Lynda Williams' research focuses on the chemical composition and structure of clay and related sedimentary minerals in order to interpret the environmental conditions under which they formed and to use that information for exploration of geologic processes in the Earth's crust. Understanding crystal growth mechanisms is central to mineral chemistry and is critical to the interpretation of isotope exchange, fluid compositional changes, organic adsorption and catalysis, and ultimately to understanding mineral effects on microbial sustainability. Professor Williams' research examines chemical dynamics at the nanoscale in order to derive a fundamental understanding of megascale processes. Her research program includes experimental simulation of clay mineral - organic interactions, with primary interest in the areas of petroleum generation and migration, hydrothermal origins of biomolecules in the evolution of life, and medicinal applications of minerals.
geochemistry of surficial systems, stable isotopes, clay mineralogy, chemical interactions of fluids/minerals/organic compounds with applications in hydrocarbon exploration, environmental issues, origins of life and medical geology
50. Williams, L.B. Elliott, W.C. and Hervig, R.L. (2015) Tracing hydrocarbons in gas shale using boron and lithium isotopes: Denver Basin USA, Wattenberg Gas Field. Chemical Geology 417:404-413. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.10.027
49. *Londoño, S.C. and Williams, L.B. (2015) Unraveling the antibacterial mode of action of a clay from the Colombian Amazon Environmental Geochemistry and Health. DOI 10.1007/s10653-015-9723-y.
48. *Yang, Ziming; *Lorance, E.D., *Bockisch, C., Williams, L. B., Hartnett, H. E., Shock, E.L., Gould, I. R. (2014) Hydrothermal Photochemistry as a Mechanistic Tool in Organic Geochemistry. The Chemistry of Dibenzylketone. J. Organic Chemistry 79: 7861-7871. dx.doi.org/10.1021/jo500899x.
47. *Shipp, Jessie A., Gould, Ian R., Shock, Everett L., Williams, Lynda B. and Hartnett, Hilairy E. (2014) Sphalerite is a geochemical catalyst for carbon-hydrogen bond activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 111: 32: 11642-11645. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1324222111.
46. Williams, Lynda B. and Hillier, Stephen (2014) Kaolins and Health: from first grade to first aid. Elements, an International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Petrology, invited chapter. July 2014, 10: 207-211.
45. *Pauly, B., Williams, L.B., Hervig, R.L., Schiffman, P., Zierenburg, R. (2014) Methods for in-situ SIMS microanalysis of boron and its isotopes in palagonite. Clays and Clay Minerals. 62: 3: 224-234.
44. Clauer, N., Williams, L.B., Fallick, A.E. (2014) Genesis of nanometric illite crystals elucidated by light-element (hydrogen, lithium, boron and oxygen) isotope tracing, and K-Ar and Rb-Sr dating, Chemical Geology, 383: 26 – 50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.05.025
43. *Morrison, K.D., Underwood, J.C., Metge, D.W., Eberl, D.D. and Williams, L.B. (2014) Mineralogical variables that control the antibacterial effectiveness of a natural clay deposit. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 36: 4: 613-631.
42. Williams, L.B., Środoń, J., Huff, W., Clauer, N. and Hervig, R.L. (2013) Light element distributions in Baltic Basin bentonites: Potential for tracing hydrocarbons. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 120: 582-599.
41. Pizzarello, S., *Davidowski, S., Holland, G.P., Williams, L.B. (2013) Processing of meteoric organic materials as a possible analog of early molecular evolution in planetary environments. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110: 39: 15614-15619.
40. *Shipp, J., Gould, I., Williams,, L.B, Shock, E. Hartnett, H.E., (2013) Organic Functional Group Transformations in Water at Elevated Temperature and Pressure: Reversibility, Reactivity, and Mechanisms. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 104: 194-209.
39. *Ziming Yang, Gould, I.R., Williams, L.B., Hartnett, H.E. and Shock, E.L. (2012) The central role of ketones in reversible and irreversible hydrothermal organic functional group transformations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 98: 48-65.
38. Pizzarello, S. and Williams L.B. (2012) Ammonia in the early solar system: an account from carbonaceous meteorites. Astrophysical Journal. 749: 161-166.
37. Williams, L.B., Clauer, N.C. and Hervig R.L. (2012) Light stable isotope microanalysis of clays in sedimentary rocks. In (Paul Sylvester, ed.) Quantitative mineralogy and microanalysis of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Mineralogical Association of Canada Short Course 42: 55-73.
36. *Nele Muttik, Kalle Kirsimäe, Horton E. Newsom, Lynda B. Williams (2011) Boron isotope composition of secondary smectite in suevites at the Ries crater, Germany: implications for the origin of alteration fluids. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 310: 244-251.
35. Williams, L.B., Metge, D.W., Eberl, D.D., Harvey, R.W., *Turner, A.G., Prapaipong, P., Poret-Peterson, A.T. (2011) What makes natural clays antibacterial? Environmental Science and Technology, 45: 3768-3773.
34. Pizzarello, Sandra, Williams, Lynda B., Lehman, Jennifer, Holland, Gregory and Yarger, Jeffery L. (2011) Ammonia in primitive asteroids: a case for exobiology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 108: 11: 4303-4306.
33. Williams, L.B., Holloway, J.R., *Canfield, B., Glein, C., Dick, J., Hartnett, H. Shock, E. (2010) Birth of biomolecules from the warm wet sheets of clays near spreading centers, In Earliest Life on Earth, Sue Golding and Miryam Glikson eds., Springer Publishing (invited chapter).
32. Williams, L.B. and Haydel, S.E. (2010) Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents, International Geology Review, 52: (7/8): 745-770.
31. Williams, L.B., Haydel, S.E. and Ferrell, R.E, Bentonites, Bandaids and Borborygmi, (2009) Invited paper for Elements, an International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Petrology. Special Issue on Bentonites, edited by Derek Bain, 5: 2: 99-102.
30. Williams, L.B., Haydel, S.E., Giese, R.F. and Eberl, D.D. (2008) Chemical and mineralogical characteristics of French green clays used for healing. Clays and Clay Minerals 56: 4: 437-452.
29. Haydel, S.E. *Remenih, C.M. and Williams, L.B. (2008) Broad-spectrum in vitro antibacterial activities of clay minerals against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 61, 353-361.
28. Williams, L.B. (2007) Clay mineral stable-isotope geochemistry. Euroclay Conference Proceedings. Aveiro, Portugal. July 23-27, 2007. Invited lectures, p.42-51.
27. Williams, L.B., *Turner, A. and Hervig, R.H. (2007) Intracrystalline boron isotope partitioning in illite-smectite: Testing the geothermometer, American Mineralogist, 92: 1958-1965.
26. *Yabuta, H., Williams, L.B., Cody, G.D., Alexander C.M.O’D. and Pizzarello, S., (2007) The insoluble carbonaceous material of CM chondrites: A possible source of discrete organic compounds under hydrothermal conditions, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 42: 37-48.
25. Williams, L.B. and Hervig, R.L. (2006) Crystal size dependence of illite-smectite isotope equilibration with changing fluids. Clays and Clay Minerals 54: 531-540.
24. *Michalski, J.R., *Kraft, M.D., Sharp, T.G., Williams, L.B. and Christensen, P.R. (2006) Emission spectroscopy of clay minerals and evidence for poorly crystalline aluminosilicates on Mars from TES data. J. Geophys. Res.-Planets, 111: E3004: 14p.
23. Williams, L.B., and Hervig, R.L. (2005) Lithium and boron isotopes in illite/smectite: The importance of crystal size. Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta 69: 24: 5705-5716.
22. Williams, L.B., *Canfield, B.C. *Voglesonger, K.M, and Holloway J.R., 2005. Organic compounds in a primordial womb. Geology, 33: 11: 913-916.
21. *Michalski, J.R., *Kraft, M.D., Sharp, T.G., L.B. Williams, P.R. Christensen (2005) Mineralogical constraints on the high silica Martian surface component observed by TES. Icarus 174: 161-177.
20. Williams, L.B., and Hervig, R.L. (2004) Boron isotope composition of coals: A potential tracer of organic contaminated fluids. Applied Geochemistry 19: 1625-1636.
19. Williams, L.B., Holland, M., Eberl, D.D., T. Brunet and L. Brunet de Courssou (2004) Killer Clays! Natural antibacterial clay minerals. Feature article. (Invited) London Mineralogical Society Bulletin, 139: 3-8.
18. Williams, L.B. and Hervig, R.L. (2002) Intracrystalline boron isotope variations in clay minerals: a potential low-temperature single mineral geothermometer. Invited paper. American Mineralogist 87: 1564-1570.
17. Hervig, R.L., Moore, G.M., Williams, L.B., Peacock, S.M., Holloway, J.R., and Roggensack, K.R. (2002) Isotopic and elemental partitioning of boron between hydrous fluid and silicate melt. American Mineralogist Letter, 87:769-774.
16. Williams, L.B., Weiser, M.E., Hutcheon, I., and Hervig, R.L. (2001) Application of boron isotopes to understanding fluid/rock interactions in a hydrothermally stimulated oil-reservoir in the Alberta basin, Canada. Geofluids 1: 229-240.
15. Williams, L. B., Hervig, R. L., Holloway, J. R., and Hutcheon, I. (2001) Boron isotope geochemistry during diagenesis: Part 1. Experimental determination of fractionation during illitization of smectite. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 65: 11: 1769-1782.
14. Williams, L.B., Hervig, R.L., and Hutcheon, I. (2001) Boron isotope geochemistry during diagenesis: Part 2. Applications to organic-rich sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 65: 11: 1783-1794.
13. Williams, L.B., Hervig, R.L., Wieser, M.E., and Hutcheon, I. (2001) The influence of organic matter on the boron isotope geochemistry of the Gulf Coast Sedimentary Basin, USA, Chemical Geology, 174: 445-461.
12. Williams, L.B., Hervig, R.L. and Bjørlykke, K., 1997. New evidence for the origin of quartz cements in hydrocarbon reservoirs revealed by oxygen isotope microanalyses, Geochimica et Cosmochim Acta 61: 12: 2529-2538.
11. Williams, L.B., Hervig, R.L., and Dutton, S.P. (1997) (Invited), Constraints on paleofluid compositions through microanalyses of diagenetic quartz in the Travis Peak Fm, Eastern Texas. In Basinwide Diagenetic Patterns: Integrated Petrologic, Geochemical and Hydrologic Considerations. Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Special Publication 57, p. 269-280.
10. Hervig, R.L., Williams, L.B., Kirkland, I. and Longstaffe, F.J. (1995) Oxygen Isotope Microanalyses of Diagenetic Quartz: Possible Low Temperature Occlusion of Pores Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59: 12:2537-2543.
9. Williams, L.B., Ferrell, R.E. Jr., Hutcheon, I., Bakel, A.J. Walsh, M.M. and Krouse, H.R. (1995) Nitrogen isotope geochemistry of organic matter and minerals during diagenesis and hydrocarbon migration. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59: 4: 765-779.
8. Williams, L. B., Wilcoxon, B.R., Ferrell, R.E. Jr., and Sassen, R. (1992) Diagenesis of ammonium during hydrocarbon maturation and migration, Wilcox Group, Louisiana, USA, Applied Geochemistry 7: 123-134.
7. Compton, J.S., Williams, L.B., and Ferrell, R.E.Jr. (1992) Mineralization of organogenic ammonium in the Monterey Formation, Santa Maria and San Joaquin Basins, California, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 56: 1979-1991.
6. Williams, L.B. and Ferrell, R.E. Jr. (1991) Ammonium substitution in illite during maturation of organic matter: Clays and Clay Minerals 39 (4): 400 - 408.
5. Williams, Lynda B., Ferrell, Ray E., Chinn, Elizabeth W., and Sassen, Roger, (1989) Fixed-ammonium in clays associated with crude oils, Applied Geochemistry 4 (6): 605-616.
4. Williams, Lynda B., Ferrell, Ray E., and Carpenter, Paul K. (1988) CHEMOD: an automated chemical and modal analysis technique, American Mineralogist 73: 1457-1464.
3. Williams, L.B., Zantop, H., and Reynolds, R.C. (1987) Ammonium silicates associated with sedimentary exhalative ore deposits: a geochemical exploration tool, Journal of Geochemical Exploration 27:125-141.
2. Hull, A.B. and Williams, L.B. (1985) The geochemistry of brine in rock salt under temperature gradients and gamma-radiation fields; a selective bibliography, Argonne National Laboratory, Technical Memorandum, 73 p.
1. Benton, L.B. (previous name) (1984) NH4-geochemistry near sedimentary exhalative deposits in the Selwyn Basin: a possible exploration tool, Yukon Exploration and Geology J. 1983, Jim Morin (ed.), Whitehorse, Yukon, p. 45-54.
M.L. Jackson mid career-award from the Clay Minerals Society, 2009
Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America, 2006
Elected Councilor Clay Minerals Society, 2006
John Kendall Doctoral Thesis Honorable Mention 2001
ICGS Best Dissertation, U of C 2000
International Clay Conference, Best paper, Ottawa, Ontario 1997
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society since 1980
AMAX Exploration Scholarship 1979
Thomas Logue Academic College Scholarship 1976
News editor, Clay Minerals Society newsletter in ELEMENTS, 2005-2006
Associate Editor: Clays and Clay Minerals 2008 – 2011
Associate Editor, American Mineralogist, 2013-present
American Association of Petroleum Geologists American Geophysical Union Clay Minerals Society Geochemical Society Geological Society of America, Geology and Health Division International Medical Geology Association Mineralogical Society of America
Keith David Morrison (2010-present Ph.D., Advisor) Sandra Carolina Londono-Arias (2009-present Ph.D, Advisor) Clelia Tommimabry, (2013-2014) Space Grant undergraduate research student Amanda Turner, B.S. Geology and Chemistry 2008 (Honors project advisor) Ken Voglesonger, Post-doc 2007 Tami Gerke, Post-doc, 2006 Advisory Committees: Katie Noonan, Ph.D. committee, 2012 Jorge Nunez, Ph.D. committee, 2012 Steve Guggino, Ph.D. committee, 2012 Chris Glein, Ph.D. committee, 2012 Lev Spivack-Birndorf Ph.D. committee 2012 Vicki Mills M.S. committee 2009 Mike Kraft, Ph.D. committee 2008 Joe Michalski, Ph.D. committee 2007 Brandon Canfield, Ph.D. committee, 2006
2009 -present Research Professor, School of Earth ad Space Exploration, ASU • Manager of the Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Facility at ASU (since 2007) 2003 -2009 Associate Research Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU. 1994 - 2003 Faculty Research Associate, Center for Solid State Science, ASU. 1991-1994 Faculty Research Assistant, Department of Geology, ASU. 1985 - 1991 Research Associate, Basin Research Institute, Louisiana State University. 1984 - 1985 Scientist Appointee, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL. 1983 - Field work in the Selwyn Basin,Yukon Territory, Canada. • Experience in measuring section, core logging, sampling and geochemistry of shale-hosted massive sulfide deposits. 1982 -1984 Teaching Assistant at Dartmouth College • Instructed labs in physical geology, geochemistry, economic geology and a field course in ore deposits and volcanoes in Mexico 1980 -1982 Geologist for F.M. Beck Inc., Mineral Exploration Consultant, Yarmouth, ME.