Lizzy Trower - chemical sedimentology

CV

Professional Experience                

2015 – present    Agouron Geobiology Postdoctoral Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology

2011 – 2014         Doctoral Candidate, Stanford University

2009 – 2012         NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Stanford University

2007                     Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology

Education

2014     Ph.D. Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University

Advisor: Don Lowe

Dissertation: Chemical, physical, and biological depositional processes in the ~3.3 Ga upper Mendon Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

2013     International Geobiology Course, Wrigley Institute for the Environment, University of Southern California

2009    B.S. Geology, California Institute of Technology

Advisor: John Grotzinger

Thesis: Sedimentology, diagenesis, and stratigraphic occurrence of giant ooids in the Ediacaran Rainstorm Member, Johnnie Formation, Death Valley region, California

Research Experience                        

Postdoctoral research (2015 – present)

My current research broadly encompasses developing a process-based understanding of how chemical sediments formed in order to better apply them as paleoenvironmental proxies of physical, chemical, and biological conditions. I’m using experiments and modeling to examine the effects of sediment transport on chemical sediments like ooids and stromatolites. My results support the novel hypothesis that ooid size represents a dynamic equilibrium between abrasion and precipitation because abrasion rate is significant for all sand-sized grains across a range of transport conditions. (Advisor: Woody Fischer)

Ph.D. research (2009 – 2014)

This research aimed to better constrain the formation mechanisms of early Archean siliceous chemical sediments (chert) using a combination of sedimentology, petrography, and geochemistry. I worked with rocks of the ~3.3 Ga upper Mendon Formation of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. I identified a new mode of silica deposition – the formation of primary siliceous chemical sand grains – and used high resolution SIMS Si and O isotopic analyses paired with petrographic context to provide insights into paragenetic sequences of silica emplacement and, more broadly, the early Archean silica cycle. (Advisor: Don Lowe)

International Geobiology Course (2013)

Petrography, major and trace element geochemistry, clumped isotope paleothermometry, 16S rRNA analyses, and lipid analyses of modern ooids from the Great Salt Lake, UT, to investigate the role of microbes in ooid formation (Advisors: Frank Corsetti, Will Berelson, and John Spear)

Undergraduate thesis research (2008 – 2009)

Field mapping, sedimentology, and stable isotope geochemistry of late Neoproterozoic carbonates in Death Valley, CA, focusing on the origin of an unusual unit of “giant ooids” (Advisor: John Grotzinger)

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2007)

Analyzed samples from a Permian-Triassic carbonate platform in the Caltech Paleomagnetics Lab and assisted in the collection of paleomagnetic samples from a Devonian carbonate platform in Western Australia (Advisor: Joe Kirschvink)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Trower, E. J., Lamb, M. P., and Fischer, W. W. (2017). Experimental evidence that ooid size reflects a dynamic equilibrium between rapid precipitation and abrasion rates. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 468, 112-118.

Trower, E. J., and Lowe, D. R. (2016). Sedimentology of the ~3.3 Ga upper Mendon Formation. Precambrian Research 281, 473-494.

Stefurak, E. J. T., Lowe, D. R., Zentner, D., and Fischer, W. W. (2015). Sedimentology and geochemistry of Archean silica granules. GSA Bulletin, 127 (7-8), 1090-1107.

Decker, N. B., Byerly, G. R., Thompson Stiegler, M., Lowe, D. R., and Stefurak, E. (2015). High resolution tephra and U/Pb chronology of the 3.33-3.26 Ga Mendon Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Precambrian Research 261, 54-74.

Stefurak, E. J. T., Fischer, W. W., and Lowe, D. R. (2015). Texture-specific Si isotope variations in Barberton Greenstone Belt cherts record low temperature fractionations in early Archean seawater. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 150, 26-52.

Stefurak, E. J. T., Lowe, D. R., Zentner, D., and Fischer, W. W. (2014). Primary silica granules – A new mode of early Archean sedimentation. Geology 42 (4), 283-286.

Trower, E. and Grotzinger, J. (2010). Sedimentology, diagenesis, and stratigraphic occurrence of giant ooids in the Ediacaran Rainstorm Member, Johnnie Formation, Death Valley region, California. Precambrian Research 180, 113-124.

Selected Conference Abstracts (* = presenting author)

Trower, L.*, Lamb, M. P., Cantine, M., O’Reilly, S., Stein, N., Gomes, M., Strauss, J., Grotzinger, J. P., Knoll, A. H., and Fischer, W. W. “Sediment transport controls ooid growth.” Poster presentation. Southern California Geobiology Symposium. April 2017, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Trower, E.*, Lamb, M. P., Grotzinger, J. P., Cantine, M., O’Reilly, S., and Fischer, W. W. “Sediment Transport Controls Ooid Growth.” Poster presentation. AAPG ACE. April 2017, Houston, TX, USA.

Trower, L.*, Cantine, M., O’Reilly, S. S., Strauss, J. V., Gomes, M. L., Grotzinger, H. M., Grotzinger, J. P., Knoll, A. H., Lamb, M. P., Lingappa, U., Metcalfe, K., Orzechowski, E. A., Quinn, D. P., Riedman, L. A., Stein, N., and Fischer, W. W. “Evidence of Active Ooid Growth from Little Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, B.W.I.” Oral presentation. AGU Fall Meeting. December 2016, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Trower, E. J.*, Lamb, M. P., and Fischer, W. W. “Why Do Ooids Grow So Slowly?” Oral presentation. GSA Fall Meeting. September 2016, Denver, CO, USA.

Trower, E. J.*, Lamb, M. P., and Fischer, W. W. “Controls on ooid size: An experimental approach.” Oral presentation. Southern California Geobiology Symposium. May 2016, Pasadena, CA, USA.

Trower, E. J.*, Lamb, M. P., and Fischer, W. W. “What Controls Ooid Grain Size?” Oral presentation. AGU. December 2015, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Stefurak, E. J. T.*, Lowe, D. R., Zentner, D., and Fischer, W. W. “Primary silica granules – Insights into silica precipitation mechanisms in early Archean seawater.” Oral presentation. GSA Fall Meeting. October 2014, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Stefurak, E. J. T.*, Lowe, D. R., Zentner, D., and Fischer, W. W. “The formation and deposition of primary silica granules – A new model of early Archean silica deposition.” Oral presentation. AGU. December 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Bird, J.*, Stefurak, E., Anderson, R., Menekse, M., Berelson, W., Sessions, A., Osburn, M., Spear, J., Stamps, B., Stevenson, B., Shapiro, R., Torres, M., and Corsetti, F. “Evaluating the biological influences on ooid formation in the Great Salt Lake, Utah.” Poster presentation. AGU. December 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Anderson, R. P.*, Bird, J. T., Menekse, M., Stefurak, E. J. T., Berelson, W., Petryshyn, V. A., Shapiro, R. S., Sessions, A. L., Tripati, A., and Corsetti, F. A. “Ooid formation in the Great Salt Lake, Utah: insights from clumped isotope paleothermometry.” Poster presentation. AGU. December 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Stefurak, E. J. T.*, Fischer, W. W., and Lowe, D. R. “δ³⁰Si in early Archean cherts and implications for the silica cycle.” Oral presentation. Goldschmidt. August 2013, Florence, Italy.

Stefurak, E. J. T.*, Fischer, W. W., and Lowe, D. R. “Evidence of low temperature fractionation of silicon in Archean cherts: SIMS Si and O isotope measurements of 3.42-3.26 Ga banded carbonaceous cherts from the Onverwacht Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa.” Oral presentation. AGU. December 2012, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Decker, N. B.*, Stefurak, E. J. T., Thompson, M. E., Lowe, D. R., and Byerly, G. R. “High resolution tephra and U/Pb chronology of the 3.33-3.26 Ga Mendon Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa.” Poster presentation. AGU. December 2012, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Trower, E.*, and Grotzinger, J. “Investigating the origin of the Rainstorm giant ooids in the Ediacaran Johnnie Formation, Death Valley region, California.” Poster presentation. Southern California Geobiology Symposium. April 2010, Pasadena, CA, USA.

Teaching Experience

2017                     Guest lecturer, Earth and the Biosphere – Caltech (instructors: Fischer and Kirschvink)

2013                     TA, Sandstone Petrography – Stanford University (instructor: Lowe)

2013                     Lab TA, Introduction to Sedimentation – Stanford University (instructors: Graham and Lowe)

2012                     TA, What Makes a Planet Habitable? – Stanford University (instructors: Lissauer, Marley, Zahnle)

2011                     Lab TA, Introduction to Sedimentation – Stanford University (instructors: Graham and Lowe)

2008                     TA, Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences – Caltech (instructor: Eiler)

2007                     TA, Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences – Caltech (instructor: Eiler)

Awards and Grants

2016                     American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund New Directions Grant (to PI Fischer)

2015                     Agouron Geobiology Postdoctoral Fellowship, California Institute of Technology

2011                     Shell Grant, Stanford University

2010                     McGee Grant, Stanford University

2009 – 2012        NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Stanford University

2007                     James Michelin Fellowship, California Institute of Technology

Outreach and Service Activities

2015 – present   Volunteer geology guide, ARTA River Trips

2014 – present   Reviewer for Geobiology, Terra Nova, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, and South African Journal of Geology

2016                     Collaboratively created and co-taught earth science lessons to 4th grade students at Synergy Academy, then shared this lesson with other local teachers as part of the Caltech Community Science Event program

2013                     Committee member on the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (Stanford University) TA Handbook Committee. Collaborated on writing a handbook on teaching practices and practical advice tailored for students in the department.

2011                     Volunteer science mentor with The Girls’ Middle School. Worked with a small group of middle school students on a field research project with an ecological/environmental focus.