Genna Patton

PhD student
University of British Columbia

I’m a paleoceanographer and I use the Nd isotopic composition of authigenic Fe and Mn oxides preserved at the sediment-water interface to reconstruct past ocean circulation through time. My PhD project has also expanded to include incubation experiments to determine the source of the Nd acquired in these authigenic phases- it is not exclusively sourced from seawater, which complicates interpretation of this proxy. These experiments required the measurement of Nd and the other rare earth elements in pore water and seawater from the Strait of Georgia and well as the measurement of Nd isotopic compositions in very small sample sizes. As I finish my PhD, I’m placing down core Nd isotopic data into the context of these incubation experiments and also running simple pore water models to understand the range of influence that alternative Nd sources, such as pore water, can have on the authigenic Fe-Mn oxide phase.  The small and rare samples that I measured for this project required careful work in the lab and precise results from multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometers (MC-ICP-MS). With MAGNET, I gained invaluable experience with MC-ICP-MS that provided me with the skills to measure complex samples. Additionally, through my MAGNET internship, I was able to explore other isotopic systems and the effect that sample matrix can have on isotopic measurements, an understanding of which is critical to producing accurate and precise data.

Last updated May 2018