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Elizabeth K. Thomas

Associate Professor of Geology
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Climate change, Arctic ice sheets, precipitation, lake effect snow, sea level rise, monsoons

Laboratory portrait of Elizabeth, University at Buffalo faculty expert on climate change and precipitation.

Elizabeth K. Thomas is a paleoclimatologist and geochemist. She can speak to media about climate change and related topics, such as the impact a warming world could have on Arctic ice, sea level rise, and rainfall, snow and drought patterns.

Her research aims to understand how changes in the Earth’s climate have affected precipitation patterns in various parts of the world — including the Arctic, areas affected by the Asian Monsoon, and the Great Lakes region — over the past several hundred thousand years.

Thomas conducts field research in the Arctic as part of teams studying how ice sheets and plant life may react to rising temperatures and altered Arctic precipitation patterns.

Closer to home, she is leading a project to examine the history of lake effect snow in Upstate New York. The goal of this work is to help scientists better predict whether such storms could become more frequent or intense in the future as the Earth warms.

Thomas partnered with UB's Office of Sustainability to create the UB Carbon Reduction Challenge, a project-based course in which students confront the challenge of climate change by working with local organizations and companies to measure and cut their carbon footprints.


Thomas can respond to interview requests in English and French.


Elizabeth K. Thomas, PhD
Associate Professor of Geology
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences