MIT EAPS Directory

Nicole Xike Nie

Assistant Professor (starting July 1, 2023)

As an isotope geo/cosmochemist, Nicole Nie’s research focuses on the application of non-traditional stable isotopes to solving important questions in geochemistry, cosmochemistry and planetary sciences. She uses isotopes in meteorites and ancient terrestrial samples to trace processes that happened in the early solar system, such as planetary accretion and differentiation, volatile element depletion, Moon formation, and planetary surface weathering. The analyses of isotopic compositions of rocks are mainly carried out by combining wet chemistry element purification in a clean lab environment and high-precision measurements using Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICPMS).

Nie received a B.S. in geology from China University of Geosciences in 2010, an M.S. in Geochemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013, and a Ph.D. in Geo/Cosmochemistry from the University of Chicago in 2019. After graduating she was a Carnegie Postdoc Fellow at Carnegie Institution for Science, and a postdoc researcher at Caltech before joining EAPS faculty.


Select Publications (for a full list, see here)

Nie N. X., Chen X.-Y., Hopp T., Hu J. Y., Zhang Z. J., Teng F.-Z., Shahar A., Dauphas N. (2021) Imprint of chondrule formation on the K and Rb isotopic compositions of carbonaceous meteorites. Science Advances 7(49), eabl3929. Link

Nie N. X., Dauphas N., Hopp T., Hu J. Y., Zhang Z. J., Yokochi R., Ireland T., Tissot F. L. H. (2021) Chromatography purification of Rb for accurate isotopic analysis by MC-ICPMS: A comparison between AMP-PAN, cation-exchange, and Sr resins. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 36, 2588–2602. DOI: 10.1039/D1JA00268F. Link

Nie N. X., Dauphas N., Alp E. E., Zeng H., Sio C. K., Hu J. Y., Chen X., Aarons S. M., Zhang Z., Tian H.-C., Wang D., Prissel K. B., Greer J., Bi W., Hu M. Y., Zhao J., Shahar A., Roskosz M., Teng F.-Z., Krawczynski M. J., Heck P. R. and Spear F. S. (2021) Iron, magnesium, and titanium isotopic fractionations between garnet, ilmenite, fayalite, biotite, and tourmaline: results from NRIXS, ab initio, and study of mineral separates from the Moosilauke metapelite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 302, 18–45. Link

Nie N. X., Dauphas N., Villalon K. L., Liu N., Heard A. W., Morris R. V., Mertzman S. A. (2020) Iron isotopic and chemical tracing of basalt alteration and hematite spherule formation in Hawaii: A prospective study for Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 544, 116385. Link

Nie N. X., Dauphas N. (2019) Vapor drainage in the protolunar disk as the cause for the depletion in volatile elements of the Moon. The Astrophysical Journal Letters 884(2), L48. Link

Nie N. X., Dauphas N., Greenwood R. C. (2017) Iron and oxygen isotope fractionation during iron UV photo-oxidation: Implications for early Earth and Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 458, 179–191. Link


3CPE Grant, Caltech (2022) | P² (Postdoc x Postdoc) Grant, Carnegie Science (2020–2021) | Carnegie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2019–2021) | NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (2015–2018) | Department Fellowship, University of Chicago (2015) | Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellowship (2010–2013) | Tsang Hin-Chi Scholarship (2007–2010) | China National Scholarship (2007, 2008, 2009)

Contact Information




Ph.D. Geo/Cosmochemistry, University of Chicago 2019
M.S. Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences 2013
B.S. Geology, China University of Geosciences 2010

Administrative Assistant