Areas of Study
Email Address
Taylor Science Center 1024
On Leave/Away
Spring ’25, Fall ’25

Catherine Beck’s research focuses on reconstructing Cenozoic paleoenvironments from the sedimentary and stratigraphic records. In particular, she investigates how sediments from the East African Rift Valley preserve changes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment through space and time. This work is strongly based in field research and continental scientific drilling, and Beck is particularly interested in coupling the study of lake sediments with paleoecology and stable isotope analyses in an effort to better constrain the conditions in which early hominins evolved. This work is supported by the Hamilton Isotope Lab (HIL), which Beck directs with the support of instrument technician Bruce Wegter.

Recent Courses Taught

  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • Evolution and the Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Senior Thesis and corresponding Social and Structural Hierarchies Seminar
  • Field Studies in the Desert SW


Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award, Spring 2017

Select Publications

See Google Scholar page for full list.

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Rutgers University
M.S., Rutgers University
B.S., Tufts University

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