“The lakes of Africa’s Great Rift Valley are among the world’s great natural laboratories. They are the sites of significant hydrocarbon resources and they sit within the best modern example of a continent undergoing tectonic break-up.
“My research focuses on recovering records of past climate from lake basins, and on the sedimentary basin analysis of extensional system – with emphasis on lacustrine basins.”
Christopher Scholz is a professor of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. His research focus is the evolution of continental rift basins and the sedimentary fill of large lacustrine systems.
For the past 30 years, Scholz has undertaken studies of many large lakes and active rifts around the world, including most of the large lakes of Africa, Lake Baikal (Siberia) and the North American Great Lakes. He also studies the paleoclimate record of tropical Africa over time frames of several thousand to several million years.
His work is providing the environmental background to hominid evolution, migrations and population changes, mainly from studies of the sediments found on the bottom of the largest lakes in Africa’s Great Rift Valley.