Liz Widom


Janet & Elliot Baines Professor and Department Chair

Ph.D. (1991) Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
122 Shideler Hall

My research involves the application of trace elements and isotope systems (radiogenic and stable) to address a wide variety of geologic problems.  Current research foci include investigations of the processes and timescales operating in active magmatic systems (Azores, Mexico, SW Utah); the composition and evolution of the Earth's mantle, with ongoing projects on basalts and mantle xenoliths from ocean island settings (Azores and Canary Islands), arc settings (Kamchatka, Mexico), and continental settings (Nevada, Utah, Madagascar), environmental contaminant tracing (Ohio), and nuclear forensics (SW Ohio, Hawaii).

Possible Thesis/Dissertation Topics

  • Magmatic processes and timescales in Holocene volcanic systems in ocean island, island arc, and continental settings (Azores, Canary Islands, Japan, Kamchatka, Mexico, Madagascar, Kenya, Nevada, Utah).
  • Sources of environmental contamination in urban, industrial, and rural settings: multi-isotopic tracer approaches (Ohio)
  • Nuclear forensics and environmental radioactivity (Ohio, Hawaii)

Current/Recent Graduate Student and Postdoc Research

  • Mauro Mingo (Ph.D. in progress) Sources and processes in the magmatic evolution of El Metate shield voicano and Socorro Island, Mexico
  • Nanci Reyes (Ph.D. in progress) Geochemical evolution of Holocene eruptions in Zacapu, Mexico and La Palma, Canary Islands
  • George Daly (Ph.D. in progress) From volcanoes to vineyards:  Application of radiogenic isotopes to the study of oceanic island volcanism and wine forensics
  • Noel Skocko (M.S. in progress) Tracing the Geochemical Evolution of the Tacambaro Cluster in the Michoacan-Gunajuato Volcanic Field in Central Mexico
  • Rachelle Sanchez (M.S. in progress) Monogenetic volcanism in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt:  evolution of Xitle volcano
  • Masoomeh Kousehlar (Ph.D. 2021) Sources of urban dust and Pb contamination, Tehran, Iran and Middletown, Ohio
  • Patri Larrea (recent postdoc) Geochemical and isotopic evolution of Paricutin Volcano, Mexico
  • Fara Rasoazanamparany (recent postdoc) Origin and eruptive history of Quaternary volcanism in Madagascar 

Selected Publications (Widom Students & Postdocs Designated by *) 

*Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C., Raharimahefa, T., Rakotondravelo, K., and A.M.F. Rakotondrazafy (2022), Origin and sources of recent continental alkaline volcanism in the Southwest Ankaratra Volcanic Field, central Madagascar: insights from major and trace element and Sr, Nd, Pb, Hf, Os isotopes. Chemical Geology

Dietrich, M., Krekeler, M.P.S., *Kousehlar, M. and Widom, E. (2021), Quantification of Pb pollution sources in complex urban environments through a multi- source isotope mixing model based on Pb isotopes in lichens and road sediment. Environmental Pollution 288,

*Rasoazanamparany, C.Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C., Raharimahefa, T., Rakotondravelo, K., and A.M.F. Rakotondrazafy (2021), Geochemistry and mantle source characteristics if the Itasy volcanic field: a case study of intra-continental-rift magmatism. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 300, 137-163.

*Larrea, P., Albert, H., Ubide, T., Costa, F., Colás, V., Widom, E. and Siebe, C. (2021), From explosive vent opening to effusive outpouring: mineral micro-analytical constraints on magma dynamics and timescales at Paricutin monogenetic volcano. Journal of Petrology,

Becerril, L., *Larrea, P., Salinas, S., Mossoux, S.K., Ferrés, D., Widom, E., Siebe, C. and Martí, J. (2021), The historical case of Paricutin Volcano (Michoacán, México): challenges of simulating lava flows on a gentle slope during a long-lasting eruption. Natural Hazards,

*Kousehlar, M. and Widom, E. (2021), Osmium isotope geochemistry of steel plant emissions using tree bark biomonitoring. Environmental Pollution 272, 115976.

*Kousehlar, M. and Widom, E. (2020), Identifying the sources of air pollution in an urban-industrial setting by lichen biomonitoring – a multi-tracer approach. Applied Geochemistry 121, 104695.

Albert, H., *Larrea, P., Costa, F., Widom, E. and Siebe, C. (2020), Crystals reveal magma convection during melt transport in a dike. Scientific Reports 10, 11632,

Guilbaud, M.-N., Siebe, C., *Rasoazanamparany, C.Widom, E., Salinas, S. and Castro Govea, R. (2020), Petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Os) study of Plio-Quaternary calc-alkaline and alkaline volcanics and the Tertiary basement in the Jorullo and Tacámbaro areas, Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, Mexico. Journal of Petrology, 2020, 1-21,

Gilbaud, M.-N., Siebe, C., *Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Salinas, S. and Castro, Govea, R. (2020) Petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Os) study of Plio-Quaternary calc-alkaline amd alkaline volcanics and the Tertiary basement in the Jorullo and Tacantbaro areas, Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, Mexico.  Journal of Petrology, 2020, 1-21,

Waters, C.L., Day, J.M.D., *Watanabe, S., Sayit, K., Zanon, V., Olson, K.M., Hanan, B.B. and Widom, E. (2019), Sulfide mantle source heterogeneity recorded in basaltic lavas from the Azores. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 268, 422-445.

*Kousehlar, M. and Widom, E. (2019), Sources of metals in atmospheric particulate matter in Tehran, Iran: tree bark biomonitoring. Applied Geochemistry 104, 71-82.

*Kousehlar, M.Widom, E. and Kuentz, D. (2019), Sources of atmospheric pollution in the rust belt, Ohio, USA. Environment, Energy and Earth Science (E3S).

*Conte, E.R.Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. and Franca, Z. (2019), 14C and U-series disequilibria age constraints on recent eruptions at Sete Cidades volcano, Azores. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 173, 167-178.

*Larrea, P.Widom, E., Siebe, C., Salinas, S. and Kuentz, D. (2018), A re-interpretation of the petrogenesis of Paricutin volcano: distinguishing crustal contamination from mantle heterogeneity. Chemical Geology 504, 66-82.

Widom, E. and Kuentz, D.C. (2018), Assessment of tree bark as a biomonitor of anthropogenic thorium and radium contamination. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry,

*McHugh, K.C.Widom, E., Spitz, H.B., Wiles, G.C. and Glover, S.E. (2017), Uranium mobility across annual growth rings in three deciduous tree species. Journal of Environmental Radiation 182, 183-189.

 *Larrea, P., Salinas, S., Widom, E., Siebe, C. and Abbytt, R. (2017), Compositional and volumetric development of a monogenetic lava flow field: The historical case of Paricutin (Michoacán, Mexico). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 348, 36-48.

*Conte, E.R.Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. (2017), Uranium isotopes in tree bark as a spatial tracer of environmental contamination near former uranium processing facilities in southwest Ohio. Journal of Environmental Radiation 178/179, 265-278.

Valentine, G.A., Cortés, J.A., Widom, E., Smith, E.I., *Rasoazanamparany, C., Johnsen, R., Briner, J.P., Harp, A.G. and Turrin, B. (2017), Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (Reveille and Pancake Ranges, Basin and Range Province, Nevada, USA). Geosphere 13 (2), doi:10.1130/GES01426.1.

*Rasoazanamparany, C.Widom, E., Claus Siebe, Guilbaud, M.-N., Spicuzza, M.J., Valley, J.W., Valdez, G., Salinas, S. (2016), Temporal and compositional evolution of Jorullo Volcano, Mexico: implications for magmatic processes associated with a monogenetic eruption. Chemical Geology 434, 62-80.

Chambers, L.G., Chin, Y.-P., Filippelli, G.M., Herndon, E., Long, D.T., Lyons, W.B., McPherson, G.L, McElmurry, S.P., McLean, C.E., Moore, J. Moyer, R.P., Nezat, C.A., Soderberg, K., Teutsch, N. and Widom, E. (alphabetical by last name(2016), Developing the scientific framework for urban geochemistry. Applied Geochemistry 67, 1-20.

*Conte, E.R.Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. (2016), Characterization and transport modeling of uranium particulate from Fernald area tree bark. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 307, 1675-1679.

*McHugh, K.C.Widom, E., H. Spitz and S. Glover (2016), Analysis of sugar maple tree cores for monitoring environmental contamination. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 307, 1691-1696. (see also erratum: v. 307 (3) DOI: 10.1007/s10967-016-4723-7).


Selected Grants

NSF OCE 2026799, 2020-2023: "Collaborative Research: Origin and Evolution of Intraplate Magmatism at the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico”, $352,708.

NSF MRI 1919658, 2019-2023: "Acquisition of a Multi-Collector ICP-MS with Laser Ablation for Geochemical and Geochronological Applications", $711,822.

Ohio Board of Regents Action Fund Grant, 2019-2022: "Acquisition of a Multi-Collector ICP-MS with Laser Ablation for Geochemical and Geochronological Applications", $152,334. 

NSF EAR 1921624, 2019-2023: "Collaborative Research: Testing Source vs. Crustal Processing in High-Mg# Arc Magmas by Os-O-He-Olivine Systematics”, $212,599 to Miami.

NSF EAR 1853006, 2019 - 2023: "From Cones to Clusters: Evolution of a Monogenetic Volcanic Field”, $305,000.

NSF EAR 1523442 2015 - 2021: "Origin & Eruptive History of Quaternary Volcanism in Nosy Be and Itasy-Ankaratra, Madagascar”, $300,001.

Teaching Interests

GLG 147 - Introductory Seminar - Geology & Environmental Earth Science
GLG 211 - Chemistry of Earth Systems
GLG 417/517 - Forensic Isotope Geochemistry
GLG 427/527 - Isotope Geochemistry
GLG 617 - Chemistry of Earth's Interior
GLG 627 - Applications of Non-Traditional Isotope Systems
GLG 670 - Geochemical Modeling
GLG 770 - Advanced Isotope Geochemistry

for a complete description of the courses please see the 2022/2023 Miami Bulletin.