Frank A Podosek

Office contact information

Frank Podosek
Washington University

Campus Box 1169

1 Brookings Dr

Saint Louis MO 63130-4899

Ph.D., Univ. California Berkeley, 1969

Prof. Podosek is retired and living in Texas

(314) 935-5610

(314) 935-7361

Dr. Podosek is an isotope cosmo-/geochemist, whose research centers on the uses of isotopic analysis of natural materials in elucidating the character and history of our planet and our planetary system.


Brannon J. C., Cole S. C., Podosek F. A., Ragan V. M., Coveney Jr. R. M., Wallace M. W. and Bradley A. J. (1996) Th-Pb and U-Pb dating of ore-stage Calcite and Paleozoic fluid flow. Science 271, 491-493.

Podosek F. A., Nichols R. H., Brannon J. C., Meyer B. S., Ott U., Jennings C. L. and Luo N. (2000) Potassium, stardust and the last supernova. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 64, 2351-2362.

Ozima M. and Podosek F. A. (2002) Noble Gas Geochemistry (Second Edition). Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 286 pp. 

Selected Publications

This involves his group's operation of a thermal ionization mass spectrometry laboratory, with associated clean chemistry lab for sample preparation and other related facilities. The group also has experience in noble gas mass spectrometry, and collaborates extensively with other investigators involved in different forms of isotopic analysis.  

Much of this group's research involves the use of natural radionuclides and their decay products to study the chronology of both solar system formation and planetary evolution. This includes the usual approaches of isotopic geochronology, but also pursues applications such as relative but highly precise chronologies based on short-lived (now extinct) radionuclides in the early solar system and evolution of daughter isotopic composition, e.g. 87Sr/86Sr. Besides applications to early solar system studies, this includes terrestrial applications such as development of methods for dating the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits.

The other major aspect of using isotopic information is characterization of interstellar materials prior to their incorporation into the solar system, of the processing they experienced during the early solar system, and their present distribution on both planetary and microscopic scales. This includes studying possible heterogeneity in the distribution of short-lived radionuclides but also more subtle isotopic variations in elements such as Cr and K.

Beginning in 1999, Dr. Podosek has also served as the Executive Editor of the research journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.