Sarah Widlansky

Sarah Widlansky, NRESS Ph.D. student

Research Topic

Understanding Climatic and Biotic Interactions in Terrestrial Systems During Ancient Warm Periods

Sarah incorporates a variety of geological techniques to reconstruct the timing and magnitude of warm periods during Earth’s past to better understand how perturbations to Earth’s climate are preserved in ancient terrestrial records and affected ancient ecosystems. She focuses on two separate study areas in the western US – The Bighorn Basin of Wyoming and the Sheep Pass Formation in Nevada. In the Bighorn Basin, Sarah studies a series large magnitude, short duration global warming events that took place between ~56 – 53 million years ago as these represent some of the best analogs for the warming we’re experiencing today. She uses terrestrial stable carbon isotope records from these “hyperthermals” to correlate between exposures in the basin and provide a framework for understanding the climatological context for mammal evolution during these events. In the Sheep Pass Formation, Sarah studies the paleomagnetism of ancient, high-elevation, microbial lake carbonates to develop a temporal framework based on magnetic reversals and to understand the origin of magnetic remanence in this greenhouse lake system.

Previous Awards and Activities

  • AGI Geo-CVD participant, Washington D.C., 2018
  • Edwin H. and Margaret M. Colbert Prize (best student poster), Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2016
  • Graduate Student Fellowship, UNH Graduate School, 2016
  • American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Scholarship, Eastern Federation, 2016
  • Graduate Student Fellowship, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, UNH, 2016
  • Graduate Student Research Grant, Geological Society of America, 2015

Selected Presentations and Publications

Journal Articles
Widlansky, S.J., Clyde, W.C., O’Connor, P.M., Roberts, E.M., Stevens, N.J., 2018. Paleomagnetism of the Cretaceous Galula Formation and Implications for Vertebrate Evolution. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 139, p. 403 – 420.

Conference Presentations
Widlansky, S.J., Clyde, W.C., Secord, R., Chew, A.E., Clyde, W.C., 2018. Carbon Isotope Stratigraphy and  mammal turnover through post-PETM hyperthermals in the Fifteenmile Creek area (Bighorn Basin, Wyoming). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, p. 239. (Oral Presentation)

Widlansky, S.J., Clyde, W.C., O’Connor, P.M., Roberts, E.M., Stevens, N.J., 2016. Cretaceous Magnetostratigraphy from Southwestern Tanzania and Implications for Vertebrate Paleobio-geography. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, p. 249. (Poster)

Widlansky, S., Clyde, W., O’Connor, P., Roberts, E., 2015. Magnetostratigraphy of the Cretaceous Galula Formation from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, p. 237. (Poster)

Widlansky, S., Manz, C., Bloch, J., 2013. Paleocene-Eocene rodents (Ischyromyidae, Reithroparamyinae) from freshwater limestone in the Clarks Fork Basin, Wyoming. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, p. 237-238. (Poster)

Education

  • M.S., Geology, University of New Hampshire, 2016
  • B.S., Geology, University of Florida, 2013

Professional Positions

  • Instructor: Earth History, UNH, Spring 2019
  • Teaching Assistant: Dynamic Earth and Earth History, UNH, 2014-2015 & 2017-2018
  • Research Assistant: UNH, 2015 - 2016