Our group’s current research interests include: 1) investigating the hypothesis of upland glaciation at equatorial latitudes during the late Paleozoic, and allied topics related to preservation of paleo-uplands; 2) assessing the dust loading of the late Paleozoic atmosphere and associated atmospheric and biotic effects of this dust, including impacts on Earth’s carbon cycle; 3) tracing provenance of Pangaean dust and implications for climatic and tectonic reconstructions; 4) the origin of the dust that forms loess deposits (on Earth and Mars); and 5) the character of weathering in glacial systems, and impacts on carbon cycling. My students typically conduct thesis or dissertation research that involves both field and lab components. You can read more, including examples of past graduate-student projects and publications, on this website

Learn more about specific projects below:


Potential MS and PhD students interested in studying at the University of Oklahoma in sedimentary geology with emphasis on deep-time paleoclimate, weathering, and/or application of sedimentary geology to tectonic questions should contact me about potential opportunities and funding.

Graduate school applications are due in early January annually for fall-semester admissions. In general, a winter application for fall admission maximizes chances for financial aid. For more information, including admissions requirements, see the School of Geosciences website.


Preamble and Group Ethos

Everyone who chooses to participate in education and research should feel welcome. To that end, we value and strive to inculcate a culture and ethos of inclusivity in our research group. Note that the statement here does not supersede the School, College, or University policies, but outlines expectations for the Sedimentary Geology research group. These expectations include what you as a student/researcher can expect from me (Lynn), as well as my expectations of you. I am in a University position because I enjoy teaching people how to do science by engaging in real research projects with them, and helping them to develop a professional approach to scientific research. Many students begin their work with a graduate advisor without a clear idea of what they can expect, and without a clear idea of what it takes to succeed in science. The informational document I provide to my students is intended to establish a clear framework for professional interactions in our group, and to aid your career planning. Remember that our professional relationship is a two-way interaction, and you should inform me of your hopes and goals as well. Please know that my door is always open to you when you wish to discuss anything.

Inclusivity and Diversity

We operate at our best when we feel safe and supported. Furthermore, abundant research demonstrates that diverse teams are strong, effective, and creative teams (e.g. Medin & Lee, 2012; Freeman & Huang, 2014), ultimately making for better science. Thus, we strive to maintain a group culture that values our diversity, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, physical appearance, race, age, political or religious beliefs, national origin, or veteran status. To achieve this, please observe our Code of Conduct; in general, this means to treat others professionally and with respect in all interactions. Examples of expectations include the following:

-Be kind and avoid insults, aggressions, micro-aggressions. Be mindful of words and language.

-Communicate in a professional manner, avoiding language, jokes, or imagery that could be offensive (e.g. sexist, racist, etc.) or exclusionary.

-Harassment, bullying, and intimidation of any sort is absolutely unacceptable.

-Strive to engage in discussions with a constructive, positive attitude. Learn others’ preferred pronouns. Refrain from interrupting. Try to understand others’ points of view, including cultural practices.

Take advantage of opportunities to learn beyond your own background by borrowing a book from the School of Geosciences’ diversity library, joining a reading group, or taking part in diversity workshops offered by the university.

See College-level statements and resources here:


Medin, D.L., and Lee, C.D., 2012, Diversity makes better science: Observer, Association for Psychological Science.

Freeman, R.B., and Huang, W., 2014, Collaboration: Strength in diversity: Nature, v. 513, #7518, doi:10.1038/513305a


  • Patrick Kelly, MS in progress, Giant grains in atmospheric dust of the late Paleozoic Panthalassic Ocean (Akiyoshi Atoll, Japan).
  • Alicia Bonar, PhD in progress, Dust generation in tropical soils, and impacts of atmospheric dust on carbon cycling.
  • Austin McGlannan, PhD in progress, Controls on deposition and carbon burial in late Paleozoic mudstones of the midcontinent.
  • Lily Pfeifer, PhD  2020, Post-doc in progress, Permian loess and equatorial glaciation in eastern equatorial Pangaea (France). Published in Geological Society of America Bulletin (2021), Frontiers in Earth Sciences (2020), Journal of Geoscience  Education (2021), with another paper in review.
  • Steve Adams, M.S. 2018, PhD in progress, Evaluating silt generation using field, experimental, and remote-sensing methods. MS research published in Geology (2020).
  • Mehrdad Sardar Abadi, Post-Doctoral Researcher 2017-2020 Atmospheric dust from the Pennsylvanian-Permian of northeastern Gondwana (Iran) and implications for carbon cycling. Published in Palaeo3 (2019), Geology (2020), and Geological Society of America Bulletin (2020).
  • Andrew Oordt, M.S. 2019, Atmospheric dust from the Carboniferous Wordiekammen carbonate platform, Spitsbergen, Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2020).
  • Curtis Smith, M.S. 2016, SEM microtextural analysis as a paleoclimate tool for fluvial deposits: A modern test. Published in Geological Society of America Bulletin (2018).
  • Carlos Carvajal, M.S. 2016, Atmospheric dust from the Pennsylvanian Copacabana Formation (Bolivia): A high-resolution record of paleoclimate and volcanism from northwestern Gondwana. Published in Gondwana Research (2018).
  • Xiao Qi, M.S. 2016, An icehouse dust record from the Upper Paleozoic Akiyoshi Limestone (Japan), in preparation for Geological Society of America Bulletin.
  • Young Ji Joo, Post-Doctoral Researcher 2013-2016, Investigations of physical and chemical weathering in fluvial systems of contrasting climatic regions. Published in Sedimentology, Geology, and Geosciences Journal.
  • Lily Pfeifer, M.S., 2014, Detrital zircon geochronology of Upper Carboniferous-Permian strata in the Lodéve Basin, France. Published in Basin Research (2016).
  • Kristen Marra, Ph.D., Physical and chemical weathering in alluvial systems of the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Published in Geomorphology (2014, 2017), and Applied Geochemistry (2015).
  • Leslie Keiser, Ph.D., 2013, Physical and chemical weathering in modern and Permian proximal fluvial systems. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2014, 2015).
  • Tyler Foster, M.S., 2013, Environments and provenance of redbeds of the Dog Creek Shale (Midcontinent): Implications for Middle Permian paleoclimate in western Pangaea. Published in Paleo(2014).
  • Thaddeus Eccles, M.S., 2013, Structure of the southwestern Uncompahgre Plateau (western Colorado) near Unaweep Canyon. Maps in review for publication.
  • Elisheva Patterson, M.S. 2011, Fluctuating dust in the Late Paleozoic ice house: records from an oceanic atoll, Akiyoshi, Japan.
  • Alisan Sweet, M.S. 2011, Sedimentologic, geochemical, and detrial zircon data from the Middle Permian El Reno Group of northwest Oklahoma: Implications for paleogeography and wind patterns of western Pangaea. Published in Sedimentary Geology (2013).
  • Dustin Sweet, Ph.D., 2009, Glaciation in equatorial Pangaea: Testing the hypothesis in the Pennsylvanian-Permian Fountain Formation (Colorado). Published in Paleo3 (2008), GSA Bulletin (2010), and Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010).
  • Sohini Sur, Ph.D., 2009, An integrated sedimentological and geochemical study to test the possible links between late Paleozoic climate change, atmospheric dust influx, and primary productivity in the Horseshoe Atoll, west Texas. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010a, b) and Geology (2015).
  • Kristen Marra, M.S., 2008, Late Cenozoic geomorphic and climatic evolution of the northeastern Colorado Plateau as recorded by Plio-Pleistocene sediment fill in Unaweep Canyon. Published in Geosphere.
  • Alice Stagner, M.S., 2008, Eolian silt in upper Paleozoic carbonates of the Bird Spring Formation (Arrow Canyon, Nevada): Implications for climate-controlled sedimentation. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010).
  • Kate Moore, M.S., 2007, Late Paleozoic stratigraphic and structural relationships in the proximal Cutler Formation, Paradox Basin, Colorado. Published in The Mountain Geologist (2008) {Best Paper Award].
  • Sara Kaplan, M.S., 2006, Revealing Unaweep Canyon: The late Cenozoic exhumation history of Unaweep Canyon as recorded by gravels in Gateway, Colorado. Published in Geosphere.
  • Sabata Pereira, M.S., 2005, Variations in detrital flux recorded in Upper Pennsylvanian mounds of Horseshoe Atoll, Texas.
  • Katherine Hartig, M.S., 2003, Origin of dolomite in loessitic paleosols of the lower Permian Abo-Tubb unit, northeastern New Mexico.  Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2011).
  • Andrew Moses, M.S., 2003, Loessitic origin, provenance, and paleoclimatic significance of siltstone within the Pennsylvanian-Permian Earp Formation and equivalents, Arizona. Published in Sedimentology (2007).
  • Shane Seals, M.S., 2002, Siliciclastic facies, paleodispersal, sequence stratigraphy, and thickness trends in the late Pennsylvanian western Orogrande basin (New Mexico): Implications for basin paleogeography and subsidence. Published in New Mexico Museum of Natural History Bulletin (2013).
  • Kristy Tramp, M.S., 2000, Integrated sedimentologic, geochemical, and rock magnetic data as a high-resolution record of pedogenesis in the Pennsylvanian Maroon Formation loessite (Colorado). Published in GSA Bulletin (2004).
  • Patrick Doherty, M.S., 2000, Characterization of an exhumed reservoir: A composite phylloid algal mound of the western Orogrande basin, New Mexico. Published in AAPG Bulletin (2002).
  • Jennifer Kessler, M.S., 1999, Depositional and pedogenic evidence for early to middle Permian aridity in western equatorial Pangea. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2001).