Nicholas Swanson-Hysell

Assistant Professor
Department of Earth and Planetary Science | University of California, Berkeley | Berkeley, CA 94720

I am a geoscientist whose research integrates original field observations with laboratory data sets in order to further understanding of global change through time. My research group develops data from sequences of volcanic and sedimentary rocks where information can be extracted about the positioning of the continents, the evolution of the magnetic field, shifting dynamics of the carbon cycle and large changes in climate.

The legendary Berkeley professor Andrew Lawson wrote in 1900 that: “In the greater duration of time which they represent, in the greater complexity of the problems which they offer, and in their comparative nearness to the beginnings of geological history, pre-Cambrian rocks transcend in interest all the formations from the Cambrian to the present.” Like Lawson, I am fascinated by ancient Earth history with a focus on the Mesoproterozoic (1.6 billion to 1.0 billion years ago) and the Neoproterozoic (1.0 billion to 542 million years ago) Eras of Precambrian time when the Earth was going through profound change. The ability to apply modern analytical tools, in conjunction with original field observations, makes it an exceptionally exciting time to be working to understand global change through these critical intervals of Earth history.