I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and grew up in Mexico. My parents taught me the joy of reading, of Arts, Sciences and Politics. My interest in Climate Evolution arose from reading about the scientific contributions by Harold Urey, Samuel Epstein and Cesare Emiliani to our understanding of the ice ages. When I was a child I developed a special interest in life in the oceans, that my dad helped cultivate and that finally led me to study Marine Biology at the Universidad de Baja California Sur, Mexico. In 1993, I discovered the first IPCC Assessment Report by chance while browsing books at my university’s library, which exposed me to the Theory of Climate Change and the reality that the planet was getting warmer because of our emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. I did my Masters’ at CINVESTAV-Mérida and my thesis was focused on coral geochemistry, particularly in reconstructing Lead Pollution in Cancún Mexico, by reconstructing the record of this pollutant within the skeletons of corals. I obtained my Ph.D. degree in the Interdepartmental Program in Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the supervision of Prof. David W. Lea. My PhD thesis work was focused on tropical climate evolution and the role of carbon dioxide in driving glacial-interglacial changes in tropical sea surface temperatures. I did a postdoc at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, that was hosted by Prof. Stephen Burns under the NOAA Global and Climate Change postdoctoral Fellowship.
In collaboration with Stephen Burns and other close colleagues we produced the first quantitative estimates of the magnitude of the droughts associated with the disintegration of the Maya civilization between C.E. 750-1000. From 2013-2016, I was a visiting assistant professor at Amherst College and from 2016 to August 2020 I was an Associate Professor at Auburn University. Since then, I joined the Department of Geosciences at UMASS, Amherst, where I work happily today.
"In Search of our Lost Future"
Documentary Film Featuring my Research