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Patricia A. Beddows

Director of the Environmental Sciences Program, Assistant Chair and Professor of Instruction

Ph.D. University of Bristol
M.Sc. McMaster University
B.A. McMaster University
Curriculum Vitae



  • Karst and caves - hydrogeology, geochemistry, geomorphology, and sedimentology
  • Paleoenvironmental records of sea level, climate change, and landscape evolution from sediments, speleothems, and fluid inclusions in speleothems
  • Applied research includes water resources, contaminant transport, and geoarcheology
  • Leadership in earth science education and program development
  • Problem-based learning (PBL) and education beyond the classroom
  • Open-source instrument hardware and software development for underwater and remote research


EARTH 102:      Voyages of Discovery
EARTH 102:      Climate Change - The Scientific Evidence
ENVR SC 201 / CIV ENV 201: Earth - A Habitable Planet
ENVR SC 203:   Humans and the Environment
EARTH 360:       Instrumentation and Field Methods
EARTH 390:       Hydrology / Hydrogeology
EARTH 519:       Responsible Conduct of Research
Yucatan Field Trip - Experiential Field Excursion 

Selected Publications

Osburn, M.R., *Selensky, M.J., Beddows, P.A., Jacobson, A., DeFranco, K., and G. Merediz-Alonso (2023) Microbial biogeography of the eastern Yucatán carbonate aquifer. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 89(11): e01682-23

Bernal, J.P., Revolorio, F., Cu-Xi, M., Lases-Hernández, F., Piacsek, P., Lachniet, M. Beddows, P.A., Lucia, G., López-Aguiar, K., Capella-Vizcaíno, S., López-Martínez, R. and O. Vásquez (2023) Variability of trace-elements and δ18O in drip water from Gruta Rey Marcos, Guatemala: Seasonal and environmental effects and its implications for paleoclimate reconstructions. Frontiers in Earth Sciences. 11:1112957. feart.2023.1112957

Glover, J.B, Rissolo, D., Beddows, P.A., Jaijel, R., Smith, D., Goodman-Tchernov, B. (2022) The Proyecto Costa Escondida: Historical ecology and the study of past coastal landscapes in the Maya Area. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. DOI10.1080/15564894.2022.2061652

Little, S.N., van Hengstum, P.J., Beddows, P.A., Donnelly, J.P., Winkler, T.S., Albury, N.A. (2021) Unique habitat for benthic foraminifera in subtidal blue holes on carbonate platforms. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution – Special Issue "Living on the Edge: Biodiversity, Adaptation, and Evolution in Extreme Groundwater Habitats". 9: 794728. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2021.794728

Beddows, P.A., Mallon, E.K. (2018) Cave Pearl Data Logger - A flexible Arduino based logging platform for long-term monitoring in harsh environments. Sensors. 18, 530:1-26. DOI:10.3390/s18020530

*Johnson, D.B., Beddows, P.A., Flynn, T.M., Osburn, M.R. (2018) Microbial diversity and biomarker analysis of modern freshwater microbialites from Laguna Bacalar, Mexico. Geobiology, 16(3):319-337. DOI 10.1111/gbi.12283

Beddows, P.A., Mandic, M., Ford, D.C., Schwarcz, H.P. (2016) Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic variations between adjacent drips in three caves at increasing elevation in a temperate coastal rainforest, Vancouver Island, Canada. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 172:370-386. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2015.08.017

Beddows, P.A., Glover, J., Rissolo, D., Carter, A., Goodman, B., Jaijel, R., Smith D. (2016) Proyecto Costa Escondida: Recent interdisciplinary research in search of freshwater along the North Coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews – Water. 3(5):749-761. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1161

Chatters, J.D. Kennett, D.J., Asmerom, Y., Kemp, B.M., Polyak, V., Nava Blank, A., Beddows, P.A., Reinhardt, E., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Bolnick, D.A., Malhi, R.S., Culleton, B., Luna Erreguerena, P., Rissolo, D., Morell-Hart, S., Stafford, T.W. (2014) Late Pleistocene human skeleton and mtDNA from Mexico links Paleoamericans and modern Native Americans.  Science. 344(6185):750-754. DOI: 10.1126/science.1252619

Torres-Talamante, O., Alcocer, J., Beddows, P.A., Escobar-Briones, E., Lugo, A. (2011) The key role of the chemolimnion in meromictic cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0746-9

Metcalfe, C., Beddows, P.A., Gold Bouchot, G., Metcalfe, T., Li, H., Van Lavieren, H. (2011) Contaminants in the coastal karst aquifer systems along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Environmental Pollution. 159(4):991-997.

van Hengstum, P.J., Reinhardt, E.G., Beddows, P.A., Gabriel, J. (2010) Linkages between Holocene paleoclimate and paleohydrogeology preserved in a Yucatan underwater cave. Quaternary Science Reviews. 29(19-20):2788-2798. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.06.034

van Hengstum, P.J., Reinhardt, E.G., Beddows, P.A., Schwarcz, H.P., Gabriel, J.J. (2009) Foraminifera and testate amoebae (thecamoebians) in an anchialine cave: Surface distributions from Aktun Ha (Carwash) cave system, Mexico. Limnology and Oceanography. doi:54: 391-396.

Gabriel, J.J., Reinhardt, E.G., Peros, M.C., Davidson, D.E., van Hengstum, P.J., Beddows, P.A.(2009) Palaeoenvironmental evolution of Cenote Aktun Ha (Carwash) on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico and its response to Holocene sea level rise. Journal of Paleolimnology. 42(2):199-213. doi:10.1007/s10933-00809271-x

Ufnar, D., Gröcke, D.R., Beddows, P.A. (2008) Paleo-evaporation rates from positive linear covariant trends in pedogenic calciteChemical Geology. 256(1-2):46-51, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2008.07.022.

van Hengstum, P.J., Reinhardt, E.G., Beddows, P.A., Huang, R.J., Gabriel, J.J. (2008) Thecamoebians (testate amoebae) and foraminifera from three anchialine cenotes in Mexico: Low salinity (1.5-4.5 psu) faunal transitions. Journal of Foraminiferal Research. 38(4):305-317.

Zhang, R., Schwarcz, H.P., Ford, D.C., Serefiddin-Schroeder, F., Beddows, P.A. (2008) Absolute palaeotemperature record from 10 to 6 ka inferred from fluid inclusion D/H ratios of a stalagmite from Vancouver Island. British ColumbiaGeochimica Cosmochimica Acta. 72(4):1014-1026, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.12.002.

Beddows, P.A., Smart, P.L., Whitaker, F.F., Smith, S.L. (2007) Decoupled fresh-saline groundwater circulation of a coastal carbonate aquifer: Spatial patterns of temperature and specific electrical conductivityJournal of Hydrology. 346(1-2): 18-32, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.08.013. 

Beddows, P.A. Blanchon, P., Escobar, E., Torres-Talamante, O. (2007) Los cenotes de la península de Yucatán. Arqueología Mexicana, 16(83):32-35 (In Spanish)

Smart, P.L., Beddows, P.A., Doerr, S., Smith, S.L., Whitaker, F.F. (2006) Cave development on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Geological Society of America Special Paper 404: Perspectives on Karst Geomorphology, Hydrology, & Geochemistry, 105-128, doi:10.1130/2006. 2404(10).

Beddows, P.A. (2003) Yucatán Phreas, Mexico. In Gunn, J. (ed) Encyclopaedia of Cave and Karst Science, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York, USA. 794-796.

Worthington, S., Ford, D.C. & Beddows, P.A. (2000) Porosity and permeability enhancement in unconfined carbonate aquifers as a result of solution. In Klimchouk, A. Ford, D., Palmer, A. & Dreybrodt, W.(eds) Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers, Cave Books, St Louis 463-471. ISBN 978-1-57958-399-6.