CLEVER Planets Rajdeep Dasgupta publishes a book on carbon

By Mejs Hasan Clever Planets Website, Education & Outreach Coordinator One of the main tasks of CLEVER Planets is to study how elements like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and others ended up on Earth. And not just ended up on Earth, but in places on Earth where they could be accessed by emerging life-forms that must […]

The ‘universal break-up criterion’ of hot, flowing lava

JADE BOYD – AUGUST 30, 2019 Thomas Jones’ “universal break-up criterion” won’t help with meltdowns of the heart, but it will help volcanologists study changing lava conditions in common volcanic eruptions. Long Description Thomas Jones is a Rice Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Rice University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. (Photo courtesy of T. Jones) […]

Cin-Ty Lee

Cin-Ty Lee awarded 2019 Fellow of the Geochemical Society

2019 Paul W. Gast Lecture Honoree: Caroline Masiello

The Passing of Albert Bally

Clever Planets: Adrian Lenardic on life beyond Earth

Dr. Adrian Lenardic , EEPS geodynamicist and investigator on the NASA NExSS Clever Planets team joins Ethan Siegel on his podcast Starts With A Bang #45 – Beyond Earth 2.0 Description from Sound Cloud: With all the planets out there in the galaxy and Universe, it’s only a matter of time and data until we […]

Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone

JADE BOYD JUNE 12, 2019 Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone Ancient air bubbles answer question about ozone levels after Industrial Revolution HOUSTON — (June 12, 2019) — Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in air bubbles in old ice and snow, U.S. and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much […]

Mark Torres wins Sloan Research Fellowship

By Kendall Schoemann (staff writer in Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs) Two Rice University faculty members have been selected as 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. Mark Torres (Photo courtesy of Rice University) Mark Torres, assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, was honored for his work in the field of ocean sciences, […]

Dr. Richard Gordon, Lin Zheng, Daniel Woodworth under EoS Research Spotlight

A Research Spotlight highlighting their paper, “Pacific Plate Apparent Polar Wander, Hot Spot Fixity, and True Polar Wander During the Formation of the Hawaiian Island and Seamount Chain From an Analysis of the Skewness of Magnetic Anomaly 20r (44 Ma)” has been published on

First Things First

text and images by Linda Welzenbach After 24 hours of travel from Houston, Texas to Punta Arenas, Chile, I arrived exhausted yet excited (and perhaps just a wee bit anxious of the unknown) to be part of something very unique.  My name is Linda Welzenbach and my role on this expedition is to share the […]

Planetary collision that formed the moon made life possible on Earth

JADE BOYD – JANUARY 23, 2019 Study: Planetary delivery explains enigmatic features of Earth’s carbon and nitrogen Most of Earth’s essential elements for life — including most of the carbon and nitrogen in you — probably came from another planet. Earth most likely received the bulk of its carbon, nitrogen and other life-essential volatile elements from […]

Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential

MIKE WILLIAMS – JANUARY 11, 2019 Study shows how government promotes agricultural, environmental benefits – and could do more Even though every dollar spent on soil improvement can save much more in environmental costs down the road, startup costs can sometimes make it hard for farmers to implement best environmental practices. A team of researchers […]

Dr. Gelu Costin’s research on Hematane nominated for “The Most Significant Material Science News of 2018”

‘True polar wander’ may have caused ice age

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 19, 2018 Rice U. scientists use Hawaiian hot spot to study movement of Earth’s poles Earth’s latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from the Pacific Ocean, including the position of the Hawaiian Islands, Rice University geophysicists have determined Earth shifted relative […]

Blue Hole Belize- Dr. André Droxler leads geological science activities for historic submersible expedition

Ice-age climate clues unearthed

Rice scientist’s method helps interpret climate data from lake sediments MIKE WILLIAMS – OCTOBER 24, 2018 How cold did Earth get during the last ice age? The truth may lie deep beneath lakes and could help predict how the planet will warm again. Sediments in lake beds hold chemical records of ages past, among them the […]

Tiny northwest quakes tied to deep-crust structure

MIKE WILLIAMS – OCTOBER 25, 2018 Rice University scientists uncover relationship between tremors, water at the Cascadia margin HOUSTON – (Oct. 25, 2018) – The earthquakes are so small and deep that someone standing in Seattle would never feel them. In fact, until the early 2000s, nobody knew they happened at all. Now, scientists at Rice […]

What recipes produce a habitable planet?

JADE BOYD – SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 Cross-disciplinary team will track life-essential elements during planets’ early evolution NASA’s interdisciplinary Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) project has awarded Rice University $7.7 million for a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research program aimed at finding many different recipes nature might follow to produce rocky planets capable of supporting life. As any […]

Pedram Hassanzadeh named Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellow

ARIE PASSWATERS – AUGUST 29, 2018 Adrienne Correa, assistant professor of biosciences at Rice, and Pedram Hassanzadeh, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, received 2018 Early-Career Research Fellowships from the Gulf Research Program, part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The fellowships support emerging scientific leaders as they take risks […]

Kilauea eruption an opportunity for undersea scrutiny

  Video by Rice Professor Julia Morgan, taken from a helicopter on July 16, shows lava from the ongoing eruption of Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii as it moves from the volcano to the sea. Morgan and her colleagues spent a week placing ocean-bottom seismic instruments off the southeastern shore of the island. […]

Sulfur analysis supports timing of oxygen’s appearance

River water helps Rice U. scientist support rise of atmospheric oxygen 2.7 billion years ago By Mike Williams HOUSTON – (July 23, 2018) – Scientists have long thought oxygen appeared in Earth’s lower atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago, making life as we know it possible. A Rice University researcher has added evidence to support that […]

Lake bed reveals details about ancient Earth

Rice University researcher helped find oxygen evidence of atmospheric production by Mike Williams HOUSTON – (July 18, 2018) – Sleuthing by a Rice University postdoctoral fellow is part of a new Nature paper that gives credence to theories about Earth’s atmosphere 1.4 billion years ago. Rice’s Justin Hayles and his colleagues, led by Peter Crockford at McGill […]

Joyeeta Bhattacharya selected for Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology

Ph.D. candidate Joyeeta Bhattacharya is one of ten U.S. participants- among 60 world-wide- selected to participate in the coveted Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology (USSP).  The NSF sponsored fellowship is a three week long intensive course and workshop that provide participants with an advanced working knowledge on paleobiological and geochemical proxy data and how they […]

Geochemist Janne Blichert-Toft wins Murchison Medal

Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along

Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery

Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery Study: Rare earth element implicates garnet for continents’ missing iron HOUSTON — (May 16, 2018) — Clues from some unusual Arizona rocks pointed Rice University scientists toward a discovery — a subtle chemical signature in rocks the world over — that could answer a long-standing mystery: What […]

Rice, UH team preps for massive Antarctic glacier study

JADE BOYD – APRIL 30, 2018 Offshore research team to aid in historic study of threatened Thwaites Glacier A team of scientists from Rice University, the University of Houston, the University of Alabama and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will participate in an ambitious $25 million study aimed at determining how quickly Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier could collapse. The […]

Sub-sea rift spills secrets to seismic probe

MIKE WILLIAMS – APRIL 26, 2018 Rice-led study yields first clues about internal structure of Galicia margin The first study to spring from a Rice University-led 2013 international expedition (click to read the 2013 press release Ocean explorers want to get to the bottom of Galicia) to map the sea floor off the coast of Spain has revealed details […]

Rajdeep Dasgupta receives Duncan Award

Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement Rajdeep Dasgupta, professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, received the Duncan Award,  which is presented by Rice deans upon the recommendation of senior faculty. It honors tenure-track or tenured faculty members who have less than 10 years of experience.

Francis Albarède wins Nemmers Prize

Francis Albarède, Emeritus Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Wiess visiting professor at Rice in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is the inaugural  Nemmers Prize winner in Earth Sciences by Northwestern University. “I would never have expected such a huge and humbling distinction. I always thought of myself as […]

Ocean-going Rice postdoc featured in NSF video

Life beyond Earth: No plate tectonics, no problem

Life beyond Earth: No plate tectonics, no problem JADE BOYD – MARCH 28, 2018 Scientists prepare to look in unexpected places for ‘exoplanet biosignatures’ HOUSTON — (March 28, 2018) — Scientists looking for life on distant planets are making plans to search non-Earth-like planets based on discoveries within our solar system that are challenging long-standing ideas […]

Ash from dinosaur-era volcanoes linked with shale oil, gas

Ash from dinosaur-era volcanoes linked with shale oil, gas JADE BOYD MARCH 12, 2018 Shale oil, gas deposits accompany ash layers from thousands of volcanic eruptions Nutrient-rich ash from an enormous flare-up of volcanic eruptions toward the end of the dinosaurs’ reign kicked off a chain of events that led to the formation of shale […]

After the fire, charcoal goes against the grain, with the flow

After the fire, charcoal goes against the grain, with the flow JADE BOYD – DECEMBER 11, 2017 Rice U. wildfire study: Soil charcoal became more concentrated over time When a forest fire decimated more than 3,000 acres of Rice University-owned timberland in 2011, biogeochemist Carrie Masiello saw a silver lining in the blackened trees. The Tri-County […]

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 17, 2017 Rice, UCLA, Michigan State, UNM find unusual enrichment in 15N15N molecules Nature whispers its stories in a faint molecular language, and Rice University scientist Laurence Yeung and colleagues can finally tell one of those stories this week, thanks to a one-of-a-kind instrument that allowed them to hear what the atmosphere […]

Reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea-level rise before drowning

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 19, 2017 POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS, FEATURED STORIES Reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea-level rise before drowning Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have […]

Rice’s Clint Miller ready to study first cores from Gulf of Corinth rift

Rice scientist ready to study first cores from active continental rift JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 19, 2017POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS Rice’s Clint Miller ready to study first cores from Gulf of Corinth rift By Linda Welzenbach Special to Rice News Rice geochemist Clint Miller is part of an international team of scientists that is collecting the first […]

Rice’s Laurence Yeung named 2017 Packard Fellow

JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 16, 2017 Rice’s Laurence Yeung named 2017 Packard Fellow Geochemist wins prestigious grant for innovative research into ‘clumped’ isotopes HOUSTON — (Oct. 16, 2017) — Rice University’s Laurence Yeung has made a career of searching for some of Earth’s rarest molecules and the stories they tell about the planet’s past, present and […]

Xiaodong Gao aiming for the six World Marathon Majors

Research scientist aiming for the six World Marathon Majors B.J. ALMOND – OCTOBER 6, 2017 POSTED IN: RICE CURRENT NEWS When research scientist Xiaodong Gao crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon Sept. 24, he reached the halfway mark to his goal of running six of the world’s largest and most-renowned marathons. Having completed […]

Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast

MIKE WILLIAMS – AUGUST 18, 2017 Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast Rice University scientists’ model shows global mantle plumes don’t move as quickly as thought HOUSTON – (Aug. 18, 2017) – Through analysis of volcanic tracks, Rice University geophysicists have concluded that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands aren’t moving as […]

Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau

JADE BOYD – AUGUST 23, 2017 Seismic data suggests means of producing massive volumes of continental crust Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously […]

Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice

Rice U. study: Flowing water influenced retreat of ancient Antarctic ice sheet JADE BOYD AUGUST 21, 2017 Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate […]

New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale

Rice University scientists say Malpelo microplate helps resolve geological misfit under Pacific Ocean By Mike HOUSTON – (Aug. 14, 2017) – A microplate discovered off the west coast of Ecuador adds another piece to Earth’s tectonic puzzle, according to Rice University scientists. Researchers led by Rice geophysicist Richard Gordon discovered the microplate, which they have named […]

Glaciers may have helped warm Earth

Glaciers may have helped warm Earth MIKE WILLIAMS July 31, 2017 Rice professor’s study details effect of glacial versus nonglacial weathering on carbon cycle It seems counterintuitive, but over the eons, glaciers may have made Earth warmer, according to a Rice University professor. Weathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by […]

Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one

New research by Professor Carrie Masiello’s Post-Doctoral Fellow Ghasideh Pourhashem is highlighted.   “I really like her team’s work because it models a couple of important parts of environmental science – the fundamental team nature of problem-solving (her team’s work required integrating soil science, air quality, and health economics), and then also the idea that addressing […]

Zealandia should hold answers about tectonics and past climate

Zealandia should hold answers about tectonics, past climate JADE BOYD – JULY 18, 2017 Scientific expedition will explore Tasman Sea for clues about submerged continent Thirty scientists will sail from Australia July 27 on a two-month ocean drilling expedition to the submerged continent of Zealandia in search of clues about its history, which relates to […]

Seismic CT scan points to rapid uplift of Southern Tibet

  JUNE 7, 2017 By Jade Boyd Tomographic model indicates Southern Tibet formed within 10 million years   HOUSTON — (June 7, 2017) — Using seismic data and supercomputers, Rice University geophysicists have conducted a massive seismic CT scan of the upper mantle beneath the Tibetan Plateau and concluded that the southern half of the “Roof […]

Nittrouer and Ma featured in New York Times Science News

From June 6-Dateline Rice: A new formula to help tame China’s Yellow River  Jeffrey Nittrouer, assistant professor of Earth science, and postdoctoral research associate Hongbo Ma are highlighted in the New York Times, Science news. U.S. and Chinese geologists studying China’s Yellow River have created a new tool that could help Chinese officials better predict […]

Carrie Masiello- 2017 Geological Society of America Fellow

Society Fellowship is an honor bestowed on the best of our profession by election at the spring GSA Council meeting. GSA members are nominated by existing GSA Fellows in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the geosciences through such avenues as publications, applied research, teaching, administration of geological programs, contributing to the public awareness of geology, […]

Jeffrey Nittrouer and Hongbo Ma -Yellow River research highlighted in China Daily  

Audrey Odwuor, an Earth Science graduating senior, receives the 2017 Dr. Mae C. Jemison Award for Academic Achievement and Public Service

Deep Subduction of Organic Carbon Helped Atmospheric Oxygen Rise

Study: Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle JADE BOYD – APRIL 25, 2017 Petrology experiments support tectonic role in Earth’s ‘great oxidation event’ Rice University petrologists who recreated hot, high-pressure conditions from 60 miles below Earth’s surface have found a new clue about a crucial event in the planet’s deep past. Earth’s atmosphere, […]

Cin-Ty Lee- 2017 Guggenheim Fellow

Rice’s Cin-Ty Lee wins Guggenheim Fellowship JADE BOYD – APRIL 7, 2017 Earth scientist will study how and when continents emerged from oceans Rice University Earth scientist Cin-Ty Lee has won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to investigate how and when continents emerged from the oceans and the effect of their emergence on the evolution of whole-Earth […]

Sarah Gerenday receives HGS Undergraduate Scholarship

Dr. Albert Bally awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

Hans Ave Lallemant Memorial – 18 November, 2016 (4-6 pm)

Bringing together Selenga-Baikal Research Conference, Nov.11-14

Rice wins 1st Place Poster at AAPG Student Expo 2016

Pankaj Khanna, PhD Candidate, won the 1st Place Poster award at the AAPG Student Expo, Houston 2016. Poster title – ‘ Uppermost Pleistocene coralgal Reefs and Upper Cambrian microbial bioherms: Morphologies and sea-level induced evolution’   Poster Awards, 1st Place: Pankaj Khanna – "Uppermost Pleistocene coralgal reefs and Upper Cambrian microbial reefs: Morphologies and…" — […]

New model for origin of Earth’s carbon and sulfur

Earth Science Students Participate in Rice University’s 90 Second Thesis Competition

The Earth Science Ph.D. program fielded its first team of student participants in the university-wide 90 second thesis competition this spring.  Students Tamunoisoala LongJohn, Harsha Vora, Tuo Zhang, Zuolin Liu, and Lacey Pyle had 90 seconds to describe their Ph.D. thesis topics to a diverse panel of judges.  Follow this link here to see their […]

Janne Blichert-Toft

Janne Blichert-Toft elected as member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

Janne Blichert-Toft, one of our permanent Wiess visiting scientists, was elected as a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.  This is the highest distinction for a scientist in Denmark.  Janne’s primary home is at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in France.  She is one of the most highly cited high […]

Rice students win coveted Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation

Every year, the National Science Foundation awards Graduate Research Fellowships to senior undergrads and beginning graduate students.  These prestigious awards provide full funding for graduate school in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.  They are one of the most coveted awards for a young scientist.  This year, two of our current students and two […]

New Field Emission Electron Probe MicroAnalyzer installed at Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratory

New Field Emission EPMA in Rice News: “New tool probes deep into minerals and more” EPMA Lab Web page: EPMA Laboratory

IRESS Student Poster Prize Winners

  IRESS 2016 included posters presentations by 24 Earth Science students. Poster awards were presented to Brian Demet (honorable mention), Daniel Woodworth (3rd prize), Pankaj Khanna (1st prize), Monica Erdman (2nd prize), and Jie Hou (honorable mention, not in photo). Photo by Gary Linkevich.

Laurence Yeung wins 2016 F. W. Clarke award from the Geochemical Society

Laurence Yeung, assistant professor of Earth Science, will be awarded the F. W. Clarke medal from the Geochemical Society at this year’s V. M. Goldschmidt meeting in Yokohama, Japan. The award is named after Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, who determined the composition of the Earth’s crust and is considered by many to be the father of […]

Mini-flume landslide experiments

In a collaboration with Chris Paola at the University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Brandon Dugan is adding a mini-flume to Rice Geotechnical Lab. Benchtop landslide experiments starting soon.

Jie Hou – 2014 SEG Best Paper Presentation

Congratulations to grad student Jie Hou for receiving the 2014 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Best Paper Presentation! Jie Hou below with his adviser Bill Symes.

Matt Weller – AGU SEDI – Graduate Research Award 2015

Matthew Weller will receive the 2015 Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior Focus Group Graduate Research Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. Matthew Weller received a dual B.Sc. in geology and astrophysics from the University of Toledo in 2007 and a M.Sc. in […]

Manik Talwani wins 2015 Maurice Ewing Award from the SEG

Our Manik Talwani received the Society of Exploration Geophysicist’s Maurice Ewing Medal this year.  From the SEG wiki: “The 2015 Maurice Ewing Award goes to Dr. Manik Talwani who received his PhD in 1959 from Columbia University under the tutelage of Doc Ewing, who would be justifiably proud of his student. Manik has received an […]

Monica Erdman, Brian Jordan and Clint Miller awarded at AAPG/SEG student expo

Rice students attended the AAPG/SEG Student Expo in Houston this week. In the poster competition, Monica Erdman won first place for her poster titled “Dual uplift history of the Colorado Plateau via arc magmatism and lower crustal foundering”. Brian Jordan won third place for his poster and Clint Miller got an honorable mention. Clint Miller […]

New stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Nu instruments installed in the Yeung Lab

New stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Nu instruments installed in Yeung Lab.

Ananya Mallik (PhD, 2014) receives Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship!

Ananya Mallik (PhD, 2015) receives Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship!

Masiello award $1 million dollar grant from the Keck Foundation

Masiello award $1 million dollar grant from the Keck Foundation to engineer microbial biosensors for soil [Article]

Graduating senior Rachel Marzen receives NSF graduate research fellowship

Graduating senior Rachel Marzen receives NSF graduate research fellowship.