Welcome to the “CritChem” research group

Low temperature water-rock interactions play a critical role in global elemental cycling and evolution of the Earth system as a whole. Our research specializes in laboratory experiments, reactive transport modeling, and field-base quantitative approaches to disentangle the highly coupled relationship between fluid transport and residence timesĀ  and biogeochemical reaction rates.

As our name “CritChem” implies, our group has a primary interest in the geochemistry terrestrial systems, which comprise the most vibrant and vulnerable portion of the Earth’s surface – the Critical Zone. We develop and apply a suite of environmental tracers such as stable and radiogenic isotopes, and trace element in our approaches to better constrain there behavior and evaluate their utility as environmental, weathering, and/or source proxies.

The CritChem Team. From left to right: Kayla (Ph.D. student), Nicole (PI), Jiawei (Ph.D. student), Hunter (Ph.D. student)

Current areas of active research include isotope and trace element partitioning kinetics and thermodynamics during silicate mineral growth and oxidative weathering reactions, probing coupled biogeochemical cycling dynamics in temperate and tropical Critical Zones, and coupling robust isotope-enabled reactive transport models to hydrologic models for regional, basin scale groundwater hydrogeochemistry applications.



Motivated graduate students and postdocs are welcome to join our dynamic group here at Cornell. Contact PI Nicole Fernandez for more information.