Rebecca Dzombak

Rebecca Dzombak
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Ph.D. Earth & Environmental Science
rdzombak [@] umich.edu for research inquiries

About

21
Publications
2,915
Reads
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53
Citations
Citations since 2017
21 Research Items
54 Citations
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Introduction
I hold a Ph.D. in biogeochemistry and am currently a science writer. My research interests focused on the co-evolution of terrestrial life and biogeochemical cycles, and how those changes affected the marine biosphere and the atmosphere. To study these areas, I used the chemistry of modern and fossil soils. My thesis is available at: https://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/170021
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Research on iron in soils and paleosols; carbon isotopes.
September 2016 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • Taught EARTH440, our four-week capstone field mapping course around Jackson, WY. - x2 Taught EARTH442, Soils and Surface Processes. Includes field trips, wet labs, problem sets, discussion, and some modeling. - x2
May 2015 - April 2016
University of Michigan
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
April 2016 - May 2021
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Geochemistry
September 2012 - May 2015
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Earth & Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (21)
Article
Although continental weathering intensity has been invoked as a primary control on biogeochemistry, tectonics, and the carbon cycle throughout geologic history, it remains poorly quantified over Earth’s history. As a direct product of continental weathering, paleosols (fossil soils) offer unique insight into past weathering intensity, but they rema...
Article
Full-text available
As atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperatures increase with modern climate change, ancient hothouse periods become a focal point for understanding ecosystem function under similar conditions. The early Eocene exhibited high temperatures, high CO2 levels, and similar tectonic plate configuration as today, so it has been invoked as an analog t...
Article
Paleosols (fossil soils) are valuable records of terrestrial climate and environments, and paleosol-based proxies are commonly used to reconstruct past climates and ecosystems. Results from relatively small outcrops or transects or from single vertical sections are frequently scaled up to represent basin-scale processes and conditions, and reconstr...
Thesis
Full-text available
The co-evolution of the terrestrial biogeochemical cycle, the atmosphere, and the marine biosphere remain relatively poorly understood, with outstanding questions surrounding terrestrial-marine links, climate, and tectonics. In particular, the terrestrial sediment source (i.e., soils) remains understudied relative to the marine sediment sink, with...
Preprint
Full-text available
As increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperatures accompany modern climate change, ancient hothouse periods become a focal point for understanding ecosystem function under similar conditions. The early Eocene exhibited high temperatures, high CO2 levels, and similar tectonic plate configuration to today, so it has been invoked as an a...
Article
Paleosols formed in direct contact with the Earth's atmosphere, so they can record the composition of the atmosphere through weathering processes and products. Herein we critically review a variety of different approaches for reconstructing atmospheric O2 and CO2 over the past three billion years. Paleosols indicate relatively low CO2 over that tim...
Article
Full-text available
Paleosols formed in direct contact with the Earth's atmosphere, so they can record the composition of the atmosphere through weathering processes and products. Herein we critically review a variety of different approaches for reconstructing atmospheric O2 and CO2 over the past three billion years. Paleosols indicate relatively low CO2 over that tim...
Article
Full-text available
Phosphorus (P) is an essential limiting nutrient in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding the natural and anthropogenic influence on P concentration in soils is critical for predicting how its distribution in soils may shift as climate changes. While it is known that P is sourced from bedrock weathering, relationships between weathering,...
Data
Sample information, bulk geochemical data, Fe extraction data for the non-USGS soils used in Dzombak & Sheldon (2020) Soil Systems.
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Supplemental Figures for Dzombak & Sheldon (2020) Soil Systems
Article
Full-text available
The question of what caused the mass extinction at 66 Ma persists. Using fossil soils within the Deccan Traps in India, we reconstructed climate on land during volcanism and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (66Ma), and found no significant climate perturbations during that period. We conclude that although volcanism likely contributed to lo...
Article
Large igneous provinces (LIPs) have been temporally correlated to mass extinctions throughout the Phanerozoic, including the emplacement of the Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP; 66.3–65.6 Ma) in western and central India, which has been invoked as either a cause or exacerbating factor in the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction. However, relatively...
Presentation
Full-text available
Conference talk from GSA - North Central Section meeting 2020
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It has been argued that phosphorus supply to the ocean (via continental weathering) has been a primary control on marine productivity and oxygen production 1,2 , and that during the late Precambrian, the terrestrial biosphere expanded and increased oxygen through intense weathering and nutrient delivery to shallow marine systems 2,3. Here, we compi...
Poster
Full-text available
I analyzed our expanded soil dataset (about 140 soils, B horizons) and a set of climatic/environmental variables using Principle Components Analysis in order to see (a) which Fe pools are most strongly associated with each other, and (b) which, if any, climatic variables were associated with each Fe pool. While I had expected to find strong associa...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Few demographic data exist on science communicators across a spectrum of media. By gathering demographic data of science communicators, I aim to (1) determine race or gender biases in who can be a successful science communicator, (2) determine differences in faculty science communication, and (3) explore how the race and gender of science communicators may encourage or discourage underrepresented groups to pursue a STEM degree or career.
Project
Few data exist on the demographics of science communicators, both professional and academic. In order to understand potential biases in science coverage, who is doing the labor of science communication in academia, and how the visibility of science communicators may affect representation of women and minorities, I am collecting data on gender, race, and academic background of science communicators across a variety of media platforms.
Project
Establishing the impact of Proterozoic terrestrial life on geomorphology and biogeochemical cycles