Megan Holycross

Megan Holycross

Assistant Professor


Megan Holycross joined Cornell’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in July 2020 as an assistant professor. Her research seeks to understand the processes that have differentiated the chemistry of Earth’s solid interior, mostly through laboratory experiments. Prior to joining Cornell, Megan was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with appointments at the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University.

Research Interests

Megan uses controlled laboratory experiments to develop new geochemical tools to quantify the rates (time) and conditions (temperature, pressure, redox state) of magmatic and metamorphic processes. Areas of interest include “crystal clock” diffusion chronometry, trace element partitioning in subduction zone settings, and multi-valent element x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy.

Selected Publications

Holycross M., Cottrell E. (2023) Garnet crystallization does not drive oxidation at arcs. Science 380: 506-509

Holycross M., Cottrell E. (2022) Experimental quantification of vanadium partitioning between eclogitic minerals (garnet, clinopyroxene, rutile) and silicate melt as a function of temperature and oxygen fugacity. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 177: 1-23

Ague J.J., Tassara S., Holycross M., Li J., Cottrell E., Schwarzenbach E., Fassoulas C.G., John T. (2022) Oxidation of slab-derived fluids by subducted metasedimentary rocks. Nature Geoscience 15: 320-326

Holycross M.E., Watson E.B. (2018) Trace element diffusion and kinetic fractionation in wet rhyolitic melt. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 232: 14-29

Holycross M.E., Watson E.B., Richter F., Villeneuve J. (2018) Diffusive fractionation of Li in wet, highly silicic melts, Geochemical Perspectives Letters 6: 39-42


BSc. Michigan State University 2012

Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2017


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