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Ethan L. Grossman

My research applies stable isotope geochemistry to understand environmental and paleoenvironmental change and its causes. Ongoing or recent projects of students include (1) Environmental change and extinction with the Neogene closing of the Central American Isthmus (funded by NSF; Divya Saxena, Ph.D. candidate, Paola Rachello-Dolmen, Post-doc, and Aaron O'Dea, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute); (2) Constraining rates of C-O bond reordering in biogenic calcite: Implications for clumped isotope thermometry and basin modeling (with Brock Shenton, M.S. '14, Greg Henkes, Ph.D. '14 (now at Stony Brook) and Ben Passey (JHU, now at Michigan), and Alberto Perez-Huerta (Alabama); (3) Circulation changes in the epicontinental seas of Carboniferous North America during formation of Pangea and its role in Late Paleozoic Ice Age (previously funded by NSF; Andy Roark, M.S. '14, and Debbie Thomas, Brent Miller, Tom Olszewski, Anne Raymond, Tom Yancey); (4) The isotopic record of the modern and historic water in the Brazos River, central Texas (Alex vanPlantinga, Ph.D. ‘15). 

With our new university funding for a clumped isotope mass spectrometer, my research into basin thermal history and deep-time paleotemperatures will be expanding. This instrumentation will be in SIGF early next year. New M.S. student Nate Naylor will be focusing on basin history and MS. Student Meagan Depugh will examine high latitude seasonality in the late Paleozoic, based on oxygen isotope sclerochronology and clumped isotopes. This funding is part of our $1.04 million funding to support our Stable Isotope Partnership for Ecology, Environment, and Energy Research (SIPEEER), a collaboration with the Stable Isotopes for Biosphere Science Laboratory in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Our funding is part of a $5 million initiative from the Chancellor’s office to support mass spectrometry on the Texas A&M campus.

My students find jobs in all aspects of geosciences, including academia (Kobashi, Mii, Routh, Romanek, Zhang), the petroleum industry (Beck, Coffman, Gentry, Katz, Roark, Shenton, Sprague), environmental industry and consulting firms (Schlichenmeyer, Strauss), and governmental and non-governmental agencies (Adlis, Canova).

More information about my research (including links to publications) and my students can be obtained at my departmental website ( and my personal website ( 

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