I am the laboratory manager for the USGS-LTRACE laboratory that specializes in laser ablation ICP-MS chemistry and geochronology of solid materials including minerals, glasses, powdered rocks, shells, and fossils. This laboratory houses several excimer lasers and an Agilent 8900 ICP-MS/MS for routine chemical analysis and method development.
My research includes analytical method development for laser ablation ICP-MS for: 1) quantitative trace element analyses in minerals to investigate potential matrix effects by developing new mineral reference materials and 2) develop beta-decay geochronometers (e.g., 176Lu-176Hf, 187Re-187Os) with direct applications to ore deposit research in the Mineral Resources Program.
I have a background in igneous petrology with a Master’s degree (2009) from the University of Iowa where I studied causes of chemical and isotopic variations within a small volume, monogenetic basalt flow (the Ice Springs flow) in central Utah. After my thesis I worked as a laboratory manager at the University of Iowa in a Clean Lab for Sr, Nd, Hf, Pb, Ra, Th and U separation for isotopic analysis and ran an ICP-MS and laser ablation instrumentation. In 2011 I moved to Australia to work at the CODES Laboratories at the University of Tasmania. There, I managed an LA-ICP-MS lab, oversaw a method development program, and produced many reports on U-Pb geochronology on a wide range of minerals and ore deposit types. I started a part-time PhD in 2015 on LA-ICP-MS method development while working full time, with a completion in 2021. The two directions of my PhD research were to better understand the ionizing plasma in ICP-MS instrumentation when coupled with laser ablation, and to improve zircon and apatite U-Pb geochronological analyses by LA-ICP-MS. I In 2019, I joined the ARES group at the Johnson Space Center where I developed methods for trace element and isotopic analysis of astromaterials and their terrestrial analogs. I started at the USGS in January of 2021, wherein I have managed laboratories and collaborated with multiple groups in the USGS, by providing cutting edge methods for mineral chemistry and geochronology for advancing research in ore deposit research.
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