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We work on a variety of problems associated with the water and carbon cycles using geochemical tracers. This includes studying modern rivers and catchments, as well as the terrestrial geologic record, to understand fundamental Earth system processes that link the biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. Specifically, using both modern and geologic data we are focused on quantifying feedbacks and assessing the long-term controls on the global carbon cycle, as well as on regional hydroclimate changes. The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of how the Earth’s water and carbon cycles respond to forcings, including ongoing anthropogenic climate change. Further, we are also working on the characterization and quantification of lithium deposits in lacustrine basins. Our tools include geochemical measurements, field observations, reactive transport modeling, hydrologic modeling, and synthesis of climate model output.


Hydroclimate and Water Cycle Reconstructions: LGM Pluvial Lakes and Proxy Network
Silicate Weathering and Carbon Fluxes: Lithologic Controls on Weathering
Cretaceous Climate of Asia: Songliao Basin Paleosols


Funded Grants/Projects

DOE ESS 050299031, Floodplains vs. hillslopes: Informing the timing and tempo of clay formation and organic matter stabilization, Office of Biological & Environmental Research, PIs: M Torres, E Ramos, DE Ibarra, M Winnick, K Williams, 2023-2026

NSF AGS 2333173, Collaborative Research: RAPID–Characterizing the Water Isotope Signature of an El Nino Event for Paleoclimate and Hydroclimate Studies, NSF Paleoclimate, PIs: JKC Rugenstein, DE Ibarra, 2023-2024

NSF EAR 2303484, Collaborative Research: Using a Combined Basin Analysis, Isotopic, and Modeling Approach to Reconstruct the LGM through Early Holocene Hydroclimate for Glacial Lake Mojave, NSF Paleo Perspectives on Present and Projected Climate Program, PIs: M Kirby, DE Ibarra, AN Daneshmand, 2023-2026.

Tropical Weathering and the Fate of Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions, IBES Research Seed Fund Multi-Investigator Research Project. PIs: DE Ibarra, S Porder, 2022-2024.

Life Beyond Earth: Determining the Habitability of Exoplanets, Brown University Seed Award, PIs: A Evans, DE Ibarra, S Parman, G Tucker, 2022-2023.

Utilizing Stalagmites from the Philippines (USPS): Quantifying and understanding interannual hydroclimate variability in the Philippines through cave monitoring and stalagmite analyses, National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) National Seed Grants Program. PIs: DE Ibarra, N Sekhon, 2021-2022.

NSF ICER 2136141, EAGER: Collaborative Research: Enhancing Asian American and Pacific Islander Participation and Belonging in the Geosciences, NSF Geoscience Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity – Expanding the Network. PIs: DE Ibarra, KV Lau, D Ho, S Legg, S Kim, J Wang, RI Rutberg, S Ying, 2022-2023.

NSF AGS 2102901, Collaborative Research: Western U.S. hydroclimate during the Last Interglacial: developing proxy records and using model intercomparison to glimpse the future, NSF Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program. PIs: JL Oster, DE Ibarra, and WD Sharp, 2021-2024.

PaleoCAMP (Paleoclimate training in Climate Archives, Models, and Proxies): A multidisciplinary summer school for graduate students in paleoclimatology, Heising-Simons Foundation, PI: J Tierney, co-PIs: DE Ibarra, KJ Anchukaitis, T Bhattacharya, K Johnson, 2021-2025.

NSF EAR 2025125, Acquisition of a continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) system for the Organic Geochemistry Core Facility at Brown University, NSF Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities, PI: Y Huang, co-PIs: DE Ibarra, S Clemens, T Herbert, J Russell, 2020-2021.


Funded Student and Postdoc Grants

Constructing a hydrological balance model for the Bear Lake Watershed, Utah and Idaho using stable isotope data, IBES Research Award to MJ Custado, 2023.

Filling in the Gaps: Soils as Recorders of Regional Hydrology Across the Planet, IBES Research Award to T Bobik, 2023.

Hydroclimate in the southwestern Great Basin: Implications for economically viable lithium accumulation in lake clay deposits, IBES Research Award to CA Gagnon, 2023.

The Impacts of Forest Fires on Catchment-Scale Chemical and Physical Weathering, IBES Voss Undergraduate Research Fellowship to J Bernstein-Schalet, 2023-2024.

Effects of Wastewater Pollution on Cape Cod Estuaries Revealed by Stable Isotopic Analysis, IBES Voss Undergraduate Research Fellowship to M Benson, 2023-2024.

Cascade Streams as indicators of changes to the Soil Organic Carbon Pool, IBES Research Award to S Munoz, 2023.

Temperature Dependent Dissolution Experiments of Basalt, Dacite and Pumice from The Little Deschutes River Valley, OR, Research at Brown Grant to J Miller, 2023.

Watershed controls on rock weathering and soil carbon storage, IBES Research Award to S Munoz, 2022.

Using rivers to decipher the coevolution of carbon cycling and silicate weathering, IBES Research Award to S Munoz, 2022.

EAR-PF: Paleoelevation reconstruction in hyper-arid settings – integrating triple oxygen and clumped isotope techniques in the Salar de Atacama Basin, Chile (22-25S). Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellowship to K Butler (co-mentor with K Huntington, University of Washington), National Science Foundation, 2022-2024.

Quantifying and understanding interannual climate variability in the Philippines. Voss Postdoctoral Fellowship and Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship to N Sekhon, Brown University, 2021-2023.

EAR-PF: Controls of and connections between silicate weathering and organic carbon cycling in watersheds: A test case in the Upper Deschutes Basin, Oregon, USA. Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellowship to E Ramos (co-mentor with M Torres, Rice University), National Science Foundation, 2021-2023.

Stable isotope-based Pliocene to present hydroclimate reconstruction from Clayton Valley, NV. Continental Scientific Drilling Division Student Research Grant to CA Gagnon, Geological Society of America, 2021.

Paleoelevation reconstruction in a hyper arid setting: a case study from the Salar de Atacama Desert, Chile, Farouk El-Baz Student Research Grant to K Butler, Geological Society of America, 2021.

Pliocene to present hydroclimate reconstructions from the Great Basin. IBES Research Award to CA Gagnon, 2021.


Collecting samples in Clayton Valley, Nevada