Dustin Trail

Dustin Trail

  • Associate Professor

PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

(585) 276-7182
Fax: (585) 244-5689

Office Hours: By appointment

Research Overview

My research is mainly laboratory-based and seeks to understand: (i) the evolution of planetary magmas through time;(ii) the conditions of early Earth and implications for the inception of the biosphere;(iii) secular changes in the oxidation state of magmas and fluids, and the connection between the chemical state of the crust and mantle; and (iv)non-traditional mechanisms of isotope fractionation.

Most of my research time is spent designing and executing high pressure/temperature laboratory experiments in which I synthesize rocks and minerals under conditions appropriate to our planet, the Moon, and other"rocky" planets in our solar system. While I do spend some time in the field, I typically classify myself as a high-temperature experimental geochemist.

My laboratory contains high pressure/temperature experimental equipment and a LA-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer).

Research Interests

  • Experimental geochemistry
  • early Earth - including understanding the origin(s) of the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals
  • planetary geology
  • astrobiology
  • lunar geochemistry
  • "water" in nominally anhydrous minerals
  • isotope geochemistry and geochronology of accessory minerals
  • redox chemistry of magmas, fluids, and minerals - including the application of synchrotron-based techniques

Selected Publications

  • Trail, D., Tailby, N.D., Thomas, J.T., and Watson, E.B.  Magma redox evolution of silicic magmas: insights from high spatial resolution Ce4+/Ce3+ measurements of single Bishop Tuff zircons (submitted).
  • Trail, D., Watson, E.B., and Tailby, N.D. (2012) Ce and Eu anomalies in zircon as proxies for the oxidation state of magmas. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 97, 70-87.
  • Trail, D., Watson, E.B., and Tailby, N.D. (2011) The oxidation state of Hadean magmas and implications for early Earth’s atmosphere. Nature, 480, 79-82.
  • Trail, D., Thomas, J.B., and Watson, E.B. (2011) The incorporation of hydroxyl into zircon. American Mineralogist, 96, 60-67.
  • Trail, D., Bindeman, I.N., Watson, E.B., and Schmitt, A.K. (2009) Experimental calibration of oxygen isotope fractionation between quartz and zircon. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 73, 7110-7126.
  • Trail, D., Mojzsis, S.J., and Harrison, T.M. (2007) Thermal events documented in Hadean zircons by ion microprobe depth profiles. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 71, 4044-4065.
  • Trail, D., Mojzsis, S.J., Harrison, T.M., Schmitt, A.K., Watson, E.B., and Young, E.D. (2007) Constraints on Hadean zircon protoliths from oxygen isotopes, Ti-thermometry, and rare earth elements Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 8, Q06014, 1-22.