Ethan Grossman

Ethan Grossman

Professor and Michel T. Halbouty Chair

Director, Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility

Stable isotope geochemistry, clumped isotopes, global change, paleoclimates, hydrogeochemistry

  (979) 845-0637

  Halbouty 210


Areas of Specialization

Global Change and Paleoclimates; Stable isotope geochemistry; Clumped isotopes; Biogeochemistry and geomicrobiology of aquifer systems

Recent Grants

  • National Science Foundation (EAR-2241039) Into the icehouse: Dramatic changes at the Devonian-Mississippian Climate Transition (DMCT), 3/23-2/26. Ethan L. Grossman, Lucien Nana Yobo, and Shuang Zhang (OCNG), $586,098 (~$267,500 to ELG)
  • National Science Foundation (EAR-1902469). Clumped isotope reordering kinetics in carbonate minerals: The key to accurate ocean paleotemperatures and basin thermal histories, 7/19-6/21, E.L. Grossman, S. Banerjee (CHEM), $340,620.
  • 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).
  • 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).


My research involves the development and application of geochemical techniques, especially oxygen and carbon isotope distributions, to a broad suite of geologic and societal problems: extreme climate in Earth history, linkages between the carbon cycle and climate, the thermal history of sedimentary (petroleum) basins, origin of groundwater methane, river dynamics and climate, and more. With so many problems in the Earth system resolvable via H, C, N, O, S, and clumped isotopes, the opportunities are unlimited.

Selected Publications

2018-2023 (*Student author; #post-doc author)

Baskoro*, A.S., Yu, A., and Grossman, E. L., 2023Mass balance calculation for the Wolfcamp-Sourced hydrocarbon in Permian Delaware Basin: Insight on remaining recoverable resource and expulsion efficiency. Interpretations doi/abs/10.1190/int-2022-0119.1.

Perez-Beltran, S., Zaheer, W., Sun, Z., Defliese, W.F., Banerjee, S., and Grossman, E.L.^, 2023, Density functional theory and ab-initio molecular dynamics reveal atomistic mechanisms for carbonate clumped isotope reordering. Science Advances v. 9, no. 26  doi/full/10.1126/sciadv.adf1701.

Baskoro*, A.S., Baur, F., Yu, A., and Grossman, E. L., 2023, Source Rock Restoration Using a Multi-Well Inversion Approach Tested for the Wolfcamp Play in the Permian Delaware Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, Marine and Petroleum Geology doi:

Judd, E.J., Tierney, J.E, Huber, B.T. Wing , S.L., Lunt, D.J, Ford, H.L., Inglis, G.N., McClymont, E.L., O’Brien, C.L., Rattanasriampaipong, R., Si, W., Staitis, M.L., Thirumalai, K., Anagnostou, E., Cramwinckel, M.J., Dawson, R.R., Evans, D., Gray, W.R., Grossman, E.L., Henehan, M.J., Hupp, B.N., MacLeod, K.G. O’Connor, L.K., , S´anchez Montes, M.L., Song, H., and Zhang, Y.G., 2022, The PhanSST global database of Phanerozoic sea surface temperature proxy data. Scientific Data. doi:

Grossman, E.L., and Joachimski, M.M., 2022. Ocean temperatures through the Phanerozoic Reassessed. Scientific Reports, v. 12, p. 1-13.

Barney*, B., and Grossman, E.L., 2022. Reassessment of ocean paleotemperatures during the Late Ordovician. Geology, v. 50, p. 572-576.

Figuerola#, B., Grossman, E.L., Lucey, N., Leonard, N.D., O'Dea, A., 2021. Millennial-scale change on a Caribbean reef system that experiences hypoxia.  Ecography, v. 44, p. 1270-1282.

Grossman, E.L., and Joachimski, M.M., 2020. Ch. 10. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy. In Gradstein, F.M., Ogg, J.G., Schmitz, M., and Ogg, G., eds., The Geologic Time Scale 2020, Elsevier, p. 279-307.

Legett*, S.A., Rasbury, E.T., Grossman, E.L., Hemming, N.G., and Penman, D.E., 2020. The brachiopod δ11B record across the Carboniferous-Permian climate transition. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35, e2019PA003838. 10.1029/2019PA003838

Naylor*, H.N., #Defliese, W.F., Grossman, E.L., and Maupin, C.R., 2020. Investigation of the thermal history of the Delaware Basin (West Texas, USA) using carbonate clumped isotope thermometry. Basin Research, v. 32, p. 1140–1155.

Johnson*, D.L., Grossman, E.L., Webb, S.M., and Adkins, J., 2020. Brachiopod δ34SCAS microanalyses indicate a dynamic, climatically-influenced Permo-Carboniferous sulfur cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters , v. 546, p. 116428 //

Grossman, E.L., Robbins#, J.A, Rachello-Dolmen#, P., Tao*, K., Saxena*, D. and O’Dea, A., 2019. Freshwater input, upwelling, and the evolution of Caribbean coastal ecosystems during formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Geology, v. 47, p. 857–861.

Van Plantinga*, A.A., and Grossman, E.L., 2018. Stable and clumped isotope sclerochronologies of mussels from the Brazos River, Texas: environmental and ecologic proxy. Chemical Geology, v. 502, p. 55-65.

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. 


  • 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


  • Recognized as a 2021 "Exceptional Reviewer" for the GSA journal Geology
  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2018)
  • Co-author of paper receiving the Smithsonian Secretary's 2017 Research Award (O'Dea et al., 2016, Science Advances)
  • 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, renewed in 2015 and 2020)
  • Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America (2007)
  • Dean's Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, College of Geosciences (2005)


Additional Information

Bryce Barney (Ph.D.) Into the icehouse: Dramatic changes at the Devonian-Carboniferous transition (

2022 Best Paper Award, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Bryce Barney (MS, PhD student)

Melanie Brewer (M.S.) Impact of damming and climate on freshwater mussels in the Brazos River: A ~150-year record using stable isotopes and trace elements

1st Place, Graduate Student Poster, Life on a Dynamic Planet Symposium, TAMU College of Arts & Sciences, Melanie Brewer (MS student, 2023)
1st Place, Water Daze Poster Competition, TAMU, Melanie Brewer (MS student, 2023)
2nd Place, MS Students, Geology and Geophysics Graduate Society Symposium, Melanie Brewer* (MS student, 2023)

Queen Kalu (Ph.D.) [New student]

Zeyang Sun (Ph.D.) Carbonate clumped isotope reordering from atomic approach: heating experiment, kinetic modeling and application

Ximeng Wang (Ph.D., co-chair with Hadi Nasrabadi) Nanoporosity and hydrocarbon expulsion in shales: Application to the Delaware Basin


All students

Ph.D. (12): Bryce Barney*, Anindito Satrio Baskoro (’22, Beicip-Franlab Asia), Queen Kalu*, Horng-sheng Mii ('96, Professor and Vice President of General Affairs, National Taiwan Normal University), Christopher Romanek ('91, Research Professor, Furman University, Joyanto Routh ('98, Professor, Linköping University, Sweden), Josiah Strauss (’10, Neptronic Corp., Montreal), Zeyang Sun*, Kai Tao (’12), Alexander van Plantinga (’15, Air Liquide R&D), Ximeng Wang*, Chuanlun Zhang ('94, Chair Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology)

M.S. (20):  David Adlis ('86, The Aerospace Corporation), Bryce Barney (’20), W. Cory Beck (’04, Dominion Exploration and Production^), Keith Bowers ('86), Melanie Brewer*, Judy Canova ('88, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control^), B. Keith Coffman ('88, Conoco-Philips), Meagan Depugh (‘19), 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 (’18, SM Energy), Andrew Roark (’15, Chevron), anon. (‘20, MGS), Jeannette Schlichenmeyer ('96, Roux Associates, Inc., Environmental Consulting and Management, Houston^), Brock Shenton (’14, Exxon-Mobil), Huayu Wang ('98), Chuanlun Zhang ('89, Southern University of Science and Technology, China)

^last known employer


Undergraduate theses (2): Jordan Noret (BS ’08, Ph.D., SMU; Geologist, Scout Energy Partners), Stephanie Noonan (Wood) (BS ’11, MS, University of Texas, Oxy Offshore Gulf of Mexico)

Post-docs/Visiting Scientists (8): Peter Bruckschen ('97, formerly of Ruhr University), William Defliese ’17-19, University of Queensland), Blanca Figuerola (’18-19; joint with Aaron O’Dea, Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), Pg. Marítim de la Barceloneta), D. Jeffrey Over ('91-92, SUNY College at Geneseo), Paola Rachello-Denmon (’15-16), John Robbins (’11-13, Southern Methodist University), Hideki Wada ('87, Shizuoka University), Yasheng Wu ('02-03, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing)

Visiting students (3): Can Cui (’19, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology), Micha Horacek ('03, formerly of Erlangen University), Wenkun Qie (‘11, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan)

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