Leah E Morgan, Ph.D.


I joined the 40Ar/39Ar geochronology lab at the USGS in Denver, Colorado as a research geologist in 2015. I was previously a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Center and at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I received a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009, and a BA from Carleton College in 2004. I was born and raised in Vermont.

I have worked on a range of applications and method development issues in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. Applications have largely focused on questions in paleoanthropology and the geologic timescale. Method development projects include developing metrologically traceable systems for measuring absolute quantities of 40Ar and 40K, and the design of a mobile neutron source for the future in situ deployment of 40Ar/39Ar capabilities on planetary surfaces.

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  • Ph.D. Earth & Planetary Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2009
  • B.S. Geology, Carleton College, 2004

Professional Experience

  • 2015-present, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
  • 2014, Visiting Assistant Professor, Geology Department, Carleton College
  • 2011-2014, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Center, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2009-2011, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands


  • 2018-present, Affiliate Faculty, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Academic and Professional Service

  • 2021, co-Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Geochronology
  • 2019, vice-Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Geochronology
  • 2018-2019, Chair and Founder, Geochronology Division of the Geological Society of America
  • 2019-present, Advisory Member, Committee for the Stratigraphy and Chronology Commission, International Union for Quaternary Research
  • 2018-present, Steering Committee Member, EarthRates Research Coordination Network

USGS Service

  • 2020-present, USGS TRIGA Reactor Operating Committee
  • 2017-present, USGS Radiation Safety Committee
  • 2016-present, USGS Rocky Mountain Science Seminar Series Convener
  • 2018-2020 GGGSC Early Career Advisory Team, GGGSC


  • 2019, USGS Superior Service Award