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The overarching goal of my research has been conducting cutting-edge research in the Critical Zone: examining linkages and mechanisms between climate change, soil formation and erosion, water chemistry and quality, and biogeochemical cycling for both natural and human-impacted regions.

Instruments and Facility

Our facility houses a Nu Plasma HR multi-collector ICP MS, Thermo Scientific iCAP ICP MS, Perkin Elmer 5300 DV ICP OES and a metal-free class-100 clean room. 

These instruments provide precise and accurate isotopic composition analysis, major and trace element concentration analysis to support geological, biological, environmental, and nano-material research.

Student Projects

Tectonic and climatic influence on secondary

carbonate formation in the Rio Grande Rift

Victor Garcia, Ph.D. student 

(co-advised with Dr. Jason Ricketts)

                                                    Photo credit: VG



Chemical weathering, soil formation, and 

elemental mobility on a tropical volcanic 

island of French Guadeloupe: insights from

U-series and Nd isotopes and first principle


Jiye Guo, Ph.D. student 


                                  Basse-Terre Island, French Guadeloupe




Trace metal behavior in the nanoscale 

components of coal fly ashes: insights from

combined microscopic and microbiological


Matthew Costa, MS, 2018

(co-advised with Dr. Jie Xu)

                                                                             TEM Images



Tracing anthropogenic salinity inputs to the Rio

Grande River: a multi-isotope tracer approach

Sandra Garcia, MS, 2017

                                           Irrigation canals of Rio Grande

Applications of Uranium and Strontium 

isotopes as salinity and paleo-environmental

conditions tracers: insights from the Rio 

Grande river and pedogenic carbonates in

dryland soils of southwest USA

Syprose Nyachoti, Ph.D. 2016

                                                      Sampling from Rio Grande



Using geochemistry and gravity data to

pinpoint sources of salinity in the Rio Grande

and fault networks of the Mesilla Basin

Matthew Hiebing, MS, 2016

(co-advised with Dr. Diane Doser)

                                                           Field Map Mesilla Basin



Uranium-series and Strontium isotopes

ratios in soils from Base-Terre Island,

French Guadeloupe: insights for rapid

soil formation and impact of dust in a

tropical volcanic setting

Yvette Pereyra, MS, 2016

                                       Soil sampling in French Guadeloupe



Quantifying weathering rates on tropical 

volcanic Basse-Terre Island, French 

Guadeloupe: insights from U-series isotopes

in weathering rinds

Jacqueline Engel, MS, 2015

                                   Andesite Quarry in French Guadeloupe




Trace element behavior during coal 

combustion: insights from Cadmium 

and Zinc isotope analysis

Fotios Fouskas, MS, 2015 


                                                               Fly ash TEM sample

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