Did volcanoes kill the dinosaurs? New evidence points to ‘maybe’
March 4, 2019
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
Fact: About 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, 75 percent of plant and animal species went extinct, including the dinosaurs (except those that evolved into birds). Fact: About 66 million years ago, an enormous asteroid or comet hit the Earth near what is now Chicxulub, Mexico, throwing rock, dust and water vapor into the atmosphere. Fact: About 66 million years ago, a massive volcano erupted lavas in India that are now called the Deccan Traps, burying much of the subcontinent under more than 11,000 feet of basalt (lava rock) and pouring poisonous gases into the atmosphere.
A stochastic sampling approach to zircon eruption age interpretation
Oct. 2, 2018
Written by C.B. Keller, B. Schoene and K.M. Samperton
Our new paper, published in Geochemical Perspective Letters, demonstrates a new, less sobujective, method of calculating volcanic eruption ages from high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronologic data. Brenhin Keller has made the software, written in both julia and C, freely available. He also includes on his site, as part of Chron.jl, software for carrying out Bayesian modeling useful for generating age models in stratigraphic sections given geochronologic data and uncertainties. This model is similar to previous approaches for age modeling, but here can be run in tandem with the zircon age distribution modeling highlighted in the paper.
From crystals to climate: New ‘gold standard’ timeline connects volcanic eruptions to climate change
Sept. 19, 2018
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
Grad student Jenn Kasbohm just published her work dating the Columbia River Basalts in Science Advances. The Princeton Press Release was also picked up by various news sites, such as Science Daily and
Geochronology and Thermochronology
Feb. 1, 2018
Written by Blair Schoene, Associate Professor of Geosciences

Check out the new textbook, to which I contributed a chapter on U-Th-Pb geochronology, entitled Geochronology and Thermochronology, by Peter Reiners et al., published by AGU and Wiley. Here is the link on

Princeton geochronologists, paleontologist investigate interplay of Volcanism, Impacts and Mass Extinctions with field work in India’s Deccan Traps
Jan. 14, 2014
Written by Kyle Samperton *17

In December 2013, a research team from the Department of Geosciences traveled to central India in order to address one of the most captivating questions in Earth history: what was the cause of the dinosaur-eradicating Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) mass extinction ca. 65 million years ago? The group included Profs. Blair Schoene and Gerta Keller;…

Citation for Blair Schoene, recipient of the F.W. Clarke Award 2013 of the Geochemical Society
Feb. 8, 2013
Written by Urs Schaltegger, Geochemical Society

Dr. Blair Schoene, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences of Princeton University named 2013 Clarke Medalist ( The Clarke award honours a young scientist for a single scientific contribution or -alternatively - for…

Princeton Geosciences Department opens world class geochronology laboratory
Jan. 18, 2012
Written by Laura Poppick, Timslab Manager
A world class radiometric geochronology laboratory has now opened in Guyot Hall, with facilities equipped to date Earth’s oldest rocks. Assistant Professor Blair Schoene proposed the new laboratory when he joined the faculty in June 2009, and has since overseen its design and preparation.

Laboratory Blog

October 2018

Visit Brenhin Keller's Github site to find freely available software, written in Julia, for carrying out the Bayesian eruption age interpretations presented in Keller et al, 2018.

September 2018

Grad student Jenn Kasbohm just published her work dating the Columbia River Basalts in Science Advances. Here's a link to the Princeton Press Release, which was also…

November 2017

Postdoc Ayla Pamukçu has sadly left us to another postdoc at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, following a couple months in the field in Antarctica and New Zealand.  We all benefited from Ayla's skills, knowledge, and ethusiasm.  All the best on your next adventure!

August 2017

Former postdoc Mélanie Barboni has been a) awarded the Paul Niggli Medal (Switzerland), b) featured in a number of articles and short films about her hummingbird obsession, and c)…

January 2017

Former postdoc Mélanie Barboni dated a bunch of zircons from Apollo missions to the moon in the Princeton lab. First paper just published in Science Advances. More press too: 

January 2017

Congrats to Dr. Kyle Samperton for a successful thesis defense!  He's off to Lawrence Livermore National Lab as a research scientist in the isotope group.  

November 2016

Welcome (back) new postdoc Mike Eddy to the Princeton lab.  Mike was Schoene's first advisee as an undergraduate ('11), just finished his PhD at MIT, and is coming back to do a postdoc

September 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Brenhin Keller for finishing his PhD! He's off to UC Berkeley to start a postdoc.

September 2016

Welcome Ayla Pamukcu, the department's new Hess Postdoctoral Fellow, to the radiogenic isotope lab!

January 2016

Blair Schoene is promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure!