Current Students

Stephanie (S.J) Ralston (PhD): S.J.’s research focuses on examining the formation and alteration behavior of poorly crystalline Fe-rich phases such as Fe-rich allophane and hisingerite.

Awards & Publications
First place poster UNLV Geosymposium 2016, Graduate and Professional Student Association Research funding

Courtney Bartlett (MS): Courtney’s research focuses on the interpretation of nutrient release from mineral surfaces. She is performing dissolution experiments of phosphate-containing minerals in the presence of potentially important prebiotic organic compounds, to interpret the implications for phosphate release on Mars.

Awards & Publications
First place poster UNLV Geosymposium 2016, Graduate and Professional Student Association Research funding

First place talk UNLV Geosymposium 2015, Honorable Mention Graduate and Professional Student Association
Bartlett, C.L., Hausrath, E. M., and Adcock, C.T. (2015) Phosphate release: The effect of prebiotic organic compounds on dissolution of Mars-relevant phosphate minerals Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXVI, Houston, TX Abstract # 2451

Angela Garcia (REU student): Angela is currently working with us to investigate interactions between biota and minerals in low nutrient snow environments. 


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Aidan Cortney: Aidan is an undergraduate laboratory assistant working in the Hausrath Geochemistry lab.


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Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Zoe Harrold

Dr. Harrold is currently performing laboratory experiments and field work to analyze interactions between snow algae, microorganisms and minerals, with implications for life in extreme environments and Earth’s albedo.  

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Former Students

Seth Gainey (Ph.D): Seth’s research focused on the interpretation of transitions in clay mineral chemistry on Mars, using a combination of laboratory dissolution and precipitation experiments and modeling. Dr. Seth Gainey is currently performing postdoctoral research with Dr. Joel Hurowitz at Stony Brook University.

Awards & Publications
JPL internship
Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship
2nd place oral presentation, UNLV Geosymposium
S. R. Gainey, E. M. Hausrath and J. A. Hurowitz (2012) , Kinetics of nontronite dissolution and implications for Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIII Houston, TX Abstract # 2383
S.R. Gainey, E.M. Hausrath and J.A. Hurowitz (2013) Clay mineral precipitation and implications for Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2954

Gainey, S.R., Hausrath, E.M., Hurowitz, J.A. and Tschauner, O., 2014. Formation of aqueous minerals: Implications for the past habitability of Mars, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXV, Abstract # 2356.

Gainey, S.R., Hausrath, E.M., Hurowitz, J. A. and R.E. Milliken. (2014) Nontronite dissolution rates and implications for Mars Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 126: 192-211

Gainey, S.R., Hausrath, E. M., and Hurowitz, J.A. (2015) Weathering profiles at Mawrth Vallis yield insight into the aqueous history and potential habitability of Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXVI, Houston, TX Abstract 2248

Michael Steiner (MS): Michael performed dissolution experiments with high ionic strength brines and different temperatures to better interpret signatures of these conditions on Mars. Michael Steiner is currently employed by the National Park Service.

Awards & Publications
UNLV Microbiology REU summer internship
Nevada NASA Space Grant Undergraduate scholarship
M.H. Steiner , E.M. Hausrath and H. J. Sun (2013) Synthesis of potential phosphate biosignatures under Mars-relevant conditions Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2761

Steiner, M.H., Hausrath, E.M. and *Schofield, R.E., 2014. Dissolution of nontronite by high ionic strength brines and implications for habitable environments on Mars, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXV, Abstract # 1510.

Steiner, M.S., Hausrath, E. M., and Elwood Madden, M.E. (2015) Dissolution of nontronite in brines and implications for habitable environments on Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXVI, Houston, TX Abstract # 2350

Christopher Adcock (Ph.D, 2014): Chris's research focused on the interpretation of evidence of chemical alteration of phosphate-rich minerals on Mars. His project included a combination of kinetic mineral dissolution experiments, analysis of field samples and meteorites, and modeling to better interpret observations, and the implications for the climate history and evidence of aqueous alteration on that planet. Chris worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at UNLV before being hired as a Assistant Research Professor.

Awards & Publications
Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship
Geological Society of America Grant
The Edwards and Olswang Geology Scholarship
The Desert Space Foundation Geoscience Award
Adcock, C.T. and Hausrath, E.M. (2010) Kinetic studies of phosphate-containing minerals and implications for Mars. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXI, Abstract #2177
Adcock, C.T., Simon, A. and E.M. Hausrath, 2011. Synthesis of phosphate minerals for use in dissolution experiments, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXII Houston, TX Abstract # 2300
Adcock, C.T., and E.M.Hausrath. (2011) Dissolution rates and mineral lifetimes for phosphate-containing minerals and implications for Mars. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco.
Adcock, C.T. and E.M. Hausrath (2012) The dissolution rate of whitlockite and implications for the habitability of early Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIII Houston, TX Abstract # 2466
Adcock, C.T. and E.M. Hausrath (2013) Interpretation of phosphate mobility on Mars based on terrestrial Mars-analog basalts and reactive transport modeling Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2727

*Adcock, C.T. and Hausrath, E.M., 2014. Reactive transport modeling of phosphate mineral dissolution in high-P martian rocks, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXV, Houston, TX, Abstract # 2250.

*Adcock, C.T., E.M. Hausrath, Forster, P. (2013) Readily available phosphate from minerals in aqueous environments on early Mars Nature Geoscience 6: 824-827.  This paper was featured in the News and Views section of Nature Geoscience.

*Adcock, C.T., Hausrath, E.M., Forster, P.M. and *Sefein, K.J. (2014) Synthesis and characterization of the Mars-relevant phosphate minerals Fe/Mg-whitlockite and merrillite and a proposed mechanism for whitlockite to merrillite transformation. American Mineralogist 99:1221-1232 

Valerie Tu (MS 2013): Valerie’s thesis focused on measuring dissolution rates of amorphous Al and Fe phosphates, with implications for phosphate mobility on Mars.  Valerie is currently employed at Marathon Oil Company.

Awards & Publications
Hispanic Scholarship Fund/Marathon Oil Internship
The McNair Association
The Graduate and Professional Student Association Travel Grant
Tu, V. and E. M. Hausrath (2012) Dissolution rates of amorphous Al- and Fe-phosphates and their relevance to Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIII Houston, TX Abstract # 2609
Tu, V. and E.M. Hausrath (2013) Dissolution of amorphous Al- and Fe-phosphates: Implications for phosphate mobility on Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2577

Julie Baumeister (MS 2012): Julie's MS thesis focused on the dissolution rates of ultramafic minerals. Studying the dissolution of olivine in Lunar Crater, NV, and serpentine minerals in the Klamath Mountains, CA, helps better understand Critical Zone processes and incipient weathering of ultramafic minerals. Julie is currently employed with an environmental consulting company.

Awards & Publications
Geological Society of Nevada Scholarship
Bernada E. French Scholarship
GPSA Travel Grant
GSA Travel Grant
Baumeister, J.L., Tu, V., Olsen, A.A., and Hausrath, E. M. (2010) Chemical weathering rates of olivine and serpentine in natural environments. GSA Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado

Brittany Myers (MS 2012): Brittany’s MS thesis focused on changes in Ca in arid soils as a potential biosignature. Brittany is currently employed as a project geologist at Aquaterra Environmental Solutions. 

Awards & Publications
Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship
GPSA Travel Grant
Best Poster GeoSymposium 2012

Michael Steiner (undergraduate student): Michael is working with phosphate mineral synthesis to better interpret phosphate measurements from Mars.

Awards & Publications
UNLV Microbiology REU summer internship
Nevada NASA Space Grant Undergraduate scholarship
M.H. Steiner , E.M. Hausrath and H. J. Sun (2013) Synthesis of potential phosphate biosignatures under Mars-relevant conditions Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2761

Valerie Tu (Undergraduate Research Assistant): Valerie's research project focused on the kinetic dissolution rates of amorphous Al and Fe phosphates under conditions relevant to Mars. 

Awards & Publications
Hispanic Scholarship Fund/Marathon Oil Internship
The McNair Association
The Graduate and Professional Student Association Travel Grant
Tu, V. and E. M. Hausrath (2012) Dissolution rates of amorphous Al- and Fe-phosphates and their relevance to Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIII Houston, TX Abstract # 2609
Tu, V. and E.M. Hausrath (2013) Dissolution of amorphous Al- and Fe-phosphates: Implications for phosphate mobility on Mars Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXIV Houston, TX Abstract # 2577

Jason Cornell (undergraduate student): Jason's independent study examined the alteration of P-rich basalts in the Mars analog environment, Craters of the Moon, Idaho, and resulted in the following presentation:

Cornell, J.W. and Hausrath, E.M. (2010) Phosphate mobility in a Mars analog environment. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXXXI, Abstract #2141

Mary Evert (REU) Mary’s research examined biological effects on serpentinite weathering.

Steven McDonnnell
(undergraduate scholarship through NSF EPSCoR) Steven’s research examined carbonate distribution in desert soils.

Darius Roohani
(undergraduate volunteer) Darius synthesized Mars-relevant phosphate minerals.

Kirellos Sefein
(Independent Study) Kirellos successfully synthesized Mars-relevant Fe-whitlockite. Kirellos obtained his MS from the University of Oklahoma and is now employed at an oil company in Houston

Renee Schofield (REU student):  Renee is performing dissolution experiments to help interpret alteration conditions on Mars with implications for habitable environments. Renee is currently a PhD student at Stony Brook University