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Ethan L. Grossman
Ethan L. Grossman
(979) 845-0637
Halbouty 210

Department of Geology and Geophysics
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843


Ph.D. (Geochemistry), University of Southern California, 1982, Stable Isotopes in Live Benthic Foraminifera from the Southern California Borderland (Teh-Lung Ku, thesis advisor)

B.S. (Geology; magna cum laude), State University of New York at Albany, 1976


2nd Place, Gordon I. Atwater Award for poster: Hendricks, Yancey, Flis, Flis, and Grossman, Formation of Barrel Concretions around Methane Seepage Pathways in Upper Middle Eocene Shelf Sediments, Stone City Bluff, Texas,” 2012 GCAGS Convention in Austin, TX  (2012)

Awarded Michel T. Halbouty Chair in Geology (2010)

Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America (2007)

Dean's Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, College of Geosciences (2005)

Graduate advisor to recipient of university-wide Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award (W. Cory Beck, M.S., 2004) 

Awarded Mollie B. and Richard A. Williford Professorship (2002-2010)

Graduate advisor to recipient of university-wide Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award (Takuro Kobashi, M.S., 2001) 


GEOL 101 (4). Principles of Geology

GEOL 311 (3). Principles of Geologic Writing

GEOL 451 (3). Introduction to Geochemistry

GEOL 648 (3). Stable Isotope Geology

GEOL 658 (3). Earth Systems through Deep Time

GEOS 405 (3) Environmental Geoscience

Ethan L. Grossman

Professor, Michel T. Halbouty Chair
Stable isotope geochemistry, global change, and paleoclimates

Research Interests


For more information see my personal website.

Global Change and Paleoclimates; Stable isotope geochemistry; Clumped isotopes; Coastal environments past and present; Hypoxia; Isotope hydrology, past and present; Biogeochemistry and geomicrobiology of aquifer systems


Seed Grants for Water Research, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the College of Engineering. Development of a Low-cost Compact In-water Isotope Gas Sensing Instrument Deployable on Autonomous or Remote-Operated Underwater Vehicles, 9/17-8/18, Han, Lin, Roark, and Grossman,  ($100,000; $10,000 for ELG).

Mass Spectrometry Collaborative Core Steering Committee Proposal, Mass Spectrometry Isotope Analyses Subunit, Mass Spectrometry for Geosphere and Biosphere Exploration, TAMUS Research Development Fund, Grossman, Maupin, Roark, Slowey, Zhang, Boutton, Hyodo, West, Fitzsimmons, Marcantonio, Miller, Roark, Romero, Thomas, 4/2017-3/2018 (CLGE ~$400,000).

Passport to the Caribbean past: Historical ecology of microgastropods, SENACYT (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación), A. O'Dea, E. Grossman, J. Todd, F. Rodriguez, 3/1/17-2/28/19, $118,053 (TAMU ~$5,000).

Stable Isotope Partnership for Ecology, Environment, and Energy Research (SIPEEER), TAMUS Research Development Fund, E.L. Grossman, J. Vogel, E.B. Roark, T. Boutton, N. Slowey, J. West, A. Hyodo, co-PIs, 8/1/2016-7/31/2020, $1,040,000 (SIGF $507,506).

Enhancing Environmental and Biogeochemistry Research Experiences thru Field- and Laboratory-based Research Projects, College of Geosciences, TAMU, E.B. Roark, E.L. Grossman, N. Slowey, co-PIs, 2015-17, $45,000.

National Science Foundation (EAR-1325683).  Elements of extinction: Dissecting the role of environmental change in the delayed Caribbean extinction with stable isotopes and trace elements.E.L. Grossman, and A. O’Dea (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), co-PIs, 9/1/13-8/31/16, $290,714 (TAMU $246,371).


Selected Publications

Recent Publications (2013-2018)

See personal webpage for full list of publications and links to reprints.

Henkes*, G.A., Passey, B.H., Grossman, E.L., Shenton*, B., Yancey, T.E., and Perez-Huerta, A., 2018. Temperature evolution and the oxygen isotope composition of Phanerozoic oceans from carbonate clumped isotope thermometry, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 490, p. 40-50. (submitted 3/22/17; resubmitted 11/2/17; accepted 1/31/18)

Roark*, A., Flake*, R., Grossman, E.L., Olszewski, T., Lebold, J., Marcantonio, F., Thomas, D., Miller, B., Raymond, A., Yancey, T., 2017. Brachiopod geochemical records from across the Carboniferous seaways of North America: Evidence for salinity gradients, stratification, and circulation patterns. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 485, p. 136-153 (submitted 3/11/17; accepted 6/11/17).

Graniero*, L.E., Grossman, E.L., Robbins, J.A., Morales, J., Thompson, R., and O’Dea, A., 2017. Conus shell δ13C values as proxies for δ13CDIC in tropical waters. Palaeogeog., Palaeoclim., Palaeoecol., v. 472, p. 119-127.

Collins, L.S., Geary, D.H., and Grossman, E.L., 2016. Variability of modern foraminiferal stable isotope ratios in Caribbean shallow waters. Palaeogeog., Palaeoclim., Palaeoecol., v. 463, p.  1–10 (

Qie*, W., Wang, X., Zhang, X., Ji, W., Grossman, E.L., Huang, X., Liu, J., and Luo, G., 2016. Latest Devonian to earliest Carboniferous conodont and carbon isotope stratigraphy of a shallow-water sequence in South China. Geological Journal, v. 51, p. 915-935 (DOI: 10.1002/gj.2710).

Van Plantinga*, Grossman, E.L. and Roark, E.B. 2017. Chemical and isotopic tracer evaluation of water mixing and evaporation in a dammed Texas river during drought. River Research and Applications, DOI: 10.1002/rra.3080.

O’Dea, A., Lessios, H.A., Coates, A.G., Eytan, R.I., Restrepo-Moreno, S.A., Cione, A.L., Collins, L.S., de Queiroz, A., Farris, D.W., Norris, R.D., Stallard, R.F., Woodburne, M.O., Aguilera, O., Aubry, M-P., Berggren, W.A., Budd, A.F., Cozzuol, M.A., Coppard, S.E., Duque-Caro, H., Finnegan, S., Gasparini, G.M., Grossman, E.L., Johnson, K.G., Keigwin, L.D., Knowlton, N., Leigh, E.G., Leonard-Pingel, J.S., Marko, P.B., Pyenson, N.D., Rachello-Dolmen, P.G., Soibelzon, E., Soibelzon, L., Todd, J.A., Vermeij, G. J., Jackson, J.B.C., 2016. Formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Science Advances 2: 10.1126/sciadv.1600883.

Graniero*, L.E., Grossman, E.L., and O’Dea, A., 2016. Stable isotopes in bivalves as indicators of nutrient source in coastal waters in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama. PeerJ, DOI 10.7717/peerj.2278.

Moustafa, M., Pope, M.C., Grossman, E.L., and Mriheel, I.Y, 2016. Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Variations on an Ancient Carbonate Platform: A Case Study from the Middle-Late Triassic Al Aziziyah Formation, Northwest Libya. Journal of African Earth Sciences, v. 118, p. 149-162. 

Roark*, A., Grossman, E.L., and Lebold, J., 2016. Seasonality and circulation dynamics along the Appalachian margin of the Late Pennsylvanian epicontinental sea of North America: brachiopod geochemical records and their implications to models of shelf anoxia. Geol. Soc. America Bulletin, v. 128, p. 597-608. (Cover article)

Shenton*, B., Grossman, E.L., Passey, B.H., Henkes*, G.A., Becker, T.P., Laya, J.C., Becker, T.P., Perez-Huerta, A., and Lawson, M., 2015. Clumped isotope thermometry in deeply buried sedimentary carbonates: The effects of bond reordering and recrystallization. Geol. Soc. America Bulletin, v. 127, p. 1036-1051, doi:10.1130/B31169.1.

Henkes*, G.A., Passey, B.H., Grossman, E.L., Shenton*, B., Perez-Huerta, A., and Yancey, T.E., 2014. Temperature limits for preservation of primary calcite clumped isotope paleotemperatures. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 139, p. 362–382. (Web of Science “Highly Cited Paper”)

Tao*, K., Robbins, J.A., Grossman, E.L., and O’Dea, A., 2013. Quantifying upwelling and freshening in nearshore tropical environments using stable isotopes in modern Tropical American mollusks. Bull. Marine Science, v. 89(4), p. 815–835.

Henkes*, G.A., Passey, B.H., Wanamaker, A.D, Grossman, E.L., Ambrose, W.G., and Carroll, M.L., 2013. Carbonate clumped isotope compositions of modern marine mollusk and brachiopod shells. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v.  106 , p. 307–325.

Woodard*, S.C., Thomas, D.J., Grossman, E.L., Olszewski, T.D., Yancey, T.E., Raymond, A., and Miller, B.V., 2013. Radiogenic isotope composition of Carboniferous seawater from North American epicontinental seas. Palaeogeog., Palaeoclim., Palaeoecol., v. 370, p. 51–63.

Bianchi, T.S., Garcia-Tigreros*, F., Yvon-Lewis, S., Shields*, M., Mills, H.J., Butman, D., Osburn, C., Raymond, P., Shank, C., DiMarco, S.F., Walker, N., Reese*, B., Mullins*, R., Quigg, A., Aiken, G.R., Grossman, E.L., 2013. Enhanced transfer of terrestrially-derived carbon to the atmosphere in a flooding event Geophysical Research Letters, v. 40, p. 1–7, doi:10.1029/2012GL054145.

Additional Information

Present and Former Students and Post-Docs (*present)

#Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award

Ph.D. (9):  Bryce Barney*, Horng-sheng Mii ('96, Professor, National Taiwan Normal University), Christopher Romanek ('91, formerly of University of Kentucky),  Joyanto Routh ('98, Research Professor, Assoc. Prof., Linköping University, Sweden), Divya Saxena*, Josiah Strauss (’10, Dolan Integration Group, Boulder, CO), Kai Tao (’12), Alexander van Plantinga (’15, Post-doc, George Mason University), Chuanlun Zhang ('94, Professor, Tongji University)

M.S. (19):  David Adlis ('86, The Aerospace Corporation), W. Cory Beck (’04, Dominion Exploration and Production), Keith Bowers ('86), Judy Canova ('88, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control), B. Keith Coffman ('88, Conoco-Philips), Meagan Depugh*, Ryan Flake (’11, Exxon-Mobil), D. Keith Gentry ('06, Marathon Oil), Lauren Graniero (’14, Ph.D. candidate, UNC), David Katz ('97, Phillips Petroleum^), Takuro Kobashi (’01, Renewable Energy Institute), Horng-sheng Mii ('92, National Taiwan Normal University), Howard “Nate” Naylor*, Andrew Roark (’15, Chevron), Jeannette Schlichenmeyer ('96, Roux Associates, Inc., Environmental Consulting and Management, Houston^), Brock Shenton (’14, Exxon-Mobil), Ronald Sprague, Huayu Wang ('98), Chuanlun Zhang ('89, Southern University, China)

^last known employer

Undergraduate theses (2): Jordan Noret (’08, Graduate student, SMU), Stephanie Wood (’11, Graduate student, University of Texas)

Post-doc scholars/Visiting Scientists (5): Peter Bruckschen ('97, formerly of Ruhr University), Micha Horacek ('03, Erlangen University), D. Jeffrey Over ('91-92, SUNY College at Geneseo), Wenkun Qie (‘11, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan), Paola Rachello-Denmon (’15-16, John Robbins (’11-13), Hideki Wada ('87, Shizuoka University), Yasheng Wu ('02-03, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing)

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