Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry
Work: 508 289 2518
Building: Clark 408A
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543
My research probes the cycling of elements and their isotopes between major geochemical reservoirs (continental crust, oceanic crust, seawater, the Earth's mantle) in order to understand the chemical evolution of Earth. Specifically, I am interested in how geochemical cycles have affected the (radiogenic) isotopic composition of seawater through time, and how to interpret those marine isotope records. My group has studied the effects of continental weathering, hydrothermal alteration of oceanic crust, accretion of extraterrestrial matter and, lately, anthropogenic and volcanogenic inputs to the geochemical cycling of radiogenic isotope systems (Re-Os, Rb-Sr, U-Th-Pb). My group has also explored the use of digital maps of bedrock geology in reconstructing geochemical cycles in the geologic past. Recently, we have begun to study variations in the isotope composition of novel stable isotope systems, specifically Re and Sr. Since 2008 I have been working to build a Global Rivers Group in collaboration with colleagues at WHOI, the Woods Hole Research Center, the University of New Hampshire and partners in Russia, China, India, Bangladesh, France, the Repulik of Congo and Canada. We aim at building a network of Global Rivers Observatories (globalrivers.org) to observe how environmental change and societal pressure affect the biogeochemistries of river basins over the coming decades.
After finishing high school in Osnabrück, Germany, I studied Geology and Mineralogy at the Technical University of Clausthal, receiving my undergraduate degree in 1985. From there, I moved to the University of Göttingen where I completed my Geology Diploma in 1989. After 15 months of Civil Service at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, I moved to Mainz to join Al Hofmann's Geochemistry Department at the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry. During my PhD thesis, I spent three months as a guest student with Greg Ravizza in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Following the completion of my PhD in 1994, I returned to WHOI as a postdoctoral scholar, and am now a Senior Scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry.