2014 Lecturer | Dr. Susan Brantley

About the Lecturer

Dr. Brantley is a Distinguished Professor of Geosciences, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences,Pennsylvania State University. She also is Director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. Dr. Brantley’s research has concentrated on understanding water chemistry both at the surface of the earth and how water in the earth’s crust interacts with the rocks through which it flows.

This research investigates chemical, biological, and physical processes using field, laboratory and theoretical modeling, especially the measurement and prediction of the rates of natural processes, including chemical weathering with and without microorganisms. Her recent work has focused on the effect of microbes on mineral reactivity and conversion of rock into regolith.

  • Chemical, biological, and physical weathering in the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory
  • Chemical, physical, and biological weathering in the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory
  • Coupling between weathering and erosion
  • Fe release and isotope fractionation during microbial alteration and weathering of shales, granites, and basalts
  • Neutron scattering analyses of weathering rocks
  • Professor Brantley is a fellow of the:
    • American Geophysical Union
    • European Association of Geochemistry
    • Geochemical Society
    • Geological Society of America
    • International Association for GeoChemistry
  • Reactive transport modelling of weathering
  • She was president of the Geochemical Society, 2006 to 2008, and on the U. S. Department of Energy Council on Earth Sciences since 2009


  • 2011: Arthur L. Day Medal, The Geological Society of America
  • 2012: Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Presidential Award
  • 2012: National Academy of Sciences
  • 2013: Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal


  • 1980: B.A., Chemistry, Princeton University, Magna cum Laude
  • 1983: M.A., Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Princeton University
  • 1987: Ph.D., Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Princeton University