Welcome to the Chappaz research group website! Our main investigation topic is the geochemistry of trace metals in the environment. More specifically, we explore the geochemical cycling of trace metals through experimental geochemistry, analysis of diverse natural materials, and transport-reaction modeling. Our aim is to explore the molecular processes involved in the biogeochemical cycles of trace elements. By using these integrative approaches, we want to improve our understanding of the paleo-environmental implications of trace-element behavior, such as their potential to illuminate how the chemistry of Earth’s surface has changed through geologic time, as well as the implications for modern societies—including environmental chemistry and identification of anthropogenic sources. Our new lab facilities, GEM lab (Geochemistry – Environment – Metal), are being remodeled and will be ready for May 2013.
The last weeks have been very busy. Dr. George Helz, Emeritus Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Maryland visited our group and gave a presentation entitled: Trace Elements in Dead Zones; Some Geochemical Puzzles. His talk summarized his most recent results about the geochemistry of arsenic, sulfide and molybdenum. As usual, it was a real pleasure to attend George’s talk and many people in the audience enjoyed it (and asked a lot of questions too, including the students).
On another hand, it is now official next fall Dr. Chappaz will be teaching a new course at CMU: Environmental Chemistry. Whether you are interested in taking that course, or you just want more details click on the link.
Dr. Anthony Chappaz is one of the two lead principal investigators, with Dr. Jennifer Glass from Caltech, who recently published their research entitled: "Molybdenum geochemistry in a seasonally dysoxic Mo-limited lacustrine ecosystem" in the best journal geochemistry journal: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
Molybdenum and nitrogen biogeochemistry are intrinsically associated, Mo being required for the nitrogenase process to occur. The study site, Castle Lake located in Northern California, has been widely studied regarding nitrogen biogeochemistry but until now no study had focused specifically about Mo, despite its importance for the nitrogen cycle. This new study sheds new light on the Mo sources influencing this lake and for the first time provides Mo isotopes measurement for a dysoxic environment.
Dr. Anthony Chappaz was invited to give an advocacy talk at the Recent Changes in the Biogeochemistry of the Great Lakes System workshop that gathered 60 researchers and was hosted by Wayne State University. He advocated for the implementation of a collaborative program studying the trace elements biogeochemistry within the Great Lakes: GREAT LAKES TRACES, similar to the famous program GEOTRACES for the marine science, that will contribute to a better understanding of the biogeochemical processes occurring in the water column, sediment, watershed and ground water composing the Great Lakes ecosystem.