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Matthew Kohn Research Group

Basically, I am a geochemist who wears two very different hats:
Tectonics: My graduate research (c. 1990) was exclusively on metamorphic rocks, and I maintain an active research program investigating tectonics via the geochemistry and geochronology of metamorphic minerals. Projects have included the northern and southern Appalachians, Himalaya, southern California, European Alps, southern Andes, etc. If I differ from other “metamorphic tectonicists” it is that I continually develop and apply new geochemical techniques for investigating orogenesis, so there are a lot of geochemical methods and models embodied in my studies. Recently I co-edited a Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry volume on Petrochronology, which illustrates many of the concepts and methods employed in hard-rock research.

Paleontology/Stable isotope geochemistry: My other main research interest is in vertebrate paleontology and stable isotope geochemistry. This started with oxygen isotope analysis of modern teeth (c. 1995) and of fossil teeth as monitors of mountain range uplift (c. 2000) and spread to research investigating rates of fossilization, paleoecology, atmospheric/ocean circulation, and even a bit of biochronology. Lately my stable isotope work has expanded to looking at water resources. Places I’ve worked include southern Idaho, central/eastern Oregon, southern Argentina, and northwest Nebraska. I suppose I can be distinguished from other paleontologists based on my reliance on geochemistry.

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