Author Archives: dfike

Welcome Seth Wood!

This fall we have a graduate student joining the lab: Seth Wood, a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Goldschmidt 2018: Boston

Goldschmidt wrapped up this weekend, including great talks by graduate student Roger Bryant and Dr. Virgil Pasquier, sharing their respective insights on sulfur cycling and the role of depositional conditions based on micro-scale δ34S (Roger) and Δ33S (Virgil) data from pyrites.

STARS Students Shine!

This summer we hosted two students (Preston Willis and David Yang) as part of the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program, which provides students entering their senior year of high school an opportunity to gain experience within a laboratory research setting. Preston and David were fantastic and contributed to developing protocols for analyzing organic sulfur in marine sediments and comparing it to other S-containing phases. Looking forward to hosting next year’s STARS students.

David Yang ready to present his research
Preston at work

2018 Geobiology Gordon Research Conference!

The 2nd Geobiology Gordon Research Conference took place from Jan 26 – 31, 2018 in lovely Galveston, TX.  The conference brought together ~130 geobiologists from around the world.


Prof. Fike gave a talk on the depositional controls on pyrite isotopic composition in modern sediments and the rock record, while lab alumna Dr. Catherine Rose (faculty at St Andrews) gave a talk on carbonate-associated sulfate.    Grad students Jocelyn Richardson and Roger Bryant gave outstanding posters!

We look forward to the return to Galveston for Geobiology 2020!


Congratulations to Roger!

Graduate student Roger Bryant publishes his first paper (Bryant et al. Applied Spectroscopy), demonstrating the power of Raman spectroscopy for distinguishing differences in pyrite morphology.  The research points the way toward improving our ability to reconstruct the conditions under which pyrites form in natural marine sediments.  Onward!

Congratulations Dr. Virgil Pasquier!

Virgil, a PhD student at the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) in Brest, France, successfully defends his doctoral thesis.  Virgil’s thesis included a fantastic paper (Pasquier et al. 2017) published in PNAS earlier in the year.  This paper examined the role of changing depositional conditions over the last five glacial/interglacial cycles on the formation and stable isotopic composition of pyrite in shallow marine sediments.  Virgil showed that you could get enormous (>70‰), stratigraphically coherent variations in the d34S composition that change in phases with variations in sea level.  This has profound implications for how we interpret d34S values from pyrites in the rock record.


Virgil is on his way to start a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Itay Halevy (Weizmann Institute) early in 2018!

Volcanism and the end-Ordovician Mass Extinction

Dr. David Jones (Amherst College), Fike, and co-authors publish an intriguing new paper about the potential role of volcanic activity in inducing the end-Ordovician glaciation and associated mass extinctions.

Credit: Sebastiian Crespo Getty Images







Paper (Jones et al., 2017 Geology) is picked up in the international press!