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The Center for Earth and Environmental Isotope Research is home to six faculty members and seven graduate students. Our research spans both the globe, from the Rio Grande to French Guadaloupe and across the periodic table from carbon to uranium isotope studies.


Ma2014 Dr. Lin Ma, Director – Dr. Ma is interested in low temperature isotope geochemistry and hydrogeology. His research group focuses on the use of U-series isotopes in water and soils as environmental tracers and chronometers.
Anthony2014 Dr. Libby Anthony – interested in petrology and geochemistry of igneous rocks, particularly in rift settings. Her research group focuses on the use of radiogenic isotopes, as well as major and trace element abundances.
Arnold2014 Dr. Gail Lee Arnold – uses the concentrations and isotope compositions of metals in a variety of settings from modern back through deep time. As a biogeochemist with specialties in light and non-traditional (metal) isotope geochemistry is interested in how microbes leave their isotopic fingerprint in the sedimentary system and the effect of trace metal availability/limitation on biogeochemical processes.

Dr. Benjamin Brunner – a geomicrobiologist who uses light stable isotopes to investigate biogeochemical processes from single cells to global biogeochemical cycles and from today’s environment to Earth’s geologic past. He is interested in how biologic networks influence their life environment and how external forcing affects biologic communities in their mode of function and biologic composition.


Dr. Adam Ianno – studies the role of non-traditional isotope disequilibrium in the deep continental crust. With a background in structural geology, petrology, and field geology, he also is involved in projects studying the transition from Cordilleran to Laramide-style magmatism in the southwestern United States.

Pavlis2014 Dr. Terry Pavlis – interestd in Structural geology and tectonics, the tectonics of the North American Cordillera.


Current Graduate Students (alphabetical order)

Jacqueline wildlife  

Jacqueline Engel – M.S. Student (Dr. Ma)

Thesis Topics: U-series isotopes in rivers and weatheirng rinds in French Guadeloupe

Expected Completion: Winter 2015


Jiye Guo – M.S. Student (Dr. Ma)

Thesis Topics: U-series isotopes in weatheirng rinds in French Guadeloupe

Expected Completion: Summer 2016


Fotios Fouskas – M.S. Student (Dr. Ma)

Thesis Topics: Using cadmium and zinc isotopic techniques to understand the behavior of trace elements during coal combustion

Expected Completion: Spring 2015

Hiebing field  

Matt Hiebing – M.S. Student (Dr. Ma)

Thesis Topics: Groundwater chemistry and flow paths in faulted aquifers of the Rio Grande valley: implication for river salinity

Expected Completion: Summer 2016


Kevin Lerer – M.S. Student (Dr. Brunner)

Thesis Topic: The Role of Microbes in the Formation of Carbonate Cap Rock, Paradox Basin, Southwestern Colorado

Expected Completion: December 2015

Syprose intheLab

Syprose Nyachoti – Ph.D. Student (Dr. Ma)

Dissertation Topic: Using U and Sr isotopes to understand formation of pedogenic carbonates and river salinity in semi-arid Rio Grande Watershed

Expected Completion: Summer 2015


Yvette Pereyra – M.S. Student (Dr. Ma)

Thesis Topic: Quantify soil formation and rind formation with U-series isotopes in French Guadeloupe

Expected Completion: Winter 2015