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Anna SzynkiewiczAnna Szynkiewicz

Assistant Professor
Isotope Geochemistry

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
742 Strong Hall
1621 Cumberland Ave
Knoxville, TN 37996-1410

Phone: 974-6006
Anna Szynkiewicz's CV

My research interests involve studies of global geochemical and biogeochemical cycles related to the lithosphere and hydrosphere using stable isotope tracers (S-O-H-C-Zn) and chemical methods. This interdisciplinary research integrates areas of low-temperature geochemistry and water-rock interaction, hydrogeology, environmental studies, and planetary geology. I am trying to integrate these fields in order to better quantify the chemical weathering of crustal rocks as a result of climate and to enhance knowledge and understanding of modern and past hydrological cycles on Earth and Mars. Furthermore, I attempt to elucidate human impacts such as acidification, land cultivation, and hydraulic fracturing on natural ecosystems.

Additionally, I have been using several field sites from New Mexico (e.g., White Sands gypsum dunes, Valles Caldera volcano, Rio Puerco watershed, volcanic terrains in Iceland) as terrestrial analogs for understanding the sources and formation timescales of hydrated sulfates on Mars.

My earliest research focused on the characterization of anthropogenic impacts on freshwater environments in Eastern Europe related to acid rain in mountain and lake ecosystems. I used multiple stable isotope tracers (S-O-H-C) to calculate the sulfate inputs from atmospheric acid wet deposition and I performed several incubation experiments to evaluate the buffering capacity of lake sediments in response to anthropogenic acidification of freshwater.

Stable Isotope Laboratory

I supervise the Stable Isotope Laboratory which is located in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee

We provide stable isotope services for research and commercial users. The lab has two Thermo-Finnigan Delta mass spectrometers and a variety of peripheral devices that enable the measurement of C-H-N-O-S isotopic ratios in a variety of materials. The types of analyses that we can perform and the prices per analysis are listed here.

If you are interested in measuring stable isotope ratios in the EPS isotope facility, please contact Anthony Faiia and/or Anna Szynkiewicz.

Jan 2004 - Ph.D. in Geology, University of Wrocław, Poland

Jun 2000 - M.Sc. in Geology, University of Wrocław, Poland

Jun 1998 - B.Sc. in Geology, University of Wrocław, Poland

Professional Experience

  • Aug 2013 - present, Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • May 2011 – Jul 2013, Research Assistant Professor (non-tenure track), University of Texas at El Paso
  • Jul 2009 – Apr 2011, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Sep 2005 - Jun 2009, Postdoctoral Fellow, Bloomington, Indiana University
  • Feb 2004 – Aug 2005, Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Wrocław, Poland
  • Sanchez D.A., Szynkiewicz A., Faiia A.M. (2017). Determining sources of nitrate in the semi-arid Rio Grande using nitrogen and oxygen isotopes. Applied Geochemistry 86: 59-69.
  • LeDoux S.M., Szynkiewicz A., Faiia A.M., Mayes M.A., McKinney M.L., Dean W.G. (2016): Chemical and isotope compositions of shallow groundwater in areas impacted by hydraulic fracturing and surface mining in the Central Appalachian Basin, Eastern United States. Applied Geochemistry 71: 73-85.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Borrok D.B. (2016): Isotope variations of dissolved Zn in the Rio Grande watershed, USA: The role of adsorption on Zn isotope composition. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 433: 293-302
  • Szynkiewicz A., Borrok D.B., Skrzypek G., Rearick M. (2015): Isotopic studies of the Rio Grande. Part 1 – Importance of sulfide weathering in the riverine sulfate budget in south Colorado and north/central New Mexico. Chemical Geology 411: 323-335.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Borrok D.B., Ganjegunte G.K., Skrzypek G., Ma L., Rearick M., Perkins G. (2015): Isotopic studies of the Rio Grande. Part 2 – Salt loads and human impact in south New Mexico and west Texas. Chemical Geology 411: 336-350.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Borrok D.M., Vaniman D.T. (2014) Efflorescence as a source of hydrated sulphate minerals in valley settings on Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 393: 14-25.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Modelska M., Rangel-Medina M., Farmer G.L., Rabago P.H., Monreal R. (2014) Age and shape of paleo-seawater intrusions in the semi-arid coastal aquifer of Sonora Desert, northern Mexico. Geoscience Notes 2.2: 12-38.
  • Szynkiewicz A. (2014) – Interdune definition. In: Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms. Springer Science+Business Media New York, pp. 1-3.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Modelska M., Buczyński S., Borrok D.M., Merrison J.P. (2013) The polar sulfur cycle in the Werenskioldbreen, Spitsbergen: Possible implications for understanding the deposition of sulfate minerals in the North Polar Region of Mars. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 106: 326-343.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Newton B.T., Timmons S.S., Borrok D.M.(2012) The sources and budget for dissolved sulfate in a fractured carbonate aquifer, Southern Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico, USA. Applied Geochemistry 27: 1451-1462.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Johnson A.P., Pratt L.M.(2012) Sulfur species and biosignatures in Sulphur Springs of Valles Caldera, New Mexico – implications for Mars astrobiology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 321-322: 1-13.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Witcher J., Modelska M., Borrok D.B., Pratt L.M. (2011) Anthropogenic sulfate loads in the Rio Grande, New Mexico. Chemical Geology 283: 194-209.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Moore C.H., Glamoclija M., Bustos D., Pratt L.M. (2010) The origin of coarsely crystalline gypsum domes in a saline playa environment at the White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. Journal of Geophysical Research,115, F02021, doi:10.1029/2009JF001592.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Ewing R.C., Moore C.H., Glamoclija M, Bustos D., Pratt L.M. (2010) Origin of terrestrial gypsum dunes – implications for Martian gypsum-rich dunes of Olimpia Undae. Geomorphology, 121: 69-83.
  • Skrzypek G., Jezierski P., Szynkiewicz A. (2010) Preservation of primary stable isotope signatures of peat-forming plants during early decomposition – observation along an altitudinal transect. Chemical Geology, 273: 238-249.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Moore C.H., Glamoclija M., Pratt L.M. (2009) Sulfur isotope signatures in gypsiferous sediments of the Estancia and Tularosa Basins as paleoindicators of sulfate sources, hydrologic cycle and bacterial activity. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 6162-6186.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Modelska M., Kurasiewicz M., Jędrysek M.O., Mastalerz M. (2008) Aging of organic matter in the incubated freshwater sediments; Inferences from C and H isotopic ratios in methane. Geological Quarterly, 52(4): 383-396.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Medina M.R., Modelska M., Monreal R., Pratt L.M. (2008) Sulfur isotopic study of sulfate in the aquifer of Costa de Hermosillo (Sonora, Mexico) in relation to upward intrusion of saline groundwater, irrigation pumping and land cultivation. Review Paper in Applied Geochemistry, 23: 2539-2558.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Modelska M., Jędrysek M.O., Mastalerz M. (2008) The effect of acid rain and altitude on concentration, d34S, and d18O of sulfate in the water from Sudety Mountains, Poland. Chemical Geology, 249: 36-51.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Jędrysek M.O., Kurasiewicz M., Mastalerz M. (2008) Influence of sulfate input on freshwater sediments: Insights from incubation experiments. Applied Geochemistry, 23: 1607-1622.
  • Jezierski P., Szynkiewicz A., Jędrysek M.O. (2006) Natural and anthropogenic origin sulphate in a mountainous aquatic system: S and O isotope evidences. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 173: 81-101.
  • Szynkiewicz A., Jędrysek M.O., Kurasiewicz M. (2006) Carbon isotope effects during precipitation of barium carbonate: implications for environmental studies. Environmental Chemistry Letters. 4(1), 29-35.


"Determining mechanisms of sulfate formation on Mars using terrestrial analogs" - NASA grant awarded to PI-Szynkiewicz ($208,907)

2016-2017 "Environmental impacts of coal ash spill on nutrient cycling and surface water quality in eastern Tennessee" – US Department of Interior & US Geological Survey grant awarded to PI-Szynkiewicz ($9,000).
2014-2017 "Collaborative research: a multi-tracer (U, S, B, and Sr) approach to fingerprint and quantify anthropogenic salinity sources in the semi-arid Rio Grande watershed" - PI–Lin Ma, University of Texas at El Paso. NSF grant awarded to Co-PI Szynkiewicz ($23,148).
2014-2015 "Characterizing groundwater pollution from hydraulic fracturing using environmental tracers" – Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) grant awarded to PI-Szynkiewicz ($10,000).
2012-2016 "Sulfur cycling during the volcanic and climatic evolution of Valles Caldera – A geochemical analogue for sulfate-mineral deposition on Mars" – NASA grant awarded to PI-Szynkiewicz ($243,895).

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