Professor Richard J. Walker

Professor of Geology, Department of Geology, University of Maryland

Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1984
M.S., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1981
B.S., College of William and Mary, 1979

Research interests include the application of isotope and trace element geochemistry to fundamental problems in the origin and evolution of the early solar system, the chemical structure and evolution of the Earth's core, mantle and crust, and the interactions between various chemical reservoirs with the Earth.

I am always on the lookout for qualified graduate students and normally support students as research assistants. If you are interested in the research we conduct and are considering the University of Maryland graduate program, please feel free to contact me at:

Overview of Selected Research Topic/Targets in the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory

Vitae (with publications listing)
Past and Present Grants
Students and Their Projects


Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry

Professor Walker, colleagues and students at the University of Maryland Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory conduct research in several areas of Earth and planetary science. These study areas include: 1) the chemical structure and evolution of the Earth's mantle, particularly with respect to the behavior of highly-siderophile elements (including: Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd) and moderately siderophile elements (including: W and Mo), 2) the accretionary and crystallization histories of early solar system planetesimals, with current emphasis on early condensates, core formational processes and timing, and final stages of planetary accretion, and 3) the differentiation histories and chemical evolutions of Earth, Moon and Mars.

The research program involves both students and research scientists, and has also included the participation of numerous visiting scientists from the U.S. and abroad. The bulk of this research is accomplished using the facilities of the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory. Current work in the lab includes the measurement of the 187Re-187Os, 190Pt-186Os, 147,146Sm-143,142Nd, 87Rb-87Sr and 182Hf-182W radiogenic isotope systems, and high precision Ru and Mo isotopic measurements.