The Geosciences Department has many opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty on their interests of choice.

Research projects are often presented in annual conferences such as the annual Wellesley College Ruhlman Conference .

Below you can see a list of faculty that offer research opportunities for students in their labs with their current research interests listed. Contact professors to learn more about the research opportunities they offer.

Interests Professor
  • Hydrogeology and road salt contamination of public water supplies

Besancon, J. Hon, Rudolph; Dillon, Peter; Beutel, David; Bello, Bianca. (2014). Groundwater Contamination in Wellesley and Norwell, Massachusetts: Location of Sources and Protection of Public Water Supplies.  107th New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481.

Hon, R., Sege, J., and Besancon, J., (2014) Deicer dissolved load during a precipitation event in Eastern Massachusetts, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, 46(6), 781

Besancon, J., and Hon, R., 2014, Point versus line source for road salt contamination of surface waters, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, 46(6), 651

Dillon, P. H., Rudi; Anderson, Jacob; and Besancon, James. (2013). Assessment of Elevated Sodium Chloride Concentrations in Public Water Supplies and Water Resources in the Towns of Norwell and Hanover Massachusetts. 29th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy, Amherst, MA.

Christopher H. Swartz, Nicole Keon Blute, Borhan Badruzzman, Ashraf Ali, Daniel Brabander, Jenny Jay, James Besancon, Shafiqul Islam, Harold F. Hemond, And Charles F. Harvey,  Mobility of arsenic in a Bangladesh aquifer: Inferences from geochemical profiles, leaching data, and mineralogical characterization Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 68, No. 22, pp. 4539-4557, 2004  

  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Medical Geology

Lin C. G., Schaider L. A., Brabander D. J., Woolf A. D. (2010) Pediatric lead exposure from imported Indian spices and religious ceremonial powders . Pediatrics 125: (4) e828-e835. DOI: 10.1542/peds2009-1396.

Blute N. K., Jay J. A., Swartz C. H., Brabander D. J., Hemond H. F. (2009) Aqueous and solid phase arsenic speciation in the sediments of a contaminated wetland and riverbed . Applied Geochemistry 24: 346-358.

Heiger-Bernays W., Burns V., Diskin K., Pierotti D., Mercahnt-Borna K., McClean M., Brabander D., Hynes H. P. (2009) Characterization and low-cost solutions for soils contaminated by timbers in community gardens . International Journal of Soil, Sediment and Water 2: (3) Art.


  • Mechanisms and time scales of plutonic construction
  • Connection between magma chambers, plutons and volcanic centers
  • Tectonics

Hawkins, D.P. and Wiebe, R.A., in preparation, High precision U-Pb geochronology of the Silurian Vinalhaven Intrusive Complex, Maine: Implications for the construction and longevity of a subvolcanic silicic intrusion . To be submitted to Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology .

Wiebe, R.A., Wark, D.A., and Hawkins, D.P., 2007, Insights from quartz cathodoluminescence zoning into crystallization of the Vinalhaven granite, coastal Maine: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology , v. 154, p. 439-453.

Wiebe, R.A., Jellinek, M., Markley, M.J., Hawkins, D.P., and Snyder, D., 2007, Steep schlieren and associated enclaves in the Vinalhaven granite, Maine: possible indicatorsfor granite rheology. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology (153/2) 121-138.



•  Magmatic chronology of SE New England

•  Neoproterozoic tectonics and paleogeography of northern Appalachian Avalon terranes

Thompson, M.D., 2014, U-Pb zircon geochronology of Roxbury Conglomerate, Boston Basin Massachusetts:  Tectono-stratigraphic implications for Avalonia in and beyone SE New England:  American Journal of Science, . 514, p. 1009-1040.

Thompson, M.D., Barr, S.M. and Grunow, A.M., 2012, Avalonian perspectives on Neoproterozoic paleogeography:  Evidence from Sm-Nd isotope geochemistry and detrital zircon geochronology in SE New England, USA:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 124, p. 517-531. 

Thompson, M.D., Ramezani, J., Barr, S.M., and Hermes, O.D., 2010, High precision U-Pb zircon dates for Ediacaran granitoid rocks in SE New England:  revised magmatic chronology and correlation with other Avalonian terranes in Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew, M.J., Hibbard, J.P. and Karabinos, P.M., eds., From Rodinia to Pangea:  the lithotectonic record of the Appalachian region:  Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 231-250.

Meg Thompson

Professor Emerita Thompson