studying the past to inform the future

Kelly Fenton-Samuels

Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Chemistry and earth & environmental science major Kelly Fenton-Samuels ’23 spent the summer working with Professor Suzanne O’Connell, studying Antarctic ocean floor sediment core samples dating back to the Pliocene Epoch.

This summer, I had the opportunity to work in Professor O’Connell’s lab, studying Antarctic marine sediment cores collected by the International Ocean Discovery Program. Specifically, my summer research project utilized deep sea sediments dating back 2.4 million years to reveal Antarctic climate changes during that time. I began researching with Professor O’Connell a year ago, after reaching out to her to discuss the work conducted in her lab. Her work both on Antarctic paleoclimate and on communicating climate science to a general audience aligns strongly with my interest in using climate change research to further climate justice.

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