Faculty & Staff

Advisory Committee

Adam Kent, Lab Director & Professor

Adam received his PhD in Geochronology and Ore Deposit geology in 1995 from the Australian National University. He has been at OSU since 2002 studying igneous and volcanic processes using ICP-MS and other techniques. He primarily works with the laser ablation ICP-MS systems and has also acted as the laboratory director since 2013. Adam also runs a research website dedicated to Mount Hood (https://mounthoodresearch.org/).

Chris J. Russo, Lab Manager

Russo received his PhD from CEOAS in 2007.  His research investigated links between mid-ocean ridge basalt geochemistry and magma supply through the combined use of U-series disequilibria and trace element characterization of basalt erupted along intermediate spreading ridges.  Chris returned to the Keck Collaboratory in Fall 2017.

Jesse Muratli, ICP Specialist

Muratli has been a valued member of the laboratory for years as a Faculty Research Assistant.  Jesse has a broad background in minor, trace and isotopic analysis of materials in a wide variety of sample matrices.

Rene Boiteau, Assistant Professor

Boiteau and his research group develop analytical methods using chromatography and mass spectrometry that provide windows into how marine elemental cycles are structured at the molecular level. Leveraging these and other ‘omics’ tools, his work investigates how metals and organic nutrients impact marine food webs, evolutionary adaptations and environmental/human health.


Jennifer Fehrenbacher, Assistant Professor

Fehrenbacher’s research involves understanding and explaining changes in the Earth’s climate and oceans using geochemical data derived from microfossils (primarily Foraminifera). She also conducts experiments with live forams to understand how trace elements are incorporated into the calcite shell and to understand how future changes in ocean chemistry and temperature will affect their ability to calcify. Learn more about her research here: http://jenniferfehrenbacher.weebly.com.

Brian Haley, Associate Professor

Haley studies trace metals for environmental and climate change studies, with special focus on rare earth elements and neodymium isotopes.

Jessica Miller, Associate Professor

Miller uses trace metal composition of shells, bone, cartilage, and otoliths (fish ear stones) to learn about larval dispersal and mixing and movement in marine organisms. She also uses strontium isotopes (87Sr:86Sr) to determine natal origins and migration history in anadromous fishes, such as Chinook salmon.

Julie Pett-Ridge, Associate Professor

Pett-Ridge uses trace metals and isotopes (including Mo, Nd, Sr, U-series) to study geochemical, hydrologic, and biogeochemcial processes in the critical zone.


Alyssa Shiel, Assistant Professor

Shiel studies the biogeochemical cycling of metals and anthropogenic activities as metal sources to the environment using a variety of geochemical tools. More detail on her research can be found at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/shiellab/.

Marta Torres, Professor

Torres applies state-of-the-art inorganic elemental and isotopic measurements of fluids and authigenic minerals to understand drivers and consequences of fluid transport along plate boundaries. Applications of these geochemical tracers range from centimeter-scale heterogeneity at cold seeps to hydrologic changes that span several kilometers along subduction zones; and target questions from the microbial processes to earthquake generation.

Emeritus Members

Gary Patrick Klinkhammer, Emeritus Professor, Founder and First Director

Gary is an oceanographer and geochemist who invents analytical methodologies for studying everything from wastewater, to estuaries, to oceans. First to accurately measure manganese and describe its global distribution in the oceans. Helped validate the diagenetic sequence of microbial degradation by making the first measurements of transition metals in sediment pore waters. Gary was an early advocate of using plasma spectrometry in oceanography and developed front ends for improving accuracy using matrix modification and isotope dilution. Used these techniques to measure REE patterns in hydrothermal fluids and plumes. Spent 3 years at sea applying a combination of onboard and in situ measurement exploring ridges and back-arcs for hydrothermal activity. First to observe metal-rich, buoyant hydrothermal plumes in the water column of the deep ocean. Using this phenomenon, Gary helped discover previously unknown hydrothermal sites and mapped the widespread occurrence of high-temperature venting on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for the first time.

Andy Ungerer, Lab Manager Emeritus

After 30+ years working in Geochemical analysis, long time laboratory manager Andy Ungerer retired in 2017, although he still comes in to help out as an advisor.

Faculty Research Assistants and Lab Technicians

Christina Murphy

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