Shuhei Ono Promoted to Associate Professor

Helen Hill
Saturday, May 2, 2015

EAPS Congratulations - Shuhei Ono to be promoted to Associate Professor.

The Executive Committee of the Corporation has approved the promotion of Shuhei Ono to Associate Professor (with tenure), effective July 2015.

Shuhei Ono’s research concerns the application of multiple-sulfur isotope systems to study reaction pathways in sulfur biogeochemical cycles. He applies this technique in the studies of the deep biosphere, seafloor hydrothermal systems, and the change in oxygen in Earth’s early environment. A particular focus of this research has been to understand the origin of mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation as a unique record of early Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and microbial evolution.

Ono’s research combines fieldwork and analysis of natural samples with laboratory experiments. Recent research includes laboratory calibrations of sulfur isotope effects during photochemistry and, with Prof. Tanja Bosak, microbial sulfate reduction. His lab has also developed instrumentation to rapidly and precisely analyze samples of environmental methane aimed at pinpointing how and where the gas was formed. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its capacity to trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere for a long time, can originate from lakes and swamps, natural gas pipelines, deep-sea vents, and livestock. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet.

In a collaboration with Prof. Ron Prinn, Ono is also exploring the atmospheric chemistry of nitrous oxide, a class of reactions that present a significant societal problem due to their detrimental effect on the environment. The various sources and sinks of nitrous oxide carry unique isotopic fingerprints valuable in constraining the tropospheric budget of nitrous oxide. Ono and co-workers apply state-of-the-art mid-infrared spectroscopy to perform high-frequency isotope ratio measurements.

Ono holds a B.Sc. in Geology from Waseda University, Tokyo, and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from Pennsylvania State University (2001). He joined the MIT faculty in 2007.

Image: Shuhei Ono - credit: Helen Hill


Shuhei Ono video

Kerr-McGee Career Development Professor of Biogeochemistry Shuhei Ono uses stable isotopes to understand the interplay between the atmosphere, rocks, water and microbes with a particular focus on non-conventional isotope systems to explore frontiers in isotope geochemistry. Current research projects include sulfur isotope (32S/33S/34S/36S) effects during photochemistry and microbial processes to bring new insights into sulfur cycles in deep time and deep biosphere, methane clumped isotopologue, 13CH3D, as a new tracer for the source of geologic and atmospheric methane, and application of nitrous oxide (14N15NO vs. 15N14NO) isotopomer ratios for inversion modeling.

MIT Stable Isotope Geobiology Laboratory

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