Louis A. Derry
Louis Derry received a BA in Geology from Colorado College in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Harvard University in 1990. He also worked in the mineral exploration (Homestake Mining Co.) and petroleum (Chevron) industries. Following his doctoral work, Derry was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (CNRS) Nancy, France. He came to Cornell as a Snee Research Fellow in 1994 and joined the faculty in 1996. He is a Senior Scientist with the Kohala Center, Hawaii, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Derry's research includes studying biogeochemical processes at multiple time scales, from modern environments to the evolution of couple biogeochemical cycles over Earth history. Recent work includes elemental speciation and cycling in soil-plant-water systems, and the role of atmospheric deposition. Longer time scale problems include work to quantify CO2 and elemental fluxes in the Himalayan and island arc systems. Derry is actively involved in developing models for the interpretation of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and strontium isotopic variations in the ancient oceans and how those can be used to constrain critical environmental conditions during major evolutionary and/or extinction events.
Derry teaches biogeochemistry at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In both cases Derry seeks to integrate observation and a system-level understanding of coupled processes with quantitative models (both analytical and numerical) to allow the students to deepen their understanding of biogeochemical processes. By integrating quantitative methods with observations in the field, laboratory, and from the literature, students develop both a better understanding of biogeochemical phenomena as well as a more intuitive understanding of the use of mathematics and simulations to solve diverse problems. This year Derry and Larry Cathles developed a new course on fluid migration and reaction in the subsurface with applications to CO2 sequestration and petroleum systems.
Derry is involved in both University service and service to the larger scientific community and public. University service includes committees in the SES Major, Faculty DSR for Snee Hall, ACSF Faculty Fellow, and teaching in the Cornell Adult University program. Derry was Director of the IGERT Biogeochemistry program at Cornell from 2003-09. Current service to the academic community includes Editor for Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (AGU), Special Topics Editor for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and NSF Steering Committee for the Critical Zone Observatory program. Public outreach includes frequent interaction with the reporters and blogs at the New York Times on climate change and the recent nuclear crisis in Japan.
- 2012. "Behavior of H2O-NaCl-CO2 Fluids in Reservoirs. in CO2 Sequestration: Capacity, Security, and Enhanced Gas Recovery in Central New York State". 41. Albany, NY: NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority),. .
- 2012. "Chemical weathering fluxes from volcanic islands and the importance of groundwater: The Hawaiian example." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 339: 67-78. .
- 2011. "Subcellular localization of silicon and germanium in grass root and leaf tissues by SIMS: evidence for differential and active transport." Biogeochemistry 104 (1): 237 - 249. .
- 2011. "Chemical weathering, river geochemistry and atmospheric carbon fluxes from volcanic and ultramafic regions on Luzon Island, the Philippines." Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 75: 978-1002. .
- 2010. "On the significance of d13C correlations in ancient sediments." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 296: 497-501. .
Selected Awards and Honors
- Fellow (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) 1999
- Senior Fellow (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) 2012
- Top 1 percent of most-cited geoscientists from January 1999 to October 2009 (Thompson-Reuter's Essential Science Indicators (Sciencewatch.com)) 2009
- BA (GEOLOGY), COLORADO COLLEGE, 1981
- Ph D (GEOLOGY), HARVARD UNIVERSITY, 1989