NSF-style CV

✦ Field camp in the Slave Craton, NWT Canada, Aug 2016. (photo: Steve Shirey)

Biographical Sketch – Steven B. Shirey, PhD

Dr. Steven Shirey is a senior staff scientist of the Carnegie Institution for Science where he is a member of the four-person Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group of the Earth and Planets Laboratory. Independently and with his mentoring of PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Shirey researches geological processes pertaining to the igneous evolution of the solid Earth. The formation of diamonds has been an area of interest and research for Dr. Shirey for nearly two decades. He is noted for the study of mineral inclusions in diamonds which has been applied to global scale questions such as the age of diamond-forming events, the creation of the continents, the onset of plate tectonics, and the recycling of surface materials into the deeper parts of the mantle. Dr. Shirey is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the Mineralogical Society of America where he served as its president. In addition to his work on lithospheric and superdeep diamonds, he has published widely on topics as diverse as arc volcanism, Archean crustal evolution, continental volcanism, meteorites and impacts, mantle heterogeneity, and isotope geochemistry method development. As of 2020, his publications had earned a Google Scholar H-index of 63 with 14,454 citations.

Professional Preparation

Dartmouth College - BA (1972) Geology

University of Massachusetts - MS (1975) Geology

SUNY Stony Brook - PhD (1984) Geochemistry

Carnegie Institution for Science - Fellow (1985) Isotope Geology


Staff Member - Carnegie Institution for Science (1985 - present)

Adjunct Professor - University Maryland (1992 - 2014)

Postdoctoral Fellow - Carnegie Institution for Science (1984 - 1985)

Research Assistant - SUNY Stony Brook (1981 - 1984)

Teaching Assistant - SUNY Stony Brook (1979 - 1980)

Research Staff Geologist - Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (1977 - 1979)

Research Mineralogist - Mt. Sinai Hospital Environmental Sciences Lab (1975 - 1976)

Economic Geologist - Skyline Labs, and Noranda US (summers; 1970 - 1974)

Example Publications (Five related to current research)

Smith, E. M., Shirey, S. B., Richardson S. H., Nestola, F., Bullock, E. S., Wang, J., & Wang, W. (2018). Blue boron-bearing diamonds from Earth’s lower mantle. Nature, 560, 84–87.

Smith, E. M., Shirey, S. B., Nestola, F., Bullock, E. S., Wang, J., Richardson S. H., and Wang, W. (2016). Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle. Science 354, 1403–1405.

Smit, K. V., Shirey, S. B., and Wang, W. (2016). Type Ib diamond formation and preservation in the West African lithospheric mantle: Re–Os age constraints from sulphide inclusions in Zimmi diamonds. Precambrian Research 286, 152–166.

Jackson, M. G. and Shirey, S. B. (2011). Re–Os isotope systematics in Samoan shield lavas and the use of Os-isotopes in olivine phenocrysts to determine primary magmatic compositions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 312, 91–101.

Warren, J. M. and Shirey, S. B. (2012). Lead and osmium isotopic constraints on the oceanic mantle from single abyssal peridotite sulfides. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 359–360, 279–293.

Pearson, D.G., Shirey, S.B., Harris, J.W., and Carlson, R.W. (1998). Sulphide inclusions in diamonds from the Koffiefontein kimberlite, S Africa; constraints on diamond ages and mantle Re-Os systematics: Earth and Planetary Science Letters 160, 311-326.

Example Publications (Five other publications)

Shirey, S.B., Cartigny P., Frost D.J., Keshav S., Nestola F., Nimis P., Pearson D.G., Sobolev N.V., and Walter M.J. (2013). Diamonds and the Geology of Mantle Carbon. in Hazen R.M., Jones A.P., and Baross J.A. eds, Carbon in Earth, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 75, 355-421.

Shirey, S.B. and Richardson, S.H. (2011). Start of the Wilson Cycle at 3 Ga Shown by Diamonds from Subcontinental Mantle. Science 333, 434-436.

Richardson, S.H. and Shirey, S.B. (2008). Continental mantle signature of Bushveld magmas and coeval diamonds: Nature 453, 910-913.

Shirey, S.B., Kamber, B.S., Whitehouse, M.J., Mueller, P.A., and Basu, A.R. (2008). A review of the isotopic and trace element evidence for mantle and crustal processes in the Hadean and Archean: Implications for the onset of plate tectonic subduction, in Condie, K., and Pease, V., eds., When Did Plate Tectonics Begin on Earth?, Boulder, CO, Geological Society of America Special Paper 440, 1-29.

Shirey, S.B., Harris, J.W., Richardson, S.H., Fouch, M.J., James, D.E., Cartigny, P., Deines, P., and Viljoen, F. (2002). Diamond genesis, seismic structure, and evolution of the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton: Science 297,1683-1686.

Synergistic activities (5 examples):

Geochemical Society Joint Publications Committee 2016-2017; Chair 2018 - present

Mineralogical Society of America, Vice President 2014; President 2015

Co-organizer, 2nd and 4th International Diamond School, Bressanone Italy 2015, 2018

Smithsonian Summer Earth Academy for Teachers (SSEAT), 2009-2018

NSF EAR Review Panels, Continental Dynamics, 1997-2003; Pet/Geochem, 2012-2014

Downloadable PDF of NSF-style Bio-sketch (pop-out in upper right corner)