Margaret Fraiser's Research

fraiserResearch in the lab is focused on the Paleozoic/Mesozoic transition, including the Late Paleozoic Ice Age and its deglaciation, the end-Permian mass extinction, and the Early to Middle Triassic biotic recovery. I and my students have traveled to Argentina, China, Tasmania, and the western U.S. to conduct field work for these projects.

Here is some information about our projects:


Late Paleozoic Ice Age

margaret_ashley_crop

Glaciation during the late Paleozoic is arguably one of the most important climatic events of the Phanerozoic as it is hypothesized that this event dramatically influenced Earth’s biological, physical and chemical systems. Because this glaciation marks the only complete greenhouse to icehouse to greenhouse cycle on an Earth with complex ecosystems, studies of late Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian strata provide a deep time perspective on the outcome, conditions, and driving mechanisms of current and future climatic perturbations.

We are studying the biotic response to late Paleozoic glaciation and deglaciation in western Argentina and Patagonia. We work closely with Dr. John Isbell (sedimentology/stratigraphy) and his students and post-docs, who are also at UWM.

Paleoecology of the aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction:

margaret2_cropThe end-Permian mass extinction was the most devastating mass extinction of the Phanerozoic and was followed by 5-6 million years of oceanic and atmospheric perturbations during the Early Triassic. We conduct field work on Lower and Middle Triassic strata exposed around the world to determine the short- and long-term effects of these deleterious environmental conditions on marine skeletonized organisms, microbes, and the sedimentary rock record.

Current Students

There are opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to conduct field-based research. Please e-mail me at mfraiser@uwm.edu with any questions if you are interested in joining our group!


Ashley Dineenashley_skull_crop

Ashley is a new Geosciences Ph.D. student. She is currently a Research Assistant examining the spatial and temporal patterns of biotic recovery following the end-Permian mass extinction. She will travel to China, the western U.S.A., and Europe to examine Middle Triassic strata.

Ashley received her M.S. degree from the Department of Geosciences at UWM. Her thesis focused on determining the paleoecology of glacial and nonglacial strata deposited during the late Paleozoic Ice Age that are now exposed in western Argentina. Ashley was named a 2008-2009 Department of Geosciences Teaching Assistant of the Year. She received an N. Gary Lane Award from the Palenotological Socieyt, a UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies travel grant, a Wisconsin Geological Society research award, and a UWM Department of Geosciences research grant. Ashley was one of two recipients in the Department of Geosciences awarded a Research Assistantship for 2009-2010.

Ethan_Guyant_cropEthan Guyant
Ethan is an undergraduate Geosciences major. He is studying the morphometrics of the bivalve Claraia that was abundant following the end-Permian mass extinction.




Joseph Frederickson
Joe is an undergraduate Geosciences major. He has conducted lab work on Early Triassic microgastropods to determine any trends in body size.

Lindsey HenryLindsey Henry
Lindsey is a Geosciences Ph.D. student and recipient of an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship. Her dissertation focuses on the sedimentology of Late Paleozoic glaciation over western and eastern Gondwana. Lindsey has conducted field work in Tasmania and Argentina as part of her Ph.D. research. Lindsey was one of two Graduate School Fellows for 2008-2009. She has received several awards, including: the UWM George A. Boyer Scholarship, an American Association of Petroleum Geologists Student Grant-in-Aid, two Wisconsin Geological Society Scholarships, an A.L. Medlin Scholarship for field work from the Coal Geology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA), a GSA Student Research Grant, and a UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Student Travel Award.

Scott Schaeferschaefer_field_crop
Scott is a new M.S. student. He is currently a Research Assistant studying the environmental distribution of brachiopods during the aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction. Scott has conducted field work in the western U.S.A. Scott was an undergraduate fellow in Dr. Fraiser’s lab funded by the UWM Office of Undergraduate Research. Scott worked on fossils collected from Lower Triassic strata. Scott’s projects focused on brachiopod and echinoid paleoecology following the end-Permian mass extinction.

Former Students


Stacie AlbertStacie Albert
Stacie was an undergraduate majoring in Geosciences. She received travel awards from the UWM Center for International Education and the UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies to study the sedimentology and paleontology of Carboniferous strata exposed in western Argentina that were deposited during the late Paleozoic Ice Age. Stacie also received a 2009 Ethel Sloane Memorial Award for Women Majoring in the Natural Sciences.

Danielle Sieger d_sieger_crop
Danielle was an undergraduate majoring in Geosciences. She received travel awards from the UWM Center for International Education and the UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies to study the sedimentology and paleontology of Carboniferous strata exposed in western Argentina deposited during the late Paleozoic Ice Age. Danielle is currently an M.S. student in the Department of Geosciences at UWM.

More Information on Professor Fraiser