MIT EAPS Directory

Shuhei Ono

Associate Professor

Shuhei Ono’s research concerns the application of multiple-sulfur isotope systems to study reaction pathways in sulfur biogeochemical cycles. He applies this unique technique in the study of deep biosphere, and seafloor hydrothermal systems as well as to deep time earth history. A particular focus of his 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 experiment. Recent research includes laboratory calibrations of sulfur isotope effects during photochemistry and microbial sulfate reduction.

In a collaboration with Ron Prinn, Ono has begun 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). After postdoctoral research at the Geophysical Laboratory of Carnegie Institution of Washington. He joined the MIT faculty in 2007.


Genming Luo, Shuhei Ono, Nicolas J. Beukes, David T. Wang, Shucheng Xie and Roger E. Summons (2016), Rapid oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere 2.33 billion years ago, Science Advances  13 May 2016: Vol. 2, no. 5, e1600134, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600134

Walsh, K. J. E. and Camargo, S. J. and Vecchi, G. A. and Daloz, A. S., et al. (2015) HURRICANES AND CLIMATE The US CLIVAR Working Group on Hurricanes Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 997-1017, doi: 10.1175/bams-d-13-00242.1

Walsh, K. J. E. and Camargo, S. J. and Vecchi, G. A. and Daloz, A. S., et al. (2015) HURRICANES AND CLIMATE: THE U.S. CLIVAR WORKING GROUP ON HURRICANES (vol 96, pg 997, 2015) Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 96, no. 9, pp. 1440-1440, doi: 10.1175/bams-d-15-00232.1

Inagaki, F. and Hinrichs, K. U. and Kubo, Y. and Bowles, M. W., et al. (2015) Exploring deep microbial life in coal-bearing sediment down to similar to 2.5 km below the ocean floor Science, vol. 349, no. 6246, pp. 420-424, doi: 10.1126/science.aaa6882

Luo, G. M. and Ono, S. H. and Huang, J. H. and Algeo, T. J. and Li, C. and Zhou, L. and Robinson, A. and Lyons, T. W. and Xie, S. C. (2015) Decline in oceanic sulfate levels during the early Mesoproterozoic Precambrian Research, vol. 258, pp. 36-47, doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2014.12.014

McDermott, J. M. and Ono, S. and Tivey, M. K. and Seewald, J. S. and Shanks, W. C. and Solow, A. R. (2015) Identification of sulfur sources and isotopic equilibria in submarine hot-springs using multiple sulfur isotopes Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 160, pp. 169-187, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2015.02.016

Mohamed, A. and Ardyani, T. and Sagisaka, M. and Ono, S. J. and Narumi, T. and Kubota, M. and Brown, P. and James, C. and Eastoe, J. and Kamari, A. and Hashim, N. and Isa, I. M. and Abu Bakar, S. (2015) Economical and Efficient Hybrid Surfactant with Low Fluorine Content for the Stabilisation of Water-in-CO2 Microemulsions Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol. 98, pp. 127-136, doi: 10.1016/j.supflu.2015.01.012

Nakajima, K. and Murai, R. and Ono, S. and Morishita, K. and Kivambe, M. M. and Powell, D. M. and Buonassisi, T. (2015) Shape and quality of Si single bulk crystals grown inside Si melts using the noncontact crucible method Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 54, no. 1, doi: 10.7567/jjap.54.015504

Park, G. B. and Womack, C. C. and Whitehill, A. R. and Jiang, J. and Ono, S. and Field, R. W. (2015) Millimeter-wave optical double resonance schemes for rapid assignment of perturbed spectra, with applications to the (C)over-tilde B-1(2) state of SO2 Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 142, no. 14, doi: 10.1063/1.4916908

Sim, M. S. and Ono, S. H. and Hurtgen, M. T. (2015) Sulfur isotope evidence for low and fluctuating sulfate levels in the Late Devonian ocean and the potential link with the mass extinction event Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 419, pp. 52-62, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.009

Google Scholar Profile


Gast Lectureship, Geochemical Society/European Association of Geochemistry (2017) | Kerr-McKee Career Development Professor, MIT (2011) | Top-50 most cited articles, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier (2011) | Jubilee Medal, Geological Society of South Africa (2006) | Agouron Geobiology Fellowship (2005-2007)

Contact Information

t: 617 253 0474





Ph.D., Geochemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 2001
M.E., Economic Geology, Waseda University, 1996
B.S., Geology, Waseda University, 1994

Administrative Assistant