconstructing climate in the Cretaceous, Miocene, Pleistocene and other time periods, looking at how climate has changed on million-year down to sub-annual timescales. Check out our Research page for more details.

The Petersen Group/SCIPP Lab operates out of the University of Michigan Stable Isotope Laboratory – a three-PI lab (PI’s Petersen, Lohmann, and Cole). Our lab was recently renovated top-to-bottom and we moved in to the new space in March/April 2019.

Within the Stable Isotope Lab, the Petersen Group is primarily making clumped isotope measurements and water oxygen isotope measurements. We have two mass spectrometers operating: Old Blue, a Thermo MAT 253, where samples are prepared on a vacuum line (water samples), and Maisie, a Nu Perspective with NuCarb automated carbonate preparation device (clumped isotopes).

Interested in joining the Petersen Group?

Graduate: Applications to UM Earth and Environmental Sciences Department graduate program (Masters and PhD) are typically due in January to begin the following fall semester. We will be recruiting new graduate students for enrollment Fall 2023. Contact Dr. Petersen if you are interested in applying. Please include your CV and unofficial transcript with your email. More info can be found here about the admissions process. The SCIPP group will consider excellent candidates for both the MS and PhD programs. FYI – Dr. Petersen tends to schedule zoom calls with interested students in the late fall (Nov/Dec) to keep these conversations fresh for when the applications come in in January. Reaching out before that is fine.

Undergraduate: The SCIPP lab has traditionally had a number of undergraduates working in our lab (see People), recruited either directly or through the UROP program, working for either credit or pay. We had four new UROP students for the 2021-2022 academic year, two of which are continuing on in the 2022-2023 academic year. We will consider additional undergraduates for Fall 2023 positions. Contact Dr. Petersen if you are interested and please include your unofficial transcript, CV (optional), and 1-2 faculty who can be contacted as references.