Dr. Goodkin’s research is focused on using coral geochemistry to understand ocean-atmosphere interactions, climate behavior, and pollution histories over the past 500 years.
Through the use of coral samples in both the Atlantic Ocean and the South China Sea, Dr. Goodkin and her collaborators have extracted sub-annual data that can provide insights to climate behavior on seasonal to decadal time scales Her team uses paleoclimate proxies (e.g., stable isotopes) to reconstruct the climate of the last 500 years by utilizing coral skeletons as recorders of the environment. Dr. Goodkin and her collaborators strive to unveil the biological influences on chemical fossils in coral skeletons, as understanding the intersection will improve the reliability of reconstructions. In addition, the group works with general circulation models (GCM) to evaluate future oceanic changes.
Dr. Goodkin focuses on understanding how changes to mean sea surface temperature, salinity and circulation interact with the Southeast Asian Monsoon. As warm water from the Pacific Ocean is pushed through the marginal seas of Southeast Asia towards the Indian Ocean, heat is transferred from the ocean to land driving precipitation patterns. Understanding how these systems have changed and interacted in the past will be critical to predicting climate in the future.