Matt Finkenbinder, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher




Office:  SRCC 404


Phone: (412) 624-8780




Paleoclimatology, Quaternary Stratigraphy, Stable Isotope Geochemistry, Paleolimnology, Radiometric Dating Methods





Ph.D. Geology, University of Pittsburgh (2015)

M.S. Geology, West Virginia University (2008)

B.S. Geoenvironmental Studies, Shippensburg University (2001)


Research Interests


My primary research focus is to better understand past climatic changes on a range of timescales using the sedimentary record from small lakes. I am particularly interested in defining the timing and patterns of hydroclimate and environmental changes and assessing the underlying causes of natural climate variability from high-latitude regions in North America spanning the late-Quaternary. I combine field-based investigations of modern limnologic systems and laboratory analyses that includes sedimentology, elemental and organic geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, and a range of radiometric dating techniques. The aim of this methodological approach is to produce continuous and well-dated sedimentary records of continental paleoclimates, which provides important perspective to place current and projected climatic conditions into a longer context.




Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Finney, B.P., Stoner, J.S., Dorfman, J.M., 2015. A multi-proxy reconstruction of environmental change spanning the last 37,000 years from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 126, 227-241.


Dorfman, J.M., Stoner, J.S., Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Xuan, C., St-Onge, G., 2015. A 37,000 year environmental magnetic record of aeolian dust deposition from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 128, 81-97.


Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Edwards, M.E., Langdon, C.T., Steinman, B.A., Finney, B.P., 2014. A 31,000 year record of paleoenvironmental and lake-level change from Harding Lake, Alaska, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews 87, 98-113.


Pompeani, D.P., Abbott, M.B., Bain, D.J., DePasqual, S., Finkenbinder, M.S., 2014. Intensive copper mining on Isle Royale from 6500 to 5400 year BP identified from geochemical studies of sediment cores from McCargoe Cove, Lake Superior. The Holocene 25(2), 253-262.


Pictures from the field, lab, and home


Radiocarbon vacuum line for combustion prep.

Salmon fishing in the Pennsylvania.

Adirondack coring on Heart Lake.

Glacial transition in Gillies Lake.


MacIntyre Range from Heart Lake.


Family on Nags Head beach.



Department of Geology and Environmental Science