CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS
Justin Casaus is a second year Ph.D. student investigating the incorporation of different oxidation states of sulfur in the mineral apatite. Justin’s work will improve our understanding of the role for redox processes to form magmatic-hydrothermal mineral deposits. Justin earned his BS Geology from Sonoma State University in California.
Jackie Wrage is a third year Ph.D. student investigating the solubility of sulfur in evolved silicate melt, which has implications for atmospheric sulfur loading during volcanic eruptions and the formation of mineral deposits that provide society with energy critical metals. Jackie is now working on the evolution of mineral systems associated with mafic intrusions in Minnesota. Jackie earned her BS Geology from the North Dakota State University. Check out Jackie’s website for more info: https://jackiewrage.com/
Maria Alejandra Rodriguez Mustafa is a fourth year Ph.D. student investigating the origin of iron oxide – copper – gold (IOCG) and iron oxide – apatite (IOA) ore deposits. Maria is working on samples from the Quince IOA prospect and the Candelaria IOCG deposit, both in central Chile. Maria combines elemental analysis of magnetite and sulfides with the iron, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope concentrations of magnetite and actinolite to shed light on the source of ore fluids. Maria earned her BS Geology from the National University of Colombia.
Nikita LaCruz earned her PhD in 2019. Nikita investigated the origin of iron oxide – apatite (IOA) ore deposits in Chile, and nickel and gold deposits in the Guiana Shield, including her home country Guyana. Her work on IOA deposits focused on fully characterizing the chemistry of the mineral magnetite, the which modally dominates this deposit type, in order to shed light on possible fluid sources. Her work in the Guiana Shield was in partnership with private industry and focused on using stream sediment analyses to vector to ore deposits. Nikita earned her BS Chemistry from Gettysburg College and her MS Geochemistry from the University of South Florida.
Adrian Fiege was a postdoctoral fellow from 2014-2016. Adrian was instrumental in developing two new experimental projects. One focused on the partitioning of sulfur between apatite and melt, and the second focused on the interaction of mafic and felsic silicate magmas. Adrian is now working in private industry in Germany.
Brian Konecke earned his PhD in 2019 completing a dissertation that explored the behavior of sulfur in magmatic and magmatic-hydrothermal systems. Brian experimentally recreated magmatic conditions in the laboratory to quantify the partitioning of sulfur between silicate melts and the mineral apatite. His work is the first ever to demonstrate that apatite incorporates sulfide, sulfite, and sulfate and Brian is now using his experimental data to interpret the history of apatite in a variety of terrestrial and lunar systems. Brian earned his BS Geology from Augustana College. Brian is now a postdoctoral fellow at NASA in Houston, TX.
Tristan Morgan Childress earned his Ph.D. in 2019 completing a dissertation that explored the evolution of iron oxide – copper – gold (IOCG) and iron oxide – apatite (IOA) ore deposits. These deposit types are important sources of their namesake metals and others including rare earth elements and uranium. Tristan combines field work with analytical geochemistry to identify the source reservoir for the ore fluids. His ability to fingerprint the ore fluid source is made possible by combining iron, oxygen, and hydrogen stable isotopes. Tristan earned his BS Geology from the University of South Carolina. Tristan is now chief geologist at the Hog Mountain gold deposit in Alabama.
Gephen Sadove earned her MSc. in 2018 completing a thesis that explored the formation of the Philips Mine magnetite – sulfide mineral deposit in New York, USA. Gephen earned her BS in Geological Sciences from George Washington University. Gephen is an environmental consultant with Geosyntec.
Jaayke Knipping earned her PhD in 2019. She was officially a PhD student at the University of Hannover, and spent several years in residence at UM working with me. While at UM, Jaayke investigated the origin of the Los Colorados Kiruna-type magnetite-apatite deposit in the Chilean Iron Belt, helping to build a collaboration with Drs. Martin Reich and Fernando Barra at the Universidad de Chile. Jaayke is now working in Germany.
Daniel Korfeh earned his M.S. degree in 2016. Daniel’s thesis focused on the chemistry of magnetite from the Pea Ridge magnetite – apatite mineral deposit in Missouri, U.S.A. Daniel is the first Liberian citizen to earn a graduate degree in from our department. Daniel is now a professor at the University of Liberia. Daniel’s thesis can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OAcijC_4QTKFY4Vvxqh_bIxBmYPVEasV/view?usp=sharing
Tom Hudgins earned his PhD in 2015. Tom’s research focused on the evolution of CO2-rich melts erupted in East Africa, and the evolution of Mutnovsky Volcano, Russia. Tom is now a professor of geology at the University of Puerto Rico. Tom’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/113503?show=full Tom is an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
Laura Bilenker earned her PhD in 2015. Laura’s research focused on using iron isotopes to shed light on processes in magmatic systems. Laura conducted experiments and also analyzed samples from natural systems. Laura’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/113582?show=full Laura is now an assistant professor at Auburn University.
Liz Tanis earned her PhD in 2014. Liz’s research focused on constraining mineral solubilities in aqueous fluid(s) at PTX conditions applicable to subduction zones. Liz’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/110477?show=full Lis is a petrophysicist with Shell.
Lindsey (Clark) Moroun earned her M.S. in 2013. Lindsey investigated high-grade gold deposition and collapse breccia formation at the Cortez Hills Carlin-type gold deposit, Nevada, USA. Lindsey’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/1716/ Lindsey is a geologist with Occidental Petroleum.
Ember Flagg earned her M.S. in 2013. Ember investigated mineralization at the Estelle prospect the south-central Alaska Range. Ember’s thesis can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/2082/ Ember is an exploration geologist with Stillwater Mining Company.
Kelly Robertson earned her PhD in 2011. Kelly investigated the evolution of Mutnovsky volcano, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Kelly’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/1378/Kelly is now a senior geoscientist at ExxonMobil.
Aaron Bell earned his PhD in 2010. Aaron experimentally investigated the partitioning of metals between silicate melt and sulfides, and the effect of degassing on the oxygen fugacity of silicate magma. Aaron’s dissertation can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/214/ Aaron is a research scientist in the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico.
Nathan Eck earned his M.S. in 2010. Nathan investigated the effects of contact metamorphism on mineralization at the Getchell Carlin-type gold deposit. Nathan’s thesis can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/879/ Nathan is a geologist with Barrick Gold Corporation.
Brian Aillaud earned his M.S. in 2010. Brian investigated the chemistry of fluid inclusions in gold-only porphyry deposits in the Refugio District, Chile. Brian’s thesis can be downloaded here: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/337/ Brian is a geologist with the BLM.
Zach Artz worked on his M.S. from 2006 – 2008 and is all but thesis. Zach interned for Kinross at the Round Mountain gold deposit and for Barrick Gold Corporation at their Cortez Hills Carlin-type gold deposit. Zach used Ar/Ar dating of feldpars in dikes cross-cutting mineralization at Cortez Hills to constrain the age of mineralization. Zach is a consultant with CH2M Hill.