Richard A. Stern

Canadian Centre for Isotopic Microanalysis (CCIM)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
CCIS L2-305
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada, T6G 2R3

Tel: ++1-780-248-1063


1984: B.Sc. (Hon) Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo
1989: Ph.D., Geochemistry, Stony Brook University, NY


1989 – 1991: Post-doc, Geological Survey of Canada, Geochronology laboratory
1991 – 2003: Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada, Geochronology laboratory
2003 – 2005: Associate Professor, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, University of Western Australia
2005 – 2008: Geochronology team leader, Geoscience Australia, Australian Government, Canberra
2008 – present: Managing Director, CCIM, University of Alberta

Experience and research interests

• secondary ion mass spectrometry
• micro-analytical geochemistry
• methods development
• stable isotopes
• U-Pb geochronology

My early education and student employment exposed me to a wide range of geological and geophysical topics with a strong emphasis on fieldwork. My B.Sc. thesis research first exposed me to analytical geochemistry, and I was hooked. I became immersed in wet chemistry, mass spectrometry, and trace element analysis during my doctoral research on igneous rocks. Joining the GSC as a post-doc led to a specialist role of applying radiogenic isotopes and TIMS U-Pb geochronology to field-based problems throughout Canada. In 1994, I was charged with bringing a SHRIMP ion probe to the GSC, and so began the second major phase of my career as a specialist in secondary ion mass spectrometry and U-Pb geochronology. Since then I have chased various types of ion probes around the world (SHRIMP, NanoSIMS, IMS1280), and have conducted research in U-Pb geochronology, stable isotopes, and trace elements with hundreds of scientists from diverse fields spanning geology, biology, archaeology, and materials science. My current passion is collaborating with others and ensuring the CCIM lab is the best in the world at what we do with SIMS, that is, micro-beam measurements of isotope ratios and elemental abundances in solid samples.