Nirvana - Non-traditional Isotope Research on Various Advanced Novel Applications

Sune Nielsen

I am an isotope geochemist specialized in multi collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). My main research interests lie in the application of geochemical tools to the understanding of Earth and solar system processes. To this end I have developed the novel stable isotope systems of thallium and vanadium, which I am using to address a variety of Earth system processes. I was appointed assistant scientist in the Geology and Geophysics Department at WHOI in January 2011 and the NIRVANA lab was completed in February 2012.
Although I am generally interested in stable isotope geochemistry and how to apply stable isotope ratios to scientific questions in Earth science, I spend most of my time thinking about the vanadium and thallium isotope systems. Below are listed a few general projects that I am actively pursuing:

  • Develop both thallium and vanadium isotope ratios as recorders of past ocean redox conditions.
  • Use thallium isotopes as tracer in subduction zones and mantle geochemistry
  • Investigate the causes of vanadium isotope variation in the Solar System and the consequences for Earth accretion
  • Develop vanadium isotopes as a tool for understanding crude oil formation
  • Determine the molecular process by which thallium isotopes are fractionated during sorption to manganese oxides
  • Use thallium concentrations in mantle derived basalts to obtain information about average mantle mineralogy, in particular sulfides

Last updated: June 3, 2015