Faculty & Research Staff
David Bish, Professor, Haydn Murray Chair in Applied Clay Mineralogy; studies applications of crystal chemical and crystal structural fundamentals to geological, materials, and environmental problems, using a combination of experimental and theoretical methods. Applications include especially Clay and Zeolite Mineralogy using X-ray and neutron powder diffraction methods.
Simon Brassell, Professor; Research is in molecular organic geochemistry and the development of molecular tools in the evaluation of depositional environments and paleoclimate analysis. Particular applications in Economic Geology are the identification of petroleum source rocks and evaluation of processes responsible for petroleum formation and accumulation.
James G. Brophy, Professor; Research interests are in the areas of igneous petrology and volcanology. He is involved in experimental studies relating to metal solubility in mafic magmas and the distribution of metals between alloys, sulfide minerals, silicate minerals, and melt.
Erika Elswick, Director of the Analytical Geochemistry Laboratory; Research interests include the relationship between sulfur and organic carbon in sediment-hosted sulfide deposits, use of stable isotopes of sulfur and carbon in understanding hydrothermal systems and influences from fluids and host rock in a given system, and the relationships between sulfates (barite) and sulfides in ancient and modern marine hydrothermal systems.
Chusi Li, Director of the Electron Microprobe and XRD Facility; Research centers on ore-forming processes in dynamic magmatic systems, microbeam analytical techniques, thermodynamic modelling applied to ore deposit research, and chemical dating of mineral deposits.
Enrique Merino, Professor; Research aims at understanding water-mineral, reaction-transport-stress interactions and their petrological consequences, especially crystalline textures and self-organizational patterns. Current projects include the genesis of banding in Mississippi Valley-type Pb-Zn deposits.
Craig Moore, Research Associate in the Stable Isotope Research Facility. Research interests includes the understanding, via observation, experimentation, and simulations, the spatial and temporal evolution of solids and fluids in far-from-equilibrium, dynamic geochemical systems. Systems of particular interest include hydrothermal gold deposits, tin-tungsten greisens, and Mississippi Valley type lead-zinc deposits. Another major area of interest is thermal stimulation (steam injection) in heavy oil deposits. The goal of the research is to develop mathematical models and computer codes that faithfully represent the important features observed in both the real systems and in laboratory experiments that mimic parts of the real systems. The simulations can then be used to predict system behavior or elucidate critical components and processes in the systems. The knowledge gained may be helpful in performing exploration and production activities.
Lisa Pratt, Professor; Research interests focus on the geology and organic geochemistry of fine-grained sedimentary rocks, and the role of microbes in both shallow-and deep-earth processes. Emphasis in Economic Geology centers on the evaluation of potential petroleum source rocks, causes of metal enrichment in black shales, and the role of organic activity in the generation of hydrothermal mineral deposits.
Ed Ripley, Professor; Research interest include the genesis of metallic ore deposits and the application of stable isotopic geochemistry to petrologic problems. Processes of ore formation in sedimentary, hydrothermal, and magmatic environments are all under investigation using a combination of analytical, theoretical, computational, and experimental methods.
Arndt Schimmelmann, Senior Scientist; Research interests center on the application of stable isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen in fossil fuel research, for example to monitor thermal maturation of organic matter to coal and oil.
Robert Wintsch, Professor; Research interests are in the area of metamorphic petrology and tectonics. In the realm of Economic Geology he is interested in fluid flow in the crust, with special emphasis on the genesis of pegmatites through metamorphic processes.
Chen Zhu, Professor; Research interests include water-rock-gas-microbe interactions, thermodynamic and kinetic properties of minerals, aqueous solutions, and mineral surfaces, and geochemical modeling. Zhu studied the genesis of uranium ore deposits and Mississippi Valley-type lead-zinc ore deposits, and has extended his studies to environmental problems related to mine tailings, mining wastes, and water resources.