Ross Taylor (1925-2021)

May 24, 2021

Stuart Ross Taylor, Goldschmidt Medalist (1993) and Geochemistry Fellow, passed away in Canberra, Australia on May 23, 2021, surrounded by family. Ross was a geochemist who made seminal contributions to our understanding of the origin and evolution of Earth's continental crust, and the composition and origin of the Moon, meteorites, tektites, and the solar system. Born in Ashburton, New Zealand in 1925, he received a BSc and MSc Hons from the University of New Zealand followed by a PhD in 1954 at the University of Indiana, USA, where he studied under fellow Kiwi Brian Mason. Taylor was Mason's only PhD student and Mason himself was the last PhD student of Victor Moritz Goldschmidt. Following his PhD, Ross became a tenured lecturer at Oxford University where he worked with Louis Ahrens and built an emission spectroscopy laboratory. There he met Noël, the love of his life, who was working on organic crystallography with Dorothy Hodgkin. They married in 1958 just before Ross accepted an appointment as a senior lecturer in geochemistry at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he began his work on the origin of tektites, mysterious glassy droplets found strewn over large regions of Earth. In 1961 he was recruited by John Jaeger to the ANU as a senior fellow in geophysics and in 1962 became a professorial fellow in the Research School of Earth Sciences where he spent the remainder of his career. At ANU he set up an emission spectrograph and later a spark-source mass spectrometer to analyze trace elements at unprecedented detection levels and precision. There he continued his work on tektites, establishing that they are terrestrial in origin and generated at meteorite impact sites. Shortly thereafter, Ross was invited to join the preliminary analysis team for the Apollo 11 and 12 missions and he produced the first geochemical analyses of lunar return samples. Ross went on to become a world expert on lunar composition and origin. He also focused his spectrometers on terrestrial samples such as andesites and sedimentary rocks, developing the andesite model for crustal origin and defining the composition of the upper continental crust through the analyses of terrigenous sediments (shales and loess). Over his prolific career Ross published more than 240 papers and nine books. He received a myriad of honors, including the Goldschmidt Award of the Geochemical Society, the Leonard Medal of the Meteoritical Society, the Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union, election to Australian Academy of Sciences, foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Companion of the Order of Australia, and the naming of asteroid 5670 Rosstaylor. Despite these lofty accomplishments, Ross was always humble and kind and widely loved by his students, post-docs, and colleagues. A student of history, he always had interesting historical anecdotes to share, as anyone who has read the footnotes in his books will know. Ross is survived by his wife of 63 years, Noël Taylor, daughters Judith, Susanna, and Helen, grandson Angelo, and son-in-law Michael.

Roberta L. Rudnick, UC Santa Barbara

Category: In Memoriam

Dates Announced for Upcoming Goldschmidt Conferences

May 06, 2021

The GS and EAG are pleased to announce that the 2022 Goldschmidt Conference will take place in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, USA and online from July 10-15. This follows the cancellation of the in-person meeting originally scheduled in Honolulu last year. Plans were well underway for field trips, workshops, and social events to give delegates opportunities to explore the geology and culture of the Aloha State. Many of these events will now take place during next year's meeting. Hybrid components will provide remote participation options, as well.

Dates for the following conferences are also confirmed:

  • July 9-14, 2023 • Location to be determined
  • August 18-25, 2024 • Chicago, Illinois, USA

Elements: Shedding Light on the European Alps

May 06, 2021

The European Alps are one of the most studied orogens worldwide. New research has brought into question long-established paradigms of Alpine evolution. This issue provides a petrological, geochemical, and tectonic overview of the Alpine orogeny, from rifting and spreading to subduction and collision and, finally, to postcollisional uplift and erosion. Also discussed are the current debates regarding the origins of (ultra-)high pressure metamorphism, the origins of syncollisional magmatism, and the evolution of rifting and ocean spreading.

Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements website using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).

Günter W. Lugmair (1940-2021)

April 20, 2021

(Image (c) Max-Planck-Society Berlin-Dahlem)

Cosmophysicist Günter W. Lugmair passed away on March 31. He received the Geochemical Society's V. M. Goldschmidt Award in 2007. It was one of many honors that he received over the course of a distinguished career.

Remembrance from the Meteoritical Society

Remembrance from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Category: In Memoriam

Special Lectures at Goldschmidt2021

March 05, 2021

(Pictured, from left: Gabriel Filippelli, Andreas Kappler, and Sasha Turchyn.)





The Geochemical Society is pleased to announce three special lectures to be given at the 2021 Goldschmidt Conference. The Earl Ingerson Lecture will be delivered by Gabriel Filippelli of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is recognized for significant advances in a range of areas that span fundamental basic research into the nature and dynamics of the global phosphorus cycle as well as practical, applied research into human exposure to environmental contaminants.

The Endowed Biogeochemistry Lecture will be given by Andreas Kappler of Eberhard-Karls-University Tuebingen. The selection honors his research around iron photo-oxidation processes, electron shuttling processes in redox cycling between microbes and iron oxide minerals, and biotic and abiotic components of iron cycling in modern and ancient settings.

The Robert Berner Lecture (a joint award with EAG) will be presented by Alexandra (Sasha) Turchyn of the University of Cambridge. She has made important contributions in the area of global geochemical cycles especially related to the modern and ancient sulphur cycles, using novel analytical techniques combined with mathematical models.

Elements: Hydrothermal Fluids

February 18, 2021

Fluids transfer heat and mass in the Earth. This issue explores the physical and chemical properties of hydrothermal fluids and how they affect geologic processes. The nature of hydrothermal fluids across a range of geologic settings; the interactions between fluids and rocks; and the interrelationships between fluid-driven processes in different settings are explored. Each article highlights both broad and specific overlaps between "normal" and ore-forming hydrothermal fluids and describes how the features of hydrothermal systems reflect the specific properties of fluids in different settings.

Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements website using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).

Bernard Marty Named 2021 V.M. Goldschmidt Medalist

February 09, 2021

Bernard Marty, Professor of Geochemistry at the Université de Lorraine and CRPG-CNRS (France), will receive the 2021 Victor M. Goldschmidt Award. The Goldschmidt Award recognizes major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry consisting of either a single outstanding contribution or a series of publications that have had great influence on the field. Dr. Marty is recognized for work that transformed rare-gas geochemistry and its applications to mantle geodynamics, atmosphere and ocean history, and planetary formation. His work on planetary material, interplanetary dust, and comets changed the paradigm of nebular volatiles and has become the reference for the volatile content of planets.

Category: Society News
Tag: Awards

Michael Hochella Named 2021 C.C. Patterson Medalist

February 09, 2021

Michael Hochella will receive the 2021 Clair C. Patterson Award, which recognizes an innovative breakthrough of fundamental significance in environmental geochemistry, particularly in service of society, consisting of either a single outstanding contribution or a short series of papers published within the last decade. Dr. Hochella is a Laboratory Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a University Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) at Virginia Tech (USA). He is recognized for his research on environmental nanoparticles that resulted in the discovery of heretofore unknown nanocrystalline Magnéli-phase titanium suboxides in coal ash spilled in North Carolina. He and his co-workers carried out toxicological studies of these nanoparticles, which revealed their high toxicity to humans.

Category: Society News
Tag: Awards

Mark Torres Named 2021 F.W. Clarke Medalist

February 09, 2021

Mark Albert Torres, Assistant Professor at Rice University (USA) will receive the 2021 F.W. Clarke Award this July. The Clarke Award recognizes an early-career scientist for a single outstanding contribution to geochemistry or cosmochemistry published either as a single paper or a series of papers on a single topic. Dr. Torres is recognized for his work on the geochemistry of the Earth’s surface focused on interactions between the hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and the crust.

Category: Society News
Tag: Awards

New Members Join GS Board

January 15, 2021

(New board members, from left: Cin-Ty Lee and Liping Zhou)

The membership of the GS elected two new members to the Board of Directors in December. Cin-Ty Lee of Rice University will serve as a director from Region 1 and Liping Zhou of Peking University will serve as a director from Region 3. More information about the board and its role in governing the society can be found on this page.