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About Jeffrey Ryan

The science I do is very strongly instrument-based: I examine unusual and often difficult-to-measure elemental and isotopic tracers in rocks and waters as a means of gaining new insights into the origins and history of these materials, and to characterize and understand large-scale geochemical processes in the Earth. Toward these ends I manage the Geology department's rock analysis laboratories, which currently include a DC plasma emission spectrometer, our primary in-house tool for elemental analysis in rocks; and an X-ray powder diffractometer for the identification of minerals. We also prepare rock samples for trace metal analysis, particularly for Rare Earth Element (REE) studies, making use of ICP-MS facilities at the University of Boston, and other labs. My ongoing collaborations with researchers at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and at the University of Maryland at College Park, provides us with access to these extensive analytical labs, including thermal ionization mass spectrometry facilities for traditional radiogenic isotopes, and their new doubly focusing, multicollector ICP-source MS instruments for B and Li isotopic analyses. A new addition to our in-house analytical capabilities (funded by NSF) is a regional electron microprobe/SEM facility. The instruments are housed at Florida International University, in the Florida Center for Analytical Electron Microscopy , and we have remote operation capabilities at USF via an Internet 2 operational link, which means that we run the instrument in real time off of our desktop computers in Tampa.
I currently maintain active research programs on modern subduction zones, and on the origins and metamorphic/tectonic evolution of igneous rock units in the southern Appalachians.
I am working with my USF colleague Dr. Len Vacher to develop a geoscience education graduate degree track at USF, to try and meet the needs of a growing number of students who want to pursue graduate training in Geology toward teaching in secondary education community colleges and small four-year institutions, where the need for such an instructional skillset is critical.


Present Professor & Chair, University of South Florida



Contact Information

SCA 528
(813) 974-6492 (Office)
(813) 974-1598 (Lab)


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