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Geochemistry, Mineralogy, and Petrology

Collecting Lava Samples

  • Dr. David Foster uses temperature-sensitive isotopic dating methods (thermochronometers) and radiogenic isotopes to constrain metamorphic, igneous, and deformation processes. (email:
  • Dr. John Jaeger‘s research in low-temperature early diagenesis of sediments is centred on understanding how biological, physical, and chemical processes influence the fate of organic matter introduced into coastal marine sediments. Time-series studies of estuarine sediments using sedimentologic (physical properties, x-radiography), geochronologic (short-lived radioisotopes), and carbon and nitrogen geochemistry are used to quantify the relative contribution of these processes in controlling preservation. (
  • Dr. Stephen M. Elardo ‘s research focuses on Planetary Geochemistry, Igneous Petrology, Experimental Petrology, Lunar Science, and Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes( )
  • Dr. Ellen Martin‘s research in low-temperature geochemistry focuses on the evaluation of new minerals phases as archives for Sr and Nd isotopes in marine sediments. In particular, this has included studies of marine barite, phosphatic fish teeth, and Fe-Mn oxide coatings.  (email:
  • Dr. Kyoungwon “Kyle” Min is interested in constraining thermal histories of meteorites and terrestrial rocks in order to understand planetary/geologic processes such as accretion and impacts in other planets or asteroids, metamorphism and exhumation of orogenic belts, and development of topography. He uses (U-Th)/He and 40Ar/39Ar dating methods as well as other analytical tools. (email:
  • Dr. Paul Mueller‘s research is focused on understanding the evolution of the crust-mantle system and its relation to geodynamics in the early earth.  (email:
  • Dr. Mike Perfit‘s speciality is igneous petrology – the study of the origin of rocks formed from magma. His research involves the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks formed in island arcs, hotspots and mid-ocean ridges. He is particularly interested in the associations between rock types and specific tectonic locations. Much of his research requires participation on oceanographic expeditions which involves working closely with other scientists, engineers, and ships crew, and utilizing geophysical equipment, remotely operated vehicles, and manned submersibles such as ALVIN to explore the ocean floor. (email:
  • Dr. Andy Zimmerman is an organic geochemist who studies organic matter-mineral-microbe relationships and human influences on organic matter preservation. (email:

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