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Visiting Investigators

Marilyn L. Fogel
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: mfogel@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-8981

Marilyn L. Fogel's research revolves around the stable isotopic biogeochemistry of modern and fossil ecosystems. She uses stable isotopes to trace biochemical and geochemical processes. She received a Ph.D in botany from the University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute in 1977 and a BSc in biology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973. Marilyn is now a Professor at the University of California Merced for the School of Natural Sciences. At UC Merced, Marilyn will provide leadership and support to current faculty research in biogeochemical cycling and ecological studies of past and future environments in the context of changing climate. She plans to establish a stable isotope laboratory capable of supporting research in ecology/paleoecology, biogeochemistry, and environmental sciences, which will serve as an integrator for interdisciplinary studies related to climate change, biodiversity, and sustainability sciences.

 

Teresa Fornaro
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: teresa.fornaro@sns.it

Teresa Fornaro is a visiting investigator from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, who will be on campus for a four month tenure. She will be studying interactions of nucleotides adsorbed onto brucite with Bob Hazen and Dimitri Sverjensky as part of her Ph.D. thesis.

 

Marc Fries
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: mfries@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-7970

Marc is Raman spectroscopist with extensive experience in the mineralogy and petrography of carbonaceous materials. The central theme of his current research is studying carbon in geological systems, namely studying the formation and petrologic/chemical history of carbonaceous species as a means of describing the history of the parent rock.

 

Neal Gupta
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: ngupta@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-679-4357 4017494069

Dr. Neal S. Gupta has a Ph.D. in Organic Geochemistry and Geobiology from the University of Bristol (2005) and was a Postdoc at Yale University-MIT 2005-2010. He was a NASA Astrobiology Fellow with Dr. George Cody 2009-2010 and a visiting investigator since 2011. His research collaboration with the George Cody research group involves research in biomolecular paleontology, low temperature experimental simulation of diagenesis. His current collaborative research integrates geochemistry, paleoclimate research and also energy applications of organic geochemistry as new directions.

 

Valerie Hillgren
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: vhillgren@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-8927

Valerie is an experimental geochemist with a B.S. in Geology from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona. She has studied a variety of problems ranging from the formation and composition of the cores of Earth, the Moon, and Mercury to the fractionation of stable Si and Fe isotopes between metal and silicates. Most of her experimental work is conducted at high pressures and temperatures using the piston cylinder apparatus, the multianvil apparatus, and the laser-heated diamond cell. Currently, she is working with Dr. Anat Shahar on the fractionation of Fe isotopes in Pallasite meteorites.

 

Nicholas Holtgrewe
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: nholtgrewe@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-2375

Nicholas Holtgrewe joins us today from Howard University as a visiting investigator for a year.  He will be working with Alexander Goncharov on laser optics in Raman pump-probe experiments.  His other research interests include superconductors, solar power and laser optics.  

 

Tomasz Jaron
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: tjaron@uw.edu.pl

Tomasz Jaron is a visiting investigator from the University of Warsaw. He is working with Viktor Struzhkin on high-pressure synthesis and physicochemical properties of novel hydrides of ytterbium and cobalt.

 

Ronit Kessel
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: rkessel@carnegiescience.edu
Phone: 202-478-8926

Ronit Kessel joins the Geophysical Laboratory as a visiting investigator from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where she is a senior lecturer. She is working with Yingwei Fei and will conduct element partitioning experiments at high pressure and temperature, and investigate the role of carbon in the Earth's interior. RG17

 

Katya Klochko
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: kklochko@carnegiescience.edu
Phone: 202-478-8916

Kateryna's research investigates the interactions of small organic molecules with mineral surfaces. She collaborates with Robert Hazen and others to explore topics related to NASA's Astrobiology program.

 

Codi Lazar
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: clazar@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-8967

Codi Lazar is a petrologist and geochemist who integrates experiments, fieldwork, and thermodynamics to study fluid-rock interaction, serpentinization, abiotic organic synthesis, non-traditional stable isotope geochemistry, and subduction zone metamorphism. Codi earned a Ph.D. from UCLA.

 

Peter Lazor
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: plazor@ciw.edu

Peter Lazor collaborates with Viktor Struzhkin and others to investigate the thermal properties of materials in diamond anvil cells whilst combining laser heating and finite element analysis. He obtained a Ph.D in earth sciences in 1994 from Uppsala University, Sweden.

 

Valery Levitas
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: vlevitas@ciw.edu

Valery Levitas joins the Geophysical Laboratory as a visiting investigator on sabbatical from Iowa State University. He is working with Russell Hemley on modeling strength, texture and phase transitions materials. You can find him in room A-G02B.

 

Qian Li
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: QianLi@hpcat.aps.anl.gov

Qian Li joins HPCAT as a visiting graduate student from Jilin University. She is working with Yue Meng on diffraction studies for her predoctoral studies.

 

Stewart McWilliams
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: smcwilliams@ciw.edu

Stewart McWilliams is a shock-wave researcher educated at the University of California Berkeley and at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is working as a postdoc at Howard University studying high-pressure materials chemistry, transport properties, and equations of state with ultra-fast heating and measurement techniques in the diamond-anvil cell.

 

Charles Prewitt
Senior Visiting Investigator
E-mail: cprewitt@ciw.edu

Charlie's research interests include the characterization of minerals, analogs, and new materials. His research on silicates and oxide materials, specifically, and his development of principles of ionic radii in these materials, has been highly influential in the earth and materials sciences over the past 40 years. Charlie was the Director of the Geophysical Laboratory from 1986 to 1999. For more information, please view Russell J. Hemley's talk presented at an MSA symposium in 2003 to honor Charlie's receipt of the Roebling Medal.

 

Verena Starke
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: vstarke@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-8994

Verena Starke is a molecular biologist and microbial ecologist specializing in environmental microbiology. She developed a strong background in these fields during her masters’ research at the Philipps-University Marburg (Germany), and her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Maryland (USA). Her main research interests lie in microbial ecology under changing environmental conditions. Particularly, she is interested in how microbial communities change along environmental gradients, and how the environment influences microbial community makeup.

 

Dimitri Sverjensky
Senior Visiting Investigator
E-mail: dsverjensky@ciw.edu
Phone: 202-478-7975

Dimitri Sverjensky is a Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. Professor Sverjensky received his B. Sc. degree with First Class Honors from the University of Sydney (Australia) in 1973 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1980. He has worked in the fields of economic geology, isotope geochemistry and theoretical aqueous solution chemistry. In recent years, his research has focused on integrating theoretical and experimental studies of the geochemistry of the mineral-water interface, mainly with applications to environmental geochemistry and to the role of surface chemistry in the origin of life. He has been a Visiting Investigator since 2005.

 

Xiao-Miao Zhao
Visiting Investigator
E-mail: xzhao@carnegiescience.edu

Xiamiao Zhao joins the Geophysical Laboratory from South China University of Technology as a visitor working with Alex Goncharov and Viktor Struzhkin. She is working on polycyclic hydrocarbons in connection with their possible superconducting properties, which will include structural determination, optical and resistivity measurements. You can find her in office A-G28A until the end of August.