Wendy Nelson

Associate Professor


Contact Info

Science Complex, Room 2150G


Ph.D., Geosciences
Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Geology
Brigham Young University
B.S., Geology
Brigham Young University

Areas of Expertise

Igneous Petrology
High-temperature Geochemistry
East African Rift volcanism and deformation
Past and present influence of subduction on the continental lithosphere

Research Interests

My research is motivated by the fundamental need to better understand the dynamic evolution of both the lithospheric mantle and the crust during geodynamic processes, especially those relating to melting and long-term lithospheric recycling. Presently, I have two major research focuses: (1) Investigating the role “dripping” lithospheric heterogeneities play in small volume-volcanism and rifting in the East African Rift System, and (2) Understanding how subduction begins using geochemical indicators recorded in the earliest volcanism preserved in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana fore-arc. I utilize a variety of tools when possible, including field observations, petrographic observations, and mineral-scale and whole rock geochemical and isotopic data.