Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Our People

Brian Kristall

Title/s: Adjunct Instructor

Specialty Area: Biogeochemical cycling, isotope geochemistry, redox geochemistry

Office #: BVM 226

Phone: 773-508-2844

E-mail: bkristall@luc.edu


Brian Kristall is an adjunct instructor in the Institute of Environmental Sustainability. He received his PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern, a M.Sc. in Oceanography from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Environmental Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Kristall is interested in biogeochemical cycling, climate change, evolution of the oceans, and astrobiology.


  • PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University
  • MSc in Oceanography at University of Washington
  • BA in Environmental Science at Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the evolution and perturbations to marine global biogeochemical cycles (sulfur, phosphorus, silicon, strontium, iron, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, etc.) that regulate the Earth’s surface system influencing the climate, redox state of the oceans, and evolution of life. I use and expand isotopic, sedimentological, paleontological, and geochemical records to build models of the biogeochemical cycles to examine differing chemical and biological interactions, feedbacks, couplings, and variability within the parameters to understand and reconstruct past climatic conditions along with the chemical evolution of the oceans. I have focused on the sulfur and strontium cycles within a variable greenhouse climate during the age of the dinosaurs (Cretaceous, ~145-65 Ma) under differing and variable concentrations along with elevated tectonic and volcanic activity compared to the present. Understanding the variability under which the key biogeochemical cycles have operated throughout Earth’s history supports the building of better climate models, improves reconstruction of past climatic conditions, and informs predictions on how these cycles might differ in the future under the current changing climate.

Courses Taught

  • UCSF 137 The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues
  • ENVS 224 Climate and Climate Change

Selected Publications

  • Kristall, B., Jacobson, A. D., Sageman, B. B., Hurtgen, M. T. Coupled strontium-sulfur cycle modeling and the Early Cretaceous sulfur isotope record. In review. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
  • Mills, J. V., Gomes, M. L., Kristall, B., Sageman, B. B., Jacobson, A. D., Hurtgen, M. T. 2017. Massive volcanism, evaporite deposition and the chemical evolution of the Early Cretaceous ocean. Geology 45, 475-478.
  • Kristall, B., Jacobson, A. D., Hurtgen, M. T., 2017. Modeling the paleo-seawater radiogenic strontium isotope record: A case study of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology427, 163-176.
  • Kristall, B., D. Nielsen, D. S. Kelley, M. D. Hannington, J. R. Delaney, 2011. Chemical microenvironments within sulfide structures from the Mothra Hydrothermal Field: Evidence form high-resolution zoning of trace elements. Chemical Geology 290, 12-30.
  • Kristall, B., D. S. Kelly, M. D. Hannington, J. R. Delaney, 2006. The growth history of a diffusely venting sulfide structure from the Juan de Fuca Ridge: A petrological and geochemical study. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 7, Q07001, doi:10.1029/2005GC001166.