Jade Star Lackey

Professor of Geology; Chair of Geology
  • Expertise


    Jade Star Lackey is an igneous and metamorphic petrologist and expert on stable isotope geochemistry. His research incorporates a breadth of petrographic and geochemical (mostly stable and radiogenic isotopes) tools to examine single crystal zoning for chemical and temporal records of evolving chemistry in magmas (plutonic and volcanic) and hydrothermal systems. These studies feed a broader research agenda of evaluating the balance of crust and mantle melts contributing to the formation of continental crust in batholiths like the Sierra Nevada (California). These same studies consider the budget of volatiles like CO2 in continental batholith hydrothermal systems, too, because they inform our understanding of natural global climate change in periods like the Mesozoic.

    His external research grants from the National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Research Corporation, American Chemical Society and Keck Geology Consortium supported student researchers on numerous active research projects nearby in the Sierra Nevada and California, and internationally, in Canada, Sweden and Australia.

    Lackey was a principal investigator (PI) of the effort that led to the founding of the Oxtoby Isotope Laboratory at in 2017, in which students and faculty have undertaken an impressive breadth of studies. Lackey also directs the Pomona College x-ray fluorescence laboratory. These labs have hosted visitors from over a dozenscolleges and universities in Southern California and elsewhere.

    He teaches courses in introductory geology (Geohazards), mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and geochemistry.

    Research Interests

    • Deciphering the magma system evolution in convergent margin batholiths
    • Monitoring fluid fluxes from such batholiths by isotopic studies of marble roof pendants
    • Applying oxygen isotope analysis of garnet and zircon to parse apart contamination events in peraluminous magmas
    • Resolving terrane cooling histories by oxygen isotope analysis of titanite
    • Evaluating trace element mobility, including Rare Earth Elements, in natural coal fire deposits.

    Areas of Expertise


    • Mineralogy
    • Zircon
    • Garnet
    • Rare Earth Element Minerals
    • Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks
    • Stable Isotope Geochemistry
    • Fluid Flow
    • Sierra Nevada Range
    • California National Park Geology
    • Natural Coal Fires; X-Ray Fluorescence
  • Work


    Ryan-Davis, J., Lackey, J.S., Gevedon, M., Barnes, J. D., Lee, C-T. A., Kitajima, K., Valley, J.W., 2019, Andradite skarn garnet records of exceptionally low δ18O values within an Early Cretaceous hydrothermal system, Sierra Nevada, CA: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 174: pp. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-019-1602-6

    Ramos, E.J., Hesse, M.A., Barnes, J.D., Jordan, J.S., Lackey, J.S., 2018, Re-evaluating fluid sources during skarn formation: an assessment of the Empire Mountain skarn, Sierra Nevada, USA: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 19, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC007611

    Gevedon, M., Seman, S., Barnes, J.D., Lackey, J.S., Stockli, D.F., 2018, Unraveling histories of hydrothermal systems via U–Pb laser ablation dating of skarn garnet: Earth and Planetary Science Letters v. 498, pp. 237–246.

    Bindeman I.N., Zakharov D.O., Palandri J., Greber N.D., Retallack, G.J., Hofmann A., Dauphas N., Lackey J.S., Bekker A., 2018, Rapid emergence of subaerial landmasses and onset of a modern hydrologic cycle 2.5 billion years ago: Nature v. 557, pp. 545–548.

    Cao, W., Lee, C-T, A. Lackey, J.S., 2017, Episodic nature of continental arc activity since 750 Ma: a global compilation: Earth and Planetary Science Lettersv. 461, p. 85–95.

    Murphy, B.S., Gaines, R.R., Lackey, J.S., 2016, Co-evolution of volcanic and lacustrine systems in Pleistocene Long Valley Caldera, California, U.S.A., Journal of Sedimentary Researchv. 86, p. 1129–1146.

    Lee, C.T.A., and Lackey, J.S.,2015, Global continental arc flare-ups and their relation to long-term greenhouse conditions: Elements v. 11, n. 2, 125–130.

    Lackey, J.S., Sendek, C.L., and Eisenberg, J.L., 2014, Day 2: The Fine Gold Intrusive Suite—Records of the nascent Cretaceous arc, in Memeti, V., Paterson, S.R., and Putirka, K.D., eds., Formation of the Sierra Nevada Batholith: Magmatic and Tectonic Processes and Their Tempos: Geological Society of America Field Guide 34, p. 17–32.

    Klemetti, E.W., Starnes, J.S., Lackey, J.S., 2014, Magmatic lulls in the Sierra Nevada captured in zircon from rhyolite of the Mineral King pendant, California: Geosphere v. 10, n. 1, p. 66–79.

    Peck, W.H., Selleck, B.W., Wong, M.S., Chiarenzelli, J.R., Harpp, K.S., Hollocher, K., Lackey, J.S.,Catalano, J., Regan, S.P., Stocker, A., and, Orogenic to post-orogenic (1.2–1.15 Ga) magmatism in the Adirondack lowlands and Frontenac Terrane, Grenville Province: Geosphere v. 9, p. 1637–1663.

    Holland, J., Smith, D., Surpless, B., Loewy, S.L., and Lackey, J.S., Intrusive History and Petrogenesis of the Ash Mountain Complex, Sierra Nevada, California (USA): Geosphere, v. 9, p. 691–717.

    Lee, C.-T.A., Shen, B., Slotnick, B.S., Liao, K., Dickens, G.R., Yokoyama, Y., Lenardic, A., Dasgupta, R., Jellinek, M., Lackey, J.S., Schneider, T., and Tice, M.M., 2013, Continent-island arc fluctuations, growth of crustal carbonates, and long-term climate change: Geosphere, v. 9, p. 21-36.

    D’Errico, M.E.*, Lackey, J.S., Surpless, B.E., Loewy, S.L., Wooden, J.L., Barnes, J.D., Strickland, A., and Valley, J.W., 2012, A detailed record of shallow hydrothermal fluid flow in the Sierra Nevada magmatic arc from low-δ18O skarn garnets: Geology, [Free Download] v. 40, n. 8, p. 763–766.

    Lackey, J.S., Cecil, M.R., Windham, C.J.*(PO’11), Frazer, R.E.*(PO’09), Bindeman, I.N., Gehrels, G.E., 2012, The Fine Gold Intrusive Suite: The roles of basement terranes and magma source development in the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith: Geosphere, v. 8, p. 292–313.

    Lackey, J.S., Romero, G.A.*(PO’12), Bouvier, A.S., and Valley, J.W., 2012, Dynamic Growth of Garnet in Granitic Magmas: Geology,[Free Download] v. 40, n. 2, p. 171–174.

    Lackey, J.S., Erdmann, S., Hark, J.S.*, Nowak, R.N.*, Murray, K.E.*, Clarke, D.B., and Valley, J.W., 2011, Tracing garnet origins in granitoids by oxygen isotope analysis: Examples from the South Mountain Batholith, Nova Scotia: The Canadian Mineralogist, v. 49, p. 417-439.

    Lackey, J.S., Valley, J.W., Chen, J.H., Stockli, D., 2008, Dynamic magma systems, crustal recycling, and alteration in the central Sierra Nevada batholith: the oxygen isotope record: Journal of Petrology, v. 49, p. 1397–1426.

    Fu, B., Page, F.Z., Cavosie, A.J., Clechenko, C.C., Fournelle, J.F., Kita, N.T., Lackey, J.S., Wilde, S.A., Valley, J.W., 2008, Ti-in-zircon thermometry: applications and limitations: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 156, 197–215.

    Lackey, J.S., Valley, J.W., and Hinke, H.J.*, 2006, Deciphering the source and contamination history of peraluminous magmas using δ18O of accessory minerals: examples from garnet-bearing plutons of the Sierra Nevada batholith: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 151, p. 20–44.

    Valley, J.W., Lackey, J.S., Cavosie, A.J., Clechenko, C., Spicuzza, M.J., Basei, M.A.S., Bindeman, I.N., Ferreira, V.P., Sial, A.N., King, E.M., Peck, W.H., Sinha, A.K., Wei, C.S., 2005, 4.4 billion years of crustal maturation from oxygen isotope ratios of zircon, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 150, p. 561–580.

    Lackey, J.S., Valley, J.W., and Saleeby, J.B., 2005, Evidence from zircon for high-δ18O contamination of magmas in the deep Sierra Nevada batholith, California: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 235, p. 315–330.

    Lackey, J.S., and Valley, J.W., 2004, Complex Patterns of Fluid Flow during Wollastonite Formation in Calcareous Sandstones at Laurel Mountain, Mt. Morrison Pendant, California: GSA Bulletin, v. 116, p. 76–93.

    * Student Author

  • Education


    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Master of Science
    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Bachelor of Arts
    Middlebury College

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Geohazards
    • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (w/ Lab)
    • Introduction to Geochemistry
    • Mineralogy (w/Lab)
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, science division, $922,816 for “GBMF5417: Equipment to Establish an Isotope Instrument Laboratory For The Claremont Colleges,” Principal Investigator with co-principal Investigators Dean of the College Bob Gaines and Professor Marc Los Huertos, 2016-18.

    National Science Foundation, $87,145 grant for a project entitled: "Deciphering Sierran Magma Sources and Modes of Diversification Using Trace Element, O, and Hf Isotopic Analyses of Zircon," Principal Investigator in collaboration with Jonathan Miller at San Jose State University, 2010-2014

    National Science Foundation, $200,000, grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE–0942447) entitled "XRF as a Tool for Curricular Enhancement in Earth Systems and Environmental Chemistry” Principal Investigator with Bob Gaines (Geology) and Charles Taylor (Chemistry). 2009-2012

    American Chemical Society—Petroleum Research Fund, $50,000, entitled “PRF# 50152-UNI8: Sandstone Silicification in a Caldera Lake: Implications for Cementation at High Geothermal Gradients” Principal Investigator, 2009-12

    Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement (Cottrell Grant), $100,000, entitled “An Integrated Study Of The Enzymology, Microbiology And Geology Of Sulfur-Based Respiration: From Molecular Mechanisms To The Bio And Geosphere” Co-PI with E.J. Crane and M. Sazinsky (Pomona Biology and Chemistry), 2012-14