Nicole Fernandez

Nicole Fernandez

Assistant Professor


Nicole Fernandez holds a BA in Earth Sciences from Boston University and a PhD in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She began her appointment as an Assistant Professor in Cornell’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences January 2022. Before joining as a faculty member, Fernandez was a Cornell Provost’s Faculty Postdoctoral Fellow and conducted her research abroad in France as a visiting scientist at ENSEGID (School of Environment, Georesources, and Sustainable Development Engineering in the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux.

Research Interests

Fernandez is a low temperature geochemist. Her research combines experimental and numerical modeling methods to constrain global water and elemental cycles, their relative feedback and responses to unprecedented land use changes and a rapidly changing global climate. A primary focus in Fernandez’s work is the study of fluid-rock interactions at near-surface conditions and how they manifest across various spatiotemporal scales from the mineral-water interface to regional scale river basins. Fernandez relies upon a variety of geochemical tools including stable isotope and trace element environmental tracers to fully characterize the diversity of biogeochemical and hydrologic processes that shape the dynamic landscapes and ecosystems characterizing Earth’s surface.  

Selected Publications

Fernandez N.M., Bouchez J., Derry L.A., Chorover J., Gaillardet J., Giesbrecht I., Fries D., and Druhan J.L. (2022) Resiliency of silica export signatures when low order streams are subject to storm events, JGR: Biogeosciences, 127, 1 – 36.
**Featured as a Research Spotlight on AGU’s Eos science news magazine:

Fernandez N.M., Perez-Fodich A., Derry L.A., and Druhan J.L. (2021) A first look at Ge/Si partitioning during amorphous silica precipitation: Implications for Ge/Si as a tracer of fluid-silicate interactions, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 297, 158 – 178. 

Fernandez N.M., Zhang X., and Druhan J.L. (2019) Silicon isotope re-equilibration during amorphous silica precipitation and implications for isotopic signatures in geochemical proxies, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 262, 104 – 127.


BA (Earth Science), Boston University, 2015

PhD (Geology), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2020