Roberta L. Rudnick



Department of Geology                                                                    Birth Date: 23 August, 1958

University of Maryland                                                                    Citizenship:  U. S.

College Park, MD, 20784 U.S.A.                                               email:

Tel:  (301) 405-1311                                                                                Fax:  (301) 314-9661




PhD   1988    The Research School of Earth Sciences, Aust. Nat. Univ., Australia

M.S.    1983    Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX, U.S.A. (Geology)

B.S.      1980    Portland State University, Portland, OR, U.S.A. (Earth Sciences)


Professional Employment


2000-present     Professor, University of Maryland

4/2000                    Professor, Harvard University

1997-2000            Associate Professor, Harvard University

1994-1997            Assistant Professor, Harvard University

1989-1994            Research Fellow, R.S.E.S., The Australian National University

1987-89                  von Humboldt Fellow, Max-Planck-Inst. Chem., Mainz, Germany


Research Interests


My research focuses on the origin and evolution of the continents, particularly the lower continental crust and the underlying mantle lithosphere.  Emphasis is placed on integration of data from a wide diversity of sources, including petrography, petrology, major and trace element geochemistry, isotope geochemistry and geophysics.


Professional Society Affiliations


American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union,

Association of Women Geoscientists, Geochemical Society, Geological Society of America, Geological Society of Washington, Mineralogical Society of America


Awards and Honors


N.L. Bowen award, VGP Section of the American Geophysical Union, 2006

Daly Lecturer, VGP Section of the American Geophysical Union, 2006

Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 2005

Ingerson Lecturer, 2004, Geochemical Society at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America, 2003

Elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, 2001

Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Lecturer, 2001-2002

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Max Planck Inst. für Chemie, 1987-1989

Graduate Fellowship, National Science Foundation, 1981-1984

Visiting Graduate Fellowship, Lunar and Planet. Inst., Houston, TX, 1983

Penrose Grant, Geological Society of America, 1981


Editorial Responsibilities


Guest editor, with Eizo Nakamura, Lithium Isotope Geochemistry, Special issue of Chemical Geology, 2004.

International Editor, Journal of China University of Geosciences, 2003-present

Editor “The Crust”, Volume 3 of the Treatise on Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2003

Associate Editor, G3, 2000-present

Editor-in-chief of Chemical Geology, 2000-present

Editorial Board of Chemical Geology, 1999-2000

Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research, 1998-2000

Editorial Board of Precambrian Research, 1996-2001

Editorial Board of Geology, 1991-1996

Guest editor for Taylor colloquium issue of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1992


Professional Service


Member, National Research Council Committee on Grand Research Questions in Earth Science, 2005-2006

Councilor, Mineralogical Society of America, 2005-present

Mineralogical Society of America Research grants committee, chair, 2005-2006

Search committee for new curator, Smithsonian Institution, 2005-2006

Mineralogical Society of America Award committee, 2004-present

N.S.F. Panel Review of EarthScope Project Execution Plan, 2004

Electorate Nominating Committee of the Section on Geology and Geography of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, 2004-2007

Fellows Committee, Geochemical Society, 2003-present (chair in 2004)

Evaluation Committee, Institute of Studies of the Earth’s Interior, Centre of Excellence-21, Okayama Univ., Misasa, Japan, 2003-present

SAMPLES working group, Integrated Solid Earth Sciences (ISES) initiative, 2003-present

Vice-Chair, EarthScope Science and Education Committee, N.S.F., 2002-present

International Goldschmidt Program Committee, 2002-2003

Chair, VGP nominations committee, American Geophysical Union, 2003

VGP nominations committee, American Geophysical Union, 2001

Committee on committees, Mineralogical Society of America, 2001

Board of Directors, Geochemical Society, 2001-2003

Bucher medal committee, American Geophysical Union, 2000-2003

N.S.F. Panel for Continental Dynamics, 2000-present

Steering committee for USArray initiative, EarthScope, 1999-2003

N.S.F. Post-Doc Panel, 1998

Chair, Nominations committee, Geochemical Society, 1997-1998

Nominations committee, Geochemical Society, 1995-1997

International Advisory Committee for Kimberlite Conferences, 1995-present


University Service


CMPS Awards Committee, 2006-present

University appointments, promotion and tenure (APT) committee, 2005-present

CMPS Dean review committee, 2003

College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (CMPS) Strategic Plan Advisory Committee 2001

Appointments, promotion and tenure (APT) committee, CMPS, 2001-2003

Core Curriculum Review committee 9/00-6/01


Departmental Service


Chair, scholarship committee, 2003-present

Graduate committee, 2000-2002; 2004-present

Chair of awards committee, 2003-present

Development of departmental brochure


Courses Taught




EPS 6:  Introduction to Environmental Science: the solid Earth (with J. Tromp; Fall semester, 1996; 1997)

EPS 7:  Introduction to Earth Sciences (with A. Dziewonski; Fall semester, 1998, 1999)

EPS 40:  The Chemical Evolution of the Earth (with S. Jacobsen; Fall semester, 1995, 1996, 1997)

EPS 47:  Introduction to Geochemistry (with D. Schrag; Fall semester, 1998)

EPS 151:  Introduction to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (Spring semester, 1996, 1997)

EPS 247:  Origin and Evolution of the Continents (Spring semester, 1995, 1998)

Freshman Seminar:  Planetary Geology (Fall semester, 1995, 1999)




GEOL 100 & 110 Physical Geology (lecture and lab) (Fall semester, 2004)

GEOL 445 Principles of Geochemistry (Fall semester, 2000-present)

GEOL 443 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (with R.J. Walker, Spring semester, 2001-present)

GEOL 489J/789J Origin and Evolution of the Continents (Fall semester, 2002, 2003)


Students Supervised




Adam Mansur, MS

Jingao Liu, PhD






Matthias Barth (PhD 2001, Harvard University), thesis topic:  Geochemistry of Xenolithic Eclogites from the Man Shield, west Africa, Current Position:  Post-doc, Mainz, Germany

 Cin-Ty Lee (PhD 2001, Harvard University), Os isotopic investigations of lithospheric mantle stability, southwestern U.S.A.  Current Position:  Assistant Professor, Rice University.

Fang-zhen Teng (PhD 2005, UMD) (co-supervised with W.F. McDonough), Lithium isotopic composition of the crust. Current Position:  post-doc, University of Chicago.


Senior Theses


University of Maryland:


Dusty Aeiker, 2005-2006

Jon James, 2004-2005

Marc Lipella, 2004

Alycia Arroyo, 2000-2001




Suzanne Edgecombe (co-supervised senior honours thesis, ANU, 1992) Staff scientist, AGSO, Canberra, Australia

Penny King (senior honours thesis, ANU, 1993) Assistant Prof., Univ. Western Ontario

Alan Orpin (vacation scholar, 1990), Post-doc, Nat. Inst. Water & Atmos. Res., Wellington, N.Z.

Thomas Presper (co-supervised undergraduate scholar, MPI, 1989) Staff Scientist, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover (Naturkunde - Abteilung)

Rebecca Sproule (vacation scholar, 1991), Post-doc, Laurentian University, Canada

Kate Tomford (senior honors thesis, Harvard Univ., 1999) Employed as consultant, New York, NY

Alain Trial (co-supervised summer intern, LPI, 1983) Research Scientist, UC Santa Barbara


UMD Thesis Committees


Elizabeth Brabson (MS candidate)

Tracey Centorbi (MS candidate)

Amitava Gangopadhyay (PhD, 2004)

Thomas Ireland (PhD candidate)

Mark Frank (PhD, 2001)

Karen Phemister (MS, 2004)

Barry Reno (PhD candidate)

Gwendolyn Rhodes (PhD candidate)

Ruth Schulte (MS candidate)

Allegra Small (MS, 2001)


External PhD Committees


In addition to my own students, I have served on the examination committees of the following external PhD candidates (supervisors listed in parentheses):


Huai-Jen Yang, 1996, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Frey)

Mark Schmitz, 2001, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Bowring)

Joseph Pyle, 2001, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Spear)

Mike Green, 2001, University of Sydney (Buick)


Post-doctoral Research Associates


Deborah Hassler (NSF Post-doc, 1999-2001, Harvard University) Research topic:  Platinum group element and Os isotopic composition of the oceanic mantle:  a case study from the Oman ophiolite.  Current position:  program administrator, RIDGE office.


Thomas Zack (Feyodor Lynen Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Society, 2000-2001, Univ. Maryland)  Research topic:  Boron and lithium geochemistry:  tracking fluid flow in paleo subduction zones.  Current position:  C-1 professor, University of Heidelberg.


Sonja Aulbach (Feyodor Lynen Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Society, 2005-2006)  Research topic:  Lithium isotope geochemistry of the mantle. 


Ralf Halama (Feodor Lynen Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Society, 2005-present)  Research topic:  Lithium isotope geochemistry of carbonatites and alkaline igneous rocks.