Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Ethan Baxter



I am a geochemist interested in the broad processes occurring within and between the Earth’s crust, mantle, and surface. An interest in unraveling the history of the Earth, as well as predicting certain aspects of its future, is at the heart of much of the research going on in my group. By studying the vast geological record, we interpret the chemistry of diverse Earth materials (rocks, minerals, sediments, and more) to elucidate the timescales, rates, and mechanisms of broad and interdependent geological processes such as tectonics, metamorphism, subduction, global geochemical cycles, lithosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere interactions.  My research brings together approaches including isotope geochemistry, geochronology, field geology, petrology & mineralogy, thermodynamics, and numerical modeling. My research has taken my students and me to field areas including Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, the Greek Isles, China, Ontario, California, and throughout New England.

Current Graduate Students and Projects:
  • Kyra Croft:
  • Dylan Seal:
  • Skylar Goliber:
  • Charlotte Lorthioir:
Recent M.S. Alumni and Projects
  • Alex Leich: Geochronology and petrogenesis of REE ore mineralization in Quebec
  • Thomas Farrell: Dating tectonic evolution of the Iberian Peninsula using microstructures preserved in garnet (2019)
  • Anna Gerrits: Assessing redox change due to subduction zone dehydration using Fe-isotope and chemical zonation in garnet (2018)
Recent Publications ( * = Baxter student coauthor;  = TIMS Facility user/collaborator)
  • Sjöqvist, A.S.L., Zack, T., Honn, D.K., Baxter, E.F., (2020) Modification of a rare-earth element deposit by low-temperature partial melting during metamorphic overprinting: Norra Kärr alkaline complex, southern Sweden. Chemical Geology, 545,
  • *Gerrits, A.R., Inglis, E., *Starr, P.G., Dragovic, B., Baxter, E.F., Burton, K. (2019) Release of oxidizing fluids in subduction zones recorded by iron isotope zonation in garnet. Nature Geoscience.
  • *Maneiro, K.E., Baxter, E.F., Samson, S.D., Marschall, H.R., Heitpas, J., (2019) Detrital garnet geochronology: Application in tributaries of the French Broad River, Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Geology, 47,
  • Baxter, E.F., Caddick, M.J., Dragovic, B. (2017). Garnet: A Rock Forming Mineral Petrochronometer. Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, 83, p. 469-533.
  • *Dragovic, B., Baxter E.F., Caddick,M.J. (2015) Pulsed garnet growth and dehydration at blueschist facies conditions, Sifnos, Greece. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 413, p.111-122.