lukens_headshot200x200.jpg image


Assistant Professor
Year Started at JMU: 2019
Contact Info

Research Description

I develop and apply methods for reading climate signals from Earth history. Most of my research involves fossil soils (paleosols), fossil wood, and sedimentary systems. From these archives, I reconstruct the climate setting and environmental conditions from past landscapes—from the last ecosystems prior to the dinosaur-killing K-Pg impact, to the context of early apes in eastern Africa. My collaborators and I are constantly improving our methods, which involves statistical modeling and studying modern landscapes.

  • Geol 115L: Earth Systems and Climate Change Lab
  • Geol 489: Quantitative Techniques in Geology
  • Geol 291: Writing and Communicating in the Geosciences
  • Geol 390: Lab Techniques
  • PhD in Geology, 2017, Baylor University
  • MS in Geology, 2013, Temple University
  • BS in Geology, 2009, Temple University
Select Publications
  • Lukens, W.E., Stinchcomb, G.E., Nordt, L.E., Driese, S.G., Kahle, D.J., and Tubbs. J.D., 2019. Recursive partitioning improves paleosol proxies for rainfall, American Journal of Science, vol. 319, no. 10, p. 819-845.
  • Lukens, W.E., Eze, P., and Schubert, B.A., 2019. The effect of diagenesis on carbon isotope values of fossil wood, Geology, v. 47, DOI: 10.1130/G46412.1
  • Lukens, W.E., Lehmann, T., Driese, S.G., Peppe, D.J., Fox, D.L., and McNulty, K., 2017: The Early Miocene Critical Zone at Karungu, Western Kenya: an equatorial, open habitat with few primate remains: Frontiers in Earth Science, vol. 5, no. 87, p. 1-21, DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00087

Back to Top