About me

Roșia, Bihor, România, June 2011 (photo Mihai Ciama http://ciama-photo.aseptic.ro)

I am a research geologist at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., studying iron biomineralization by bacteria using magnetic methods, imaging, and modeling.  I moved here from the University of Cambridge,  where I was a research associate working on fine particle magnetism in natural environments. Previously I had spent 8 years at the University of Minnesota, both as a PhD student and a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Rock Magnetism (IRM). My most recent research at the IRM was conducted on the mineral magnetism and paleomagnetism of speleothems.

I received my bachelor’s degree from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania, where I investigated the paleoclimate of the Late Glacial in the Transylvanian Basin. Part of my research was carried out  in the Department of Quaternary Geology at Lund University, Sweden. My next stop was Mississippi State University, where I worked on my master’s degree looking at carbonate island karst development in the Bahamas in relation to sea level change over the last interglacial-glacial cycle. I then ended up at the other end of the Mississippi River, in the land of 10,000 lakes. I completed my doctorate at the University of Minnesota, working on the environmental magnetism of lake sediments.

Over the years I have had the good fortune to be able to share my love for science and discovery through teaching geology and environmental science to many university and community college students. In my role as educator, my main goal is to help empower young people to navigate the meanders of life, as engaged and thoughtful members of society. I believe that through their own discoveries young people develop a better understanding of the fundamental concepts of a discipline, become more engaged in their own learning, and begin to think and reason as scientists do. Scientific-like reasoning leads to the development of an understanding of big ideas, and helps students with diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds become scientifically literate citizens that are adequately equipped to make informed decisions in light of current societal challenges.