Postdoctoral Researchers

The Berkeley Geochronology Center awards Postdoctoral Fellowships for exceptional young scientists to conduct research in the development or application of state-of-the-art geochronological techniques. These fellowships are awarded competitively and are internally funded. The BGC has world-class laboratories for Ar-Ar, U-Th-He, U-Th-Pb, 230Th/U, and other (TIMS) radiogenic isotope dating methods, and a modern paleomagnetic laboratory. In addition, the BGC is part of the stimulating intellectual community of the San Francisco Bay area, which includes the University of California, Stanford University, and the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Candidates will typically be interested in working on problems that push the limits of one or more of these or related methods, as well as addressing a question of unusual significance to geology, planetary science, paleoanthropology or archeology. Candidates will be expected to have a strong background in isotope geochronology, isotope geochemistry, or paleomagnetism.

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Guleed Ali

Ph.D., Columbia University

The cornerstone of my work are the footprints of ancient lakes of the western US. These lakes submerged many of the valleys across the region under dozens or even hundreds of feet of water, contradicting the stark image of water shortage that one sees today. The contradiction leads one to conclude that the climate must have been wetter to sustain the lakes. That much is clear. However, what is not clear is precisely when these lakes and wetter climate existed. Thus during my time at BGC, I will combine field geology methods and the uranium series dating method to determine the timing of lake level fluctuations more precisely.

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Marie Bergelin

Ph.D., University of North Dakota

There are many challenges and limitations in applications of cosmogenic-nuclide geochemistry to ice sheet change, Cenozoic geological history, and surface process studies in Antarctica. My research focuses on addressing these challenges through various research tasks and experiments that involve (i) “virtual” mineral separation by exploiting variable noble gas diffusion kinetics, (ii) improving the ability to distinguish between cosmogenic and non-cosmogenic inventories of nuclides such as 3He, 21Ne, and 36Cl, and (iii) establish the feasibility and reliability of multiple-nuclide measurements in the Antarctic Ferrar dolerite

Jack Carter
Jack Carter

Ph.D., Scottish Universities of  Environmental Research Centre - SUERC

My research centres on the improvement of the precision, accuracy, and applicability of 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. My work involves researching ways to improve existing irradiation sources and exploring alternate sources of neutrons that are a necessity for 40Ar/39Ar dating. Another area of interest is in refining the decay constant of 40K which is the foundation of the 40Ar/39Ar method by developing methods to detect, and then directly measuring, the decay constant. I also develop analytical modeling tools, using Bayesian frameworks, which allow the 40Ar/39Ar geochronometer to be used as a bulk fine-grained sediment provenance tool.

Christopher Kinsley
Christopher Kinsley

Ph.D., MIT Department of Earth

Lake sediments and speleothems found in caves are important archives used for reconstructing terrestrial paleoclimate. Key to interpretation of climate proxy records, is a well-constrained understanding of the age-depth relationship in these archives. My research focuses on using U-series geochronology to build age-depth models with which to anchor paleoclimate proxy records. My time at BGC will be spent working on western US lake and cave sites targeting the Last Interglacial, a period when global temperatures last approximated those predicted for the coming century. This will involve development of high-precision mass spectrometry methods for small samples and careful sample screening and selection criteria to be developed at each site of interest.

Joe Tulenko
Joe Tulenko

Ph.D., University at Buffalo NY

The cosmogenic-nuclide community has generated over ten thousand measurements over the last few decades that record the timing and position of past glaciers, and I am helping to build and manage an ever-growing database of those measurements. The primary goal of my research is to mine the database for synoptic-scale patterns of past glacier change and give others the tools to do their own investigations. Highlighting patterns of past glacier change may provide an improved geological perspective for the alarming changes in the cryosphere that we are observing today. I am also planning on generating a new chronology of past glacier change in Lassen Volcanic National Park based on measurements of cosmogenic He-3 from glacial deposits.

Postdoctoral Researchers - Alumni

Alyssa Abby
Alyssa Abbey

2018 - 2020

Ph.D., University of Michigan​

Now at California State University, Long Beach

Luis Gilbert Beotas
Luis Gilbert Beotas

2008 - 2010

Ph.D.

Now at University of Barcelona, Spain

Kim Blisniuk
Kim Blisniuk

2012 - 2014

Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Now at California State University at San Jose, CA

Steve Denyszyn
Steve Denyszyn

2008 - 2011

Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada

Now at University of Western Australia/ Centre for Exploration

Vera Assis Fernandes
Vera Assis Fernandes

2007 - 2009

Ph.D., The University of Manchester, UK

Now at The University of Manchester, UK

Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox

2013 - 2016

Ph.D., ETH-Zürich, Switzerland

Now at Earth Sciences, University College London, London, England

Jonathan Glen
Jonathan Glen

1994 - 1999

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz

Now at US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

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Neil Griffis

2018 - 2020

Ph.D., University of California, Davis​

Now at US Geological Survey,

Denver, CO

Ryan Ickert
Ryan Ickert

2012 - 2015

Ph.D., Australia National University in Canberra

Now at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Fred Jourdan
Fred Jourdan

2005 - 2007

Ph.D., University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis

Now at Curtain University of Technology, Perth, Australia

C. Brenhin Keller
C. Brenhin Keller

2016 - 2019​

Ph.D., Princeton University, NJ​

Now at Dartmouth University, NH

Jennifer Matzel
Jennifer Matzel

2004 - 2007

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Now at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, CA

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Regina Mertz

2011 - 2012

Ph.D., Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz

Now at Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz

Dieter F. Mertz
Dieter F. Mertz

1993 - 1994

Ph.D.

Now at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany

Sabastien Nomade
Sabastien Nomade

2001 - 2005

Ph.D., Institute des Sciences de la Terre d’Orleans, France

Now at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnment, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Richard Phillips
Richard Phillips

2004 - 2006

Ph.D., University of Oxford, UK

Now Head of Sixth Form at Loretto School, Edinburgh, UK

Rebecca Reverman
Rebecca Reverman

2014 - 2014

Ph.D., Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland

Daniel Rutte
Daniel Rutte

2015 - 2017

Ph.D., Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

Now at University of Bonn, Germany

Justin Simon
Justin Simon

2006 - 2009

Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, CA

Now at NASA - Center for Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology, Houston, Texas

Perry Spector
Perry Spector

2018 - 2020

Ph.D., University of Washington

Now at Act Zero & IntelliGO Network Inc., Seattle, WA

Sonia Tikko-Schantz
Sonia Tikko-Schantz

2014 - 2015

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Now at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Alka Tripathy-Lang
Alka Tripathy-Lang

2013 - 2018​

Ph.D., Arizona State University

Contractor for the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) in Arizona

Nadia Vogel
Nadia Vogel

2003 - 2004

Ph.D., Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland

Now at Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences & Technology, Dubendorf, Switzerland

Andrea Marzoli
Andrea Marzoli

1997 - 1998

Ph.D., University of Padova, Italy

Now at University of Padova, Italy