The IAG Young Scientist Award for 2019

Our Young Scientist Award is made annually for research by a young scientist that most closely reflects the goals of our Association. The award promotes the careers of young scientists who have either developed innovative analytical methods or provided new strategies to improve data quality as applied to the chemical analysis of geological or environmental materials.

The award consists of an 18-month membership of the IAG and a cash prize of $1000 US.  The awardee will be expected to present his/her work at the 2019 Goldschmidt conference in Barcelona where the award ceremony takes place. The registration fee for this conference will be paid as part of this award.

Eligibility is limited to scientists who are currently pursuing a higher degree in a field related to geoanalysis or who have completed their university education within the past three years. The award is based upon first-authored peer-reviewed papers published in an international journal. The candidate must be nominated by a senior scientist from the geosciences community.

Further details and a nomination form can be downloaded here. Nominations must be received by 31 January 2019.

Winner of 2018 IAG Young Scientist Award

We are proud to announce that the winner of the 2018 IAG Young Scientist Award is Alicia Cruz-Uribe.

The winner will be presenting her work at the 2018 Goldschmidt conference in Boston and will be receiving her award on Thursday 16 August. For more details, see

Alicia Cruz-Uribe

Alicia is beginning her fourth year as the Edward Sturgis Grew Assistant Professor of Petrology and Mineralogy at the University of Maine. One of the primary focuses of her research is the geochemical connection between the metamorphism that occurs in subducted oceanic crust and the geochemistry of arc volcanoes, i.e. understanding the geochemical fingerprint of subduction. She is particularly interested in single element thermometry and quantifying the spatial and temporal scales of equilibrium in metamorphic rocks.

Alicia has developed a new technique for analyzing Ti in quartz by laser ablation ICP-MS, and has published papers using a wide variety of analytical techniques. Her recent work includes combining LA-ICP-MS analyses of trace elements with SIMS analyses of sulphur and oxygen isotopes in silicates and sulfides. In doing so, she hopes to constrain the composition and evolution of fluids produced during devolatilisation of subducting slabs. She is the head of the new MicroAnalytical Geochemistry and Isotope Centre (MAGIC Lab) at the University of Maine, which houses an Agilent 8900 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer and NWR193 laser ablation system.

When she is not in the lab, Alicia enjoys nordic skiing, cycling, and going out in the field to collect rocks with her colleagues, students and baby girl.

Cruz-Uribe, A.M., Feineman, M.D., Zack, T., Jacob, D., in press, Invited Review Article: Assessing trace element (dis)equilibrium and the application of single element thermometers in metamorphic rocks: Lithos.

Cruz-Uribe, A. M., Mertz-Kraus, R., Zack, T., Feineman, M. D., Woods, G., & Jacob, D. E. (2016). A New LA-ICP-MS Method for Ti in Quartz: Implications and Application to High Pressure Rutile-Quartz Veins from the Czech Erzgebirge. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 1–12.

Cruz-Uribe, A. M., Hoisch, T. D., Wells, M. L., Vervoort, J. D., & Mazdab, F. K. (2015). Linking thermodynamic modelling, Lu-Hf geochronology and trace elements in garnet: new P-T-t paths from the Sevier hinterland. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 33(7), 763–781.

Cruz-Uribe, A. M., Feineman, M. D., Zack, T., & Barth, M. (2014). Metamorphic reaction rates at ~650-800 °C from diffusion of niobium in rutile. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 130, 63–77.

Winners of 2017 IAG Young Scientist Award

Both winners presented their work at the 2017 Goldschmidt conference in Paris. For more details, see

Dorothea Macholdt

Dorothea successfully completed her PhD studies at the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany in May 2017. Her thesis “Interdisciplinary Research on Rock Varnish” combined chemical, biological, geochemical, mineralogical and atmospheric data.

During her research she was involved in developing new techniques for the analysis of atmospheric dust samples and rock varnish, characterising reference materials and conducting portable XRF measurements at sites of historical interest. She has already made substantial contributions to ongoing scientific investigations and is first author of four publications in international journals (see below).

When she is not working hard at her studies, Dorothea enjoys the outdoor life either hiking or cycling.

Macholdt, D.S., Jochum, K.P., Stoll, B., Weis, U. and Andreae, M.O. (2014). A new technique to determine element amounts down to femtograms in dust using femtosecond laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Chemical Geology, 383, 123-131.

Macholdt, D., Jochum, K., Pöhlker, C., Stoll, B., Weis, U., Weber, B., Müller, M., Kappl, M., Buhre, S., Kilcoyne, A., Weigand, M., Scholz, D., Al-Amri, A.M., Andreae, M.O. (2015). Microanalytical methods for in-situ high-resolution analysis of rock varnish at the micrometer to nanometer scale. Chemical Geology, 411, 57-68.

Macholdt, D.S., Jochum, K.P., Wilson, S.A., Otter, L.M., Stoll, B., Weis, U. and Andreae, M.O. (2016). Suitability of Mn‐and Fe‐Rich Reference Materials for Microanalytical Research. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 40, 493-504.

Macholdt, D.S., Jochum, K.P., Pöhlker, C., Arangio, A., Förster, J.D., Stoll, B., Weis, U., Weber, B., Müller, M., Kappl, M., Shiraiwa, M., Kilcoyne, A.L.D., Weigand, M., Scholz, D.,   Haug, G., and Andreae, M.O. (2017)  Characterization and differentiation of rock varnish types from different environments by microanalytical techniques. Chemical Geology, 459, 91-118.

Peter Onuk

Peter has been a PhD student at the Department of Geology and Economic Geology, Montanuniversität, Leoben, Austria since 2014.

The subject of his thesis is the potential exploitation of high-technology elements in sphalerite from Eastern Alpine Pb-Zn ore deposits. His research has involved the analysis of sphalerite (ZnS) using LA-ICP-MS, which necessitated the development of suitable reference materials for calibration of the LA-ICP-MS system. Peter devised a sintering technique to produce homogenous ZnS materials doped with a wide range of trace elements, which was published in Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research in 20161.

In addition, he developed a cost-efficient method for sulphur isotope measurements by LA-ICP-MS, using N2O as the reaction gas in an ICP-MS/MS system (paper in preparation).  The reference materials he developed, MUL-ZnS1 and MUL-ZnS2, have been distributed to many other laboratories, as the demand for such materials in research related to ore geology continues to grow. When he is not in the lab, Peter enjoys cave diving and renovating a 300 year old mill.

1Onuk, P., Melcher F., Mertz-Kraus, R., Gäbler, H-E. and Goldmann, S. (2016). Development of a matrix-matched sphalerite reference material (MUL-ZnS-1) for calibration of in situ trace element measurements by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 41(2), 263-272.