Matthew Lachniet

Professor of Geology
Expertise: Climate Change, Quaternary Geology, Paleoclimatology

Biography

Matthew Lachniet, a professor in the department of geoscience, focuses on understanding the controls on Earth’s climate on time scales ranging from seasonal to hundreds of thousands of years, with a particular focus on tropical, desert southwest, and arctic past climates. These data inform understanding of modern and anthropogenic climate change.

Lachniet uses light stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry, hydrology, speleology, glacial geology, geomorphology, and the sedimentary record to answer questions of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic change. His primary research areas are Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Alaska, and the Great Basin. His research goal is to constrain past climate changes in these regions using proxy records. He is particularly interested in generating rainfall histories for Central America and to evaluate the climate forcings of climate change and variability in the neotropics.

Education

  • B.S., Geology, Antioch College
  • M.S., Geology, Michigan State University
  • Ph.D., Geology, Syracuse University

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science & technology, sustainability

Matthew Lachniet In The News

Clean Technica
January 4, 2021
A person can survive 30 days (or more) without food, 3 days without water, and 3 minutes without air. The latest climate research indicates all three will be in short supply as average temperatures on Earth increase. Hotter, drier conditions will reduce harvests, constrain water supplies, and make it more difficult to breathe. Great thinkers like Rex Tillerson say we will adapt, but he and his climate change denier friends fail to appreciate what that adaptation will involve.
Cronkite News: Arizona PBS
December 28, 2020
The ancient people of western Utah’s Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view with cattails, bulrushes and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.
Utah Public Radio
December 16, 2020
The ancient people of western Utah’s Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view, with cattails, bulrushes and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.
The Nevada Independent
December 3, 2020
On Tuesday evening, the state released a comprehensive strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. It’s a big deal, marking a year-long effort among state agencies to develop a coordinated pathway for moving toward defined emission-reduction benchmarks.

Articles Featuring Matthew Lachniet

Professor Ashkan Salamat in his lab at UNLV
Research | December 29, 2020
A yearlong collection of UNLV faculty making the news for their discoveries and contributions to the community.
Campus News | December 10, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.
A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
An image of Lake Mead and mountains in the background
Research | July 22, 2020
New study from UNLV climate scientist Matthew Lachniet links Arctic and tropical Pacific warming to ancient climate records, providing parallels to today.