Charles A. and June R.P. Ross Research Grant – Geological Society of America – Alessandro Mereghetti

Alessandro Mereghetti, PhD student at the Climate Change Institute, has been awarded a Charles A. and June R.P. Ross Research Grant from the Geological Society of America for the project “Megaherbivores niche partitioning in Pleistocene Beringia”. The project aims at reconstructing the community structure of extinct Arctic herbivores by analyzing a set of 60 coprolites retrieved during the CCI 2019 expedition in Siberia funded by Prof. Jacquelyn Gill’s NSF CAREER grant to study the paleoecology of Beringia.

The Charles A. and June R.P. Ross Research Fund supports research grants in biostratigraphy, stratigraphy and stratigraphic correlation, paleogeography and paleobiogeography, and interpreting past depositional environments with the intent of understanding plate movements, past sea-level events, and paleoclimates. The grant will be used to fund the radiocarbon dating of the coprolites, which are estimated to be between 22,000 and 48,000 years old, and are currently being investigated with a multi-proxy approach includes the study of pollen, macrofossils, phytoliths and ancient DNA to reconstruct the diet and behavior of extinct Arctic megafauna with unprecedented accuracy.