All current GS members are eligible to vote in the Board of Directors election. Voting instructions will be sent by email on Nov. 17. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about how to vote or did not receive the ballot. The deadline to vote is December 7, 2021.
Information from each candidate is presented below. Click on a candidate's name to visit his or her web page.
The Vice President nominates members and chairs of the various committees of the society and serves on the Board as a voting member. The Vice President is elected for a two-year term, followed by a two-year term as President, then a two-year term as Past President. He or she also serves on the Goldschmidt Forum, the governing body of the Goldschmidt Conference.
Munir Humayun is a professor of geochemistry at Florida State University (USA). His research interests include geochemical constraints on the formation and evolution of the planets, chemistry of the siderophile elements, microanalytical techniques, chemical interactions between the core and mantle, Martian geochemistry, and extinction events in the sedimentary record. He advises his city on transitioning to renewable energy. His latest passion is the geochemistry of critical elements, those vital for the renewable energy transition. He has been a member of the Geochemical Society since 1988 and has served as an Associate Editor for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, chair of the Clarke Medal Committee, chair of the Joint Publications Committee, and PI on student travel grants to the Goldschmidt Conferences. Currently, he is the chair of the Asteroids Subcommittee of NASA's Extraterrestrial Materials Analysis Group (ExMAG) and Secretary of the Meteoritical Society. He is a Clarke medalist and a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society.
Short statement from the candidate
Geochemistry informs society on both fundamental intellectual questions and on the stewardship of natural resources and the environment. The renewable energy transition is a remarkable opportunity to communicate the importance of geochemistry to major societal needs: accelerate decarbonization of the global economy, secure critical elements needed to assure supply chains for the transition and examine the environmental consequences of new resource extraction. I would ensure that the Geochemical Society works collaboratively with other geoscience and scientific societies to provide high quality geochemical advice on major issues to policy makers around the world and to argue for increased funding for geochemical research. I would use Elements and forums held at the Goldschmidt Conferences to communicate issues at the forefront of societal needs to the membership and identify experts that provide advice to policy makers. To increase participation at the Goldschmidt Conferences, I will pursue the creation of endowed funds to provide more support for students, early career researchers, researchers from low-income countries and others in need. I will pay close attention to assuring broad representation of the diversity of the geochemical community when appointing members to the society's committees.
ELISABETH (LIZ) SIKES
Elisabeth (Liz) Sikes, is a professor of Oceanography at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. She is a paleoceanographer and paleoclimatologist whose research seeks to understand the ocean's influence on the carbon cycle and climate. Her research interests range from investigating the Southern Ocean's multiple roles in controlling glacial climate cycles to modern carbon cycling in estuaries. She gave the Emilani lecture in 2020 at the Fall AGU Meeting and has served as an associate editor of the journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimate. She has served the Geochemical Society as a Board member, Chair of the Organic Geochemistry Division, and as the founding Chair of the Ethics Committee. She serves as co-chair of the Southern Ocean Regional Panel (SORP) of CLIVAR (Climate and Ocean Variability, Predictability, and Change) and CliC (Climate and Cryosphere), which is a core program of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). She is a member of the Southern Ocean Task Force for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Short statement from the candidate
The members of the Geochemical Society are active in investigating fundamental geochemical questions across Earth's history, within the internal and external geochemical reservoirs and environments of our planet. Some of the most pressing social and political concerns of today such as climate change, pollution, natural resource availability, and sustainability are topics that need to be informed by robust and timely geochemical information and analysis. I am motivated to run for Vice President of the Geochemical Society because of the important role the Society and its membership have in informing these socio-political discussions. Ensuring dissemination of our science into the broader deliberations about the future of our planet benefits from multiple voices and data streams. Encouraging diversity within our membership and ethical and inclusive practices in our profession is a valuable goal for the GS.
Non-Officer Directors participate in Board discussions and serve on the Board as voting members. This is a three-year term of service. In order for the Board membership to reflect the regional diversity of the Society membership, this year requires election of one officer from North America (Region 1) and one from Africa, Asia, Australia, or Central/South America (Region 3).
Director - Region 1
Sujoy Mukhopadhyay is a Professor of Geochemistry at the University of California Davis (USA). His research program involves studying the formation of habitable planets and the co-evolution of planetary interiors and their surfaces. Current areas of research address questions on volatile accretion and evolution on terrestrial planets, formation of atmospheres on terrestrial planets, early Earth, magma degassing, and volatile exchange between the Earth's surface and the interior. He has served as Co-Director of Graduate Studies at Harvard, Chair of the Geology Graduate Program at University of California Davis, and as Program Committee Member and Theme Chair for Goldschmidt Conferences.
Professor Alexis Templeton is a geochemist and geomicrobiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder (USA). She utilizes spectroscopic, isotopic and molecular tools to characterize the chemical and biological states of systems undergoing active water/rock interactions. Her research focuses on defining the role of microorganisms in transforming the aqueous and mineral chemistry of rock-hosted ecosystems. She has previously been a member of the Geochemical Society Patterson Award and Endowed Biogeochemistry Lecture Committees.
Director - Region 3
Marly Babinski is an associate professor at the Department of Mineralogy and Geotectonics, Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil. She uses traditional and non-traditional isotopes to determine the age of the rocks and unravel seawater changes along the Earth's evolution to track major changes in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, and impacts on life evolution. More recently, she has explored the atmosphere pollution on megacities using isotope geochemistry, mainly applying Pb, Zn, and Cu isotopes. She is on the scientific committee of the Brazilian Geochemistry Society and member of the Brazilian Geology Society.
KULJEET KAUR MARHAS
Kuljeet Kaur Marhas is a professor in the Planetary Science Division at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India. Her main interest lies in understanding different realms of Planetary Sciences that include nucleosynthesis in stellar objects, formation of the first solar system solids (CAIs, Chondrules), the evolution of the cosmochemical/physicochemical conditions in the protoplanetary disk, preservation, and thermal and aqueous metamorphism of planetary materials (meteorites, lunar), and a range of interrelated questions and the solar-stellar connections. Currently, she is a council member of the Meteoritical Society.
Director - Early Career Researcher
Candidates for this new board position are early career researchers, defined as higher degree (beyond Bachelors level) students in good standing who 1) have completed at least 2 years of a PhD program (e.g., equivalent to having passed qualifying or mid-term exams where applicable) OR 2) postdoctoral researchers or faculty within 4 years of being awarded their PhD, OR 3) employees in a geochemistry-related industry within 4 years of last degree completion at the year of nomination. This position has a two-year term of service. Candidates submitted statements of interest as part of the nomination process.
Statement of Interest
I am thrilled to express my strong interest in joining the board of directors of the Geochemical Society (GS). I have been working at Eawag (Switzerland) as a doctoral researcher (Jan/2015- Dec/2019) and then as a postdoctoral researcher (Jan/2020- present) in the Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water and of Environmental Chemistry. In May 2019, I obtained my doctorate in Environmental Biogeochemistry at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. My research couples environmental and biogeochemical observations to understand complex molecular-scale mechanisms of processes occurring in waters and at soil-water interfaces, which have a massive impact on water quality and agriculture.
As I have been an active member of the GS since the beginning of my doctoral studies, I am now excited by the opportunity to join the board of directors. I closely follow and regularly participate in the GS activities that give the importance of transparent discussions about timely issues that our members face, such as black lives matter and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on geochemical research. I think it is because of my interest in bringing researchers together around a topic, in 2019 and 2020, I successfully co-convened sessions in the Goldschmidt conference. This year, I presented a study highlighting the interdisciplinary research possibilities within the GS community in the conference's diversity, equality, and inclusion session.
I have been dedicated to organizing and anchoring several cultural and diplomatic events, serving as a bridge between students and universities, and, importantly, raising awareness on women's education and LGBTQ+ rights. While serving the Indian Student Association of Zurich (InSAZ), I brought forth students' immigration and research funding-related issues with the country's highest office at a state dinner with the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, in Berne, Switzerland. As a current board member of the Eawag Postdoctoral Scientist Association (EPSA), I am actively involved in organizing various events concerning Early Career Researcher (ECR) issues, network, and coordinate amongst our members, which again have taught me how to build community and, importantly, maintain relationships amongst the community and stakeholders.
The ECRs are the pillars of the Geochemical Society's present and future success. As a board member at the GS, I would like to voice an underrepresented group- ECRs- at any engagements. I wish to bridge the gap between the leadership of the GS and ECRs, with a particular focus on developing policies to include women, LGBTQ+, and physically challenged members in geochemical research. I aim to create professional development programs for ECRs, ensure the society's international reputation, and lead fundraising activities to support our members. I trust the members of the society would provide me with an extraordinary opportunity to serve the GS.
Statement of Interest
One of the most exciting things about geochemistry is that it draws on all aspects of STEM: engineering an experimental design, materials science to characterize samples, physics to understand mass spectrometers, math to conduct Monte Carlo simulations, etc. This is where the strength of a geochemist lies: we are an incredibly versatile and adaptive group of scientists and I believe we can leverage our strengths into careers beyond the traditional academic route.
I obtained my PhD in geochemistry in December 2018 under the mentorship of Roberta Rudnick at the University of California Santa Barbara. My research revolved around molybdenum and other questionably chalcophile elements and their use as geochemical proxies for understanding how the composition of the continental crust and atmosphere have evolved over time. As I finished my PhD I had a choice between an academic post-doc and a staff scientist position at a national lab. I decided to take the leap and started as a R&D radio(geo)chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in January 2019. At ORNL I work in the Fuel Cycle Chemistry Research Group where I conduct research covering all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle: from mining, to fuel fabrication and reprocessing, and ultimately to long term geologic disposal. While I had a steep learning curve in this new position, my background as a geochemist prepared me with the laboratory and problem solving skillset I needed for the career transition.
My vision for the board of the Geochemical Society is to introduce early career geochemists to careers outside of traditional academia. I believe that the versatility of geochemists can be leveraged into a multitude of government and industry careers that sit on the fringe of “traditional” academic geochemistry. This is beneficial to academic geochemists in addition to rising students who are looking for a fulfilling career. By expanding the geochemist workforce into other fields, we can leverage partnerships with current geochemistry labs in universities. Often in my job I get asked “do you know someone who could do X analysis?” and I answer “yes – they are a geochemist at Y university”. This partnership is cyclical: sending more geochemists into industry can help expand funding sources for academics in addition to expanding career options for current students.
As the number of geochemistry PhDs graduating each year grows, alternative career options need to be considered. On the Geochemical Society board I could use my position as a R&D scientist at a national laboratory to promote industry and government careers to early career researchers. This could include hosting workshops to tailor a resume and cover letter for a non-academic position, starting a “geochemists in national labs” highlight series (there are dozens of us!), and working with national laboratories and industry partners to add “geochemistry” in the degree field on relevant job listings to make job seekers’ search easier.
LUCIEN NANA YOBO
Statement of Interest
I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University (USA). Serving on the GS board will enable me to help the society achieve its goals and objectives, as well as afford me the opportunity to give back to the organization. I have held the position of board member for multiple local and national organizations, as well as serve on various university wide committees and student government association over the past twelve years. More recently, I served as national president of the Cameroonian Student Association in the US. During this time, I took part in various meetings and strategy sessions to help plan the annual meetings, grow, and increase member engagement within these various organizations.
Also, while a graduate student at the University of Houston, I served as the chair of the graduate student body in my department. One aspect of this position is participation in recruiting and retaining students of color within the department programs. To this effort, I organized the first diversity town hall forum in the department. This event provided an opportunity for faculty and students to come together to dialogue about the issues of diversity, inclusion and steps that should be taken to improve the "climate" in the department. During these discussions, one student of color remarked "I never thought someone was interested in hearing and knowing how I felt".
I have administrative experience and excellent leadership skills that I would like to use for the GS. I can help
create and implement new projects that will enhance the engagement of members especially those from
minority backgrounds and low-income countries. I am confident that I have the skills and experience to serve in this position and to be of great benefit to the GS board and its membership if given the opportunity.