University of California-Berkeley, 2008-2012, Ph.D. (advised by D. J. DePaolo) Berkeley, CA
Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Center for Isotope Geochemistry May 2012
Dartmouth College, 2004-2008, B.A. in Earth Sciences Hanover, NH
Summa Cum Laude
Research Interests / Specializations:
Environmental geochemistry, crystal growth, mineral-fluid and fluid-fluid interfacial processes, contaminant transport
The interfaces between mineral surfaces and complex aqueous fluids are exciting and dynamic environments that govern a vast array of geochemically important processes, from contaminant sequestration to biomineralization, and from soil nutrient release to contaminant degradation.
My research focuses on identifying and understanding the physiochemical processes at the solid-fluid interface that control the uptake, release, and transformation of aqueous species by adsorption, dissolution, and precipitation, and by surface-mediated reactions. My collaborators and I bridge the gap between molecular scale mechanisms and bulk observations using a variety of computational, theoretical and analytical techniques. The types of research questions we seek to address include,
What governs the composition of a mineral growing from a particular aqueous solution and how does composition affect growth rate?
How do molecular scale structures impact bulk mineral and fluid properties, and can we control them?
What are the optimal fluid conditions for contaminant uptake and nutrient release?
The field of Environmental Geochemistry is highly interdisciplinary, inviting and indeed requiring collaborative effort, so our group welcomes a diversity of thought, expertise, and experience with a commitment to the joy of learning and to addressing questions of societal significance.
Watkins, J. M., Nielsen, L. C., Ryerson, F. J. & DePaolo, D. J. (2013) The influence of kinetics on the oxygenisotope composition of calcium carbonate. Earth and Planetary Science Letters . 375 . p. 349-360.
Nielsen, L. C. & DePaolo, D. J. (2013) Ca isotope fractionation in a high-alkalinity lake system: Mono Lake, California. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta . 118 . p 276-294.
Nielsen, L. C., DeYoreo, J. J. & DePaolo, D. J. (2013) General model for calcite growth kinetics in the presence of impurity ions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 115 . p. 100-114.
Nielsen, L. C., Bourg, I. C. & Sposito, G. (2012) Predicting CO2 -water interfacial tension under pressure and temperature conditions of geologic CO2 storage. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 81 . p. 28-38.
Nielsen, L. C., DePaolo D. J. & DeYoreo, J. J. (2012) Self-consistent ion-by-ion growth model for kinetic isotope fractionation during calcite precipitation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 86 . p. 166-181.
Nielsen, L. C., Druhan, J., Yang, W., Brown, S. & DePaolo, D. (2011) Ca isotopes as tracers of biogeochemical processes. In Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry (ed. M. Baskaran). Springer-Verlag, New York. p. 105-124.