Ryan J McAleer, PhD


I am a Research Geologist at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center in Reston, VA. I received a PhD in Geology from Indiana University in 2016. I currently run the 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, electron microprobe, and mineral separation laboratories in Reston, VA. I contribute to National Cooperative Geologic Mapping, Energy, and Mineral program projects as well as collaborative work with universities. I use detailed optical and electron petrography, metamorphic petrology, 40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb geochronology, and a variety of other analytical tools in my research. Some current research projects that I am a part of include work on:

Some current research projects that I am a part of include work on: 

  • Determining the age of bedrock beneath the coastal plain of the southeastern U.S. 
  • Assessing the age and deformation mechanisms along the Blue Ridge Thrust
  • The age(s) of the Petersburg Granite 
  • Causes and uses of photoluminesence in zircon
  • Coupled substitution in sphalerite with a focus on germanium 
  • The age and origin of manganese oxide deposits in Virginia.



  • Ph.D. Metamorphic Petrology, Indiana University, 2016 (Advisor: Bob Wintsch)
  • M.S. Geology, 2006 (Advisor: Jim Spotila)
  • B.S. Geology, 2004 (Senior Thesis Advisor: Terry Engelder)


Professional Experience:

  • 2016-present, Research Geologist, USGS, Reston, VA
  • 2011-2015, Graduate Student, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • 2011-2015, SCEP/Pathways student appointment, USGS, Reston, VA
  • 2007-2010, Geologist, USGS, Reston, VA



  • 2016-present, Mineralogical Society of America
  • 2011-present, Geological Society of America
  • 2019-present, Microscopy Society of America/Microanalysis Society