QARGMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesQuarternary and Anthropocene Research GroupUniversity of Cincinnati

QARG Members

Aaron Diefendorf

Aaron Diefendorf
Diefendorf's Research
Department of Geology
Associate Professor
Organic and Isotope Geochemistry

Dr. Diefendorf’s research interests are focused on reconstructing changes in paleoecology, paleoenvironment, and paleoclimate using organic and stable isotope biogeochemical tools. His current research is developing tools to reconstruct changes in terrestrial paleoecology and paleoclimate using fossil chemicals (biomarkers) specific for various plant taxa. These plant–specific biomarkers are produced in plant leaves and are preserved in Quaternary terrestrial and aquatic sediments. Changes in the type and abundance of biomarkers provides clues to paleoecological change and their carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios provide powerful information on the paleoenvironment.

QARG Publications
Diefendorf, A.F., Freeman, K.H., Wing, S.L., and Graham, H.V. (2011). Production of n-alkyl lipids in living plants and implications for the geologic past. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 75, 7472-7485.

Diefendorf, A.F., Mueller, K.E., Wing, S.L., Koch, P.L., & Freeman, K.H. (2010). Global patterns in leaf 13C discrimination and implications for studies of past and future climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 5738-5743.

Diefendorf, A.F., Patterson, W.P., Mullins, H.T., Tibert, N., and Martini, A., 2006. High frequency climate variability during the Late Glacial to mid–Holocene (16,800 to 5,500 calendar years BP) at Lough Inchiquin, Ireland: Evidence from oxygen isotope values of lacustrine sediment. Quaternary Research, 65, 78-86.