Grad Student Highlight – Emily Mixon

I spent my first two years at UW-Madison in the WiscAr Lab using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology to characterize the Quaternary growth and evolution of the Andean Central Southern Volcanic Zone (CSVZ). As of Fall 2020 I am pursuing a PhD in the Bauer Earth Evolution Group where I will use U-Pb, Lu-Hf, and Sm-Nd isotopic systems to investigate the early growth and recycling of continental crust.

My research interests broadly lie in using geochemistry and petrology to understand subduction and plate tectonic processes through geologic time, the evolution of Earth’s geochemcial reservoirs, and feedbacks between solid earth and climate processes. I am also interested in analytical tool development for geochemistry and mass spectrometry.

I’m currently working on a project investigating Archean-aged detrital zircons in terms of age, O and Hf isotopes, to test hypotheses about how crustal formation mechanisms may have changed during the Archean. I feel lucky to have samples already at my disposal in the department, but I hope I get to go see some super old rocks in the field in summer 2021!

Besides my academic work, I’m really passionate about equity in Geoscience, and am dedicated to making our department a welcoming place for all via my involvement in the D&I committee, GeoPath, and my work on the 2019-2020 graduate student climate survey as well as my participation in mentorship and teaching training via UW DELTA. I’m happy to talk about these ideas with anyone!