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James Farquhar

Distinguished University Professor and Chair

Ph.D. University of Alberta, 1995


CHM 0217B
Chemistry Building
8051 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742

CHM 2225
Chemistry Building
8051 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: (301) 405-5043

Phone: (301) 405-1116 (CHEM 0230)

Phone: (301) 405-8611 (CHEM 0233)

Fax: (301) 405-3597

jfarquha [at] umd [dot] edu



Research Interests

James Farquhar is Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Geology and a member of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) at the University of Maryland. Dr. Farquhar’s research is in the process of transitioning to focus on isotopic techniques fingerprinting and tracing atmospheric methane methane sources, both natural and anthropogenic, primarily in the mid-Atlantic states region – wetland emissions, emissions from combustion, emissions from human and agricultural sources. This is a new direction and draws on the recently acquired UMD Panorama ( to measure isotopologues (isotopic variants) of methane molecules with 0, 1, and 2 heavy isotope substitutions. 

Dr. Farquhar’s past research focused on sulfur isotope geochemistry in a variety of terrestrial and extraterrestrial systems, spanning the modern to the ancient and extends from the atmosphere to the oceans and solid Earth. Farquhar and coworkers are best known for the discovery and interpretation of mass independent sulfur isotope signatures in samples from the early Earth that trace the evolution of oxygen and chemistry in the early atmosphere; in samples from Mars that tell of different conditions and reflect different reactions; and that provide tracers that track sulfur from surface reservoirs into other planetary reservoirs. Farquhar and coworkers have also used sulfur isotopes to trace metabolic and biogeochemical transformations for inorganic and organic sulfur compounds using laboratory experiments and ab initio approaches.