Dr David P Gillikin (home)

Some thesis ideas in Geology

1) Can we determine groundwater salinization or storm floods (or Tsunami run-up) using dendrochemistry? – basically I want to see if we can use tree rings to tell us past salinity levels. This project involves sampling sediment and wood chemistry.

2) Aquatic biogeochemistry – Look at the carbon cycling (carbonate geochemistry) of small streams. How do these small streams fit into the global carbon cycle which is so important to have well characterized for the climate modelers. Or: focus on the biogeochemistry of a lake. I also have a field site in North Carolina where I am interested in the Carbon Cycle of a coastal salt marsh.

3) Can freshwater bivalve shells be used as recorders of environmental conditions? Here we would see if shells collected from local streams give any indication of recording environmental conditions in the chemistry of their shell. Can we see an increase in salinity in the stream? I also have several projects ongoing involving freshwater mussel shells.

4) Fish scales - Can we learn about fish ecology using scale geochemistry?

5) Tropical dendrochronology - What effect has the large 2004 tsunami had on the mangroves in Indonesia? Looking at vessel density may shed light on the future of these ever so important trees

6) Isotope geochemistry - World's the limit - come and talk with me

7) Fossil bivalve shell geochemistry Loads of really interesting stuff to do here!

8) Impact of early plants on the global silica cycle



Contact Information

David P. Gillikin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geology
Department of Geology
Union College
807 Union St
Schenectady, NY 12308

phone: 518-388-6679
fax: 845-388-6417
email: gillikid@union.edu