Trainees

Laura Bilenker

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of British Columbia

I am a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Drs. Dominique Weis and James Scoates at the University of British Columbia. I plan to use transition metal stable isotopes to study igneous and alteration processes, continuing the type of research I performed during my Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 2015). I used stable iron isotopes as a tool to elucidate igneous and ore-forming processes in iron-bearing rocks and minerals, including high-temperature experimental run products, iron oxide-apatite ore deposits from the Chilean Iron Belt, and throughout the stratigraphy of the uppermost portion of the Bushveld Complex layered intrusion. Only within the past ~15 years have we been able to measure precisely the fractionation of such “non-traditional” stable isotopes at igneous conditions, thus, experimental calibration and natural studies have been vital for developing our understanding of the mechanisms and magnitude of fractionation in nature.

My other previous research includes an experimental phase equilibrium study of Cu-Fe-sulfides at magmatic conditions, which has implications for ore-deposit formation (senior thesis, B.S. in Geology, University of Maryland, 2008), and experimentally quantifying sulfide oxidation rates in seawater to understand the potential environmental effects of in situ mining of seafloor deposits (M.S., University of California, Riverside, 2011). Overall, my academic training has included many geochemistry-focused disciplines that will serve me well in MAGNET: Stable Isotope Geochemistry, Economic Geology, Igneous Petrology, Geochemical Kinetics, and Experimental Petrology. Prior to arriving at UBC, I also had the opportunity to exercise my teaching skills as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University.