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

Science Daily
February 6, 2020
It's hard to believe the landscape ever looked any different. But according to new research by UNLV climate scientists, the locations where those jungles exist today likely looked very different less than 9,000 years ago -- a blink of an eye by geologic standards.
Science Blog
February 6, 2020
Tourists today spend thousands of dollars to explore and enjoy the lush and thriving rainforests of Guatemala. It’s hard to believe the landscape ever looked any different. But according to new research by UNLV climate scientists, the locations where those jungles exist today likely looked very different less than 9,000 years ago – a blink of an eye by geologic standards.
The Nevada Independent
October 4, 2019
To go big, sometimes you have to start small.
Las Vegas Review Journal
September 24, 2019
UNLV researchers have been awarded a $700,000 grant to bring a new technology to campus that will enable researchers to study stalagmites in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park, volcanoes in Hawaii and even rocks from Mars.

Articles Featuring Matthew Lachniet

Matthew Lachniet stands in the midst of a cave in Guatemala with speleothems surrounding him.
ResearchFebruary 5, 2020
New UNLV research provides context for climate history of Guatemalan rainforests.
UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
PeopleDecember 27, 2019
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.
People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus NewsNovember 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
A photo depicting the exterior of the Science and Engineering Building on UNLV's campus.
Campus NewsSeptember 19, 2019
UNLV received a nearly $700,000 National Science Foundation grant to house ‘multicollector’ device, the first of its kind in Nevada.