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Niloufar Sarvian

PhD Candidate, ISEN Cluster Fellow

B.S. Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara
Curriculum Vitae


My research seeks to understand the carbon cycle perturbations that led to dramatic climate change in the Neoproterozoic (~541 million to 1 billion years ago). I study radiogenic Sr (87/88Sr), stable Sr (δ88/86Sr), and Ca (δ44/40Ca) isotopes of carbonate rocks from that time to investigate the mechanisms that would have contributed to one of these “Snowball Earth” events. I work with Matthew Hurtgen, Andrew Jacobson and Magdalena Osburn for my PhD work. Specifically, I work in the Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory and use a high-precision double-spike technique to measure δ88/86Sr and δ44/40Ca on a Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS). Understanding the carbon cycle and its influence on climate is critical for understanding Earth’s future climate, especially as we are heading towards a period of dramatic climate change.

Fellowship and Awards

EPS Departmental Service Award 2019 – 2020
NSF Graduate Research Fellow – Honorable Mention 2019
Institute of Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern Cluster Fellow 2018 – 2019


"Radiogenic and stable Sr isotope records preceding the Sturtian snowball earth event"
- Goldschmidt Conference, Virtual July 2020

"Stable strontium isotope (δ88⁄86Sr) record of pre-Sturtian carbonate rocks spanning a large δ13C anomaly"
 - Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona, Spain August 2019
- Midwest Geobiology Conference in St. Louis, MO September 2019

Teaching Assistantships

EARTH 373: Microbial Ecology - Spring (virtual) 2020
ISEN 220: Introduction to Energy Systems for the 21st Century - Winter 2019
EARTH 106: Ocean, Atmosphere, and Climate - Fall 2019


GeoEquity Initiative, Northwestern University - June 2020 – present
Science Club, Northwestern University - January 2020 – [paused for pandemic]
Expanding Your Horizons, Workshop Presenter - December 7th, 2019
Graduate Student Panelist for Northwestern REUs - July 17th 2019
Earth and Learn Symposium, Workshop Presenter - May 20th, 2019
Adler Planetarium Earth Fest Climate Expert - April 13th, 2019
Integrating Climate Science into STEM Courses - June 28th, 29th 2018

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