Join Us

Prospective PhD students

  • In my lab, we specialize in molecular techniques to reconstruct plant cover and precipitation isotopes as clues to past conditions. watch our lab on YouTube
  • You can find more details about my research interests and methods on my publication page. After familiarizing yourself with these approaches and questions, please email me to discuss these opportunities and how you are motivated to contribute to such research directions.
  • Prospective students would take part in the lively geochemistry/geobiology/climate research program at USC and in Southern California.
  • California has long attracted science from the mountaintop observatories, to desert vistas revealing geology, to the ocean ecosystems offshore (dolphins!), not to mention the great weather. One benefit of the research hub here, is that students take part in the annual So Cal Geobio Symposium rotating between USC-Caltech-UCR: a lively and high caliber, student-run meeting.
  • My research group is multi-cultural welcoming students from the USA, UK, Canada, Korea, Macau, China, India, Germany and Colombia to date.
  • Application information for the PhD program can be found on the webpage of the Department of Earth Sciences at USC.
  • The Application Filing Deadline for the Department of Earth Sciences is January 1st, for a start date of August the following academic year.

Prospective Postdoctoral Researchers

  • If you are interested in exploring the opportunities for postdoctoral research in my lab, and have ideas for your research and how to fund it, please contact me by email. National fellowships are competitive and typically have 1 year lead times between proposal and start date.
  • Past postdoctoral researchers Dr Camilo Ponton, Dr Bernhard Aichner and Dr Isabel Romero, have each spent a year in my lab and published the results of their research at GRL, GCA, CP and OG and continued on to research positions at Caltech, Potsdam and Florida. Dr Ponton will join the faculty at Western Washington University in Fall 2018!


  • Visiting graduate students include Annie Tamalavage, Tom Peters, Aleesha Bakkelund, Gerard Otiniano, Bernd Hoffmann visiting for weeks to months to learn organic geochemical techniques and compound specific isotopic analyses and to process and analyze their own samples. Dr Hoffmann is now working for the German government using drones to survey crops and gather data.
  • Visiting postdoctoral researchers include Dr Jessica Hinojosa, Dr Xiuwei Liu and Dr Eva Niedermeyer, each have visited for several weeks for compound specific isotopic analyses. Dr Niedermeyer is now a faculty member at Senkenberg in Frankfurt, Dr Hinojosa is heading to Shell.

USC Undergraduates

  • I usually have 1-4 undergraduates associated with my lab at any time, typically continuing their involvement for multiple semesters for an in-depth experience, a chance to build laboratory skills and to meaningfully contribute to progress on the research projects active in the lab. Students acquire organizational abilities, improve their manual dexterity, demonstrate ability to follow protocols, operate analytical instrumentation, troubleshoot problems – all valuable skills for many careers. Many continue to graduate school or careers where the acquired skills and experiences are an asset. Please contact me by email (include your GPA, degree-discipline, year of study, prior work experience and skills), if you would be interested in a research project or work study opportunities.