M.S., University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 1985 (Geological Sciences).
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1989 (Geological Sciences).
Thomas Algeo is a professor of Geology at the University of Cincinnati. His research specialization is sedimentary geochemistry with applications to paleoceanographic and global systems analysis. His research program is directed along three broad themes:
1) Environmental change at the Permian/Triassic boundary. The P/Tr boundary represents the largest mass extinction event in Earth history, yet its causes remain poorly understood. Recent research has shown that extensive anoxia developed in the global ocean at this time. My work is intended to refine our understanding of (1) the extent, duration, and spatial pattern of anoxia in the global ocean, and (2) correlate development of anoxia with other geochemical proxies related to organic, detrital, and authigenic mineral fluxes in order to determine the nature of the perturbations causing these redox changes.
2) The relationship of land plant evolution to weathering rate changes and global events during the Middle to Late Devonian. During this time period, a protracted (~30-Myr-long) marine extinction event took place, accompanied by stepwise changes in climate, terrestrial vegetation, and marine environmental conditions. My hypothesis (first published in GSA Today in 1995) is that the evolutionary development and spread of land plants at this time triggered changes in weathering rate fluxes that caused eutrophication of epicontinental seas as well as other changes through an "event cascade."
3) Development of trace-metal redox proxies to study paleomarine systems. In the past, trace-metal enrichment in marine sediments has been interpreted almost exclusively in terms of redox controls. As I have shown in several recent papers, trace-metal concentrations can also provide information about hydrographic conditions, especially the degree of restriction of the deep (subpycnoclinal) watermass, but also regarding changes in watermass chemistry and the operation of particulate shuttles in transferring trace metals from the water column to the sediment.