Matthew Lachniet

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


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.


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

Search For Other Experts On

science & technology, sustainability

Matthew Lachniet In The News

A.B.C. News
The record-breaking rain soaking the Southwest U.S. in recent weeks still won't be enough to eliminate the megadrought status in the notoriously arid region completely, according to researchers.
Nevada Current
Summer monsoons in the Southwest are difficult to forecast with total accuracy, but the future of the temperamental rainstorms under climate change is an even bigger mystery.
Discourse On Development
Scientists are studying mineral deposits in the caves of the Grand Canyon to understand the impacts of climate change.
The Week
They chose an ancient calcium projection, called stalagmite, from the floor of an undisturbed Grand Canyon cave and studied its geochemistry. The research team was led by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and included the University of New Mexico.

Articles Featuring Matthew Lachniet

Spooky season at UNLV (Becca Schwartz\UNLV).
Campus News | November 1, 2023

A collection of news stories focused on research, expert insights, and academic achievement.

Remember sculptor Claes Oldenburg who created U.N.L.V.'s iconic Flashlight sculpture this month.
Campus News | August 3, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting university experts’ insights on and contributions to health, environment, and society.

Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine graduates line up to cross the commencement stage
Campus News | December 30, 2021

A collection of 2021 headlines highlighting medical school milestones, a steady stronghold on diversity and research rankings, student success, and media mentions featuring faculty experts.