Dr. Daniel B. Nelson

Nachhaltige Landnutzung

Totengässlein 3
CH - 4051 Basel

+41 (0)61 207 29 88

Research Interests

My research is primarily directed towards process-oriented studies that focus on understanding the manner and mechanisms by which climate and environmental changes are recorded in organic geochemical proxies. I am also actively researching Holocene paleoclimate change in the tropical Pacific through application of molecular isotopic proxies to sediments. 

At the University of Basel I am working to understand how hydrologic variability influences the isotopic composition of the water used as the hydrogen pool for terrestrial plant lipids, and therefore to improve the fidelity with which the leaf wax lipid isotope signal preserved in sediments may be used to understand past climate changes. This work is being conducted using a continental scale sample set that I am assembling with the help of site collaborators throughout Europe. Complimenting these activities, I am evaluating how the hydrogen isotopic composition of wind-transported leaf waxes reflects environmental conditions from local to continental spatial scales in order to evaluate the capacity for using the hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf waxes in atmospheric dust as a tool for proxy calibration.

Education and Professional Experience

2014-ongoing: Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Basel with Ansgar Kahmen 
2007-2013: PhD - Chemical Oceanography, University of Washington - Thesis with Julian Sachs: Hydrogen Isotopes from Lipid Biomarkers: Purification, Field Calibration, and Application to Reconstructing Tropical Pacific Paleohydrology
2006-2007: Research Scientist/Stable Isotope Laboratory Technician - University of Pittsburgh
2002-2004: MS - Geology, University of Pittsburgh - Thesis with Mark Abbott: Holocene Paleoenvironmental History from Stable Isotopes in Lake Sediment, North-Central Washington State
1997-2001: BA - Geology, Hampshire College - advisor: John Reid

Key Publications

Nelson, D.B., Sachs, J.P. (2014). "The influence of salinity on D/H fractionation in dinosterol and brassicasterol from globally distributed saline and hypersaline lakes." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 133, 325-339.

Nelson, D.B., Sachs, J.P. (2014). "The influence of salinity on D/H fractionation in alkenones from saline and hypersaline lakes in continental North America." Organic Geochemistry, 66, 38-47.

Nelson, D.B., Sachs, J.P. (2013). "Concurrent Purification of Sterols, Triterpenols and Alkenones from Sediments for Hydrogen Isotope Analysis using High Performance Liquid Chromatography." Organic Geochemistry, 64, 19-28.

Steinman, B., Abbott, M.B., Nelson, D.B., Stansell, N.D., Finney, B.P., Rosenmeier, M.F., (2013). "Isotopic and hydrologic responses of small, closed lakes to climate variability: Comparison of measured and modeled lake level and sediment core oxygen isotope records." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Nelson, D.B., Abbott, M.B., Steinman, B., Polissar, P.J., Stansell, N.D., Ortiz, J.D., Rosenmeier, M.F., Finney, B.P., Riedel, J. (2011).  "Drought variability in the Pacific Northwest from a 6,000-yr lake sediment record." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108 (10): 3870-3875.

Aktuelle Publikationen

Nelson, Daniel; Knohl, Alexander; Sachse, Dirk; Schefusse, Enno; Kahmen, Ansgar: Sources and abundances of leaf waxes in aerosols in central Europe, in: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Volume 198, 2017, S. 299-314. URL
Nelson, Daniel; Sachs, Julian P: Galápagos hydroclimate of the Common Era from paired microalgal and mangrove biomarker 2H/1H values, in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113, 2016, H. 13, S. 3476-81.

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