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Katherine Fornash

Katherine Fornash, portrait
Assistant Professor
Clippinger 333, Athens Campus

Recent News


Ph.D., 2016, University of Minnesota     

B.S., 2010, University of Arizona

Research Interests

  • Metamorphic Petrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geochronology
  • Convergent Margin Tectonics

My research addresses questions about geochemical and tectonic processes at convergent margins, including the timing and rates of subduction, exhumation, and associated metamorphism, the deformation and rheological behavior of the subducted oceanic crust and sediments, and the nature and effects of fluid-rock interaction. I use a wide range of methods to address these questions, including field-based studies of exhumed subduction complexes, geothermobarometry, geochronology, and other micro-analytical techniques (EMPA, EBSD, LA-ICPMS).

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 3/5120: Earth Materials and Resources
  • GEOL 3/5201: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 4/5180: Solid Earth Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/5610: Regional Field Geology

Professional Appointments

2019 – present, Assistant Professor

Selected Publications

Kang P, Whitney DL, Martin LAJ, Fornash KF (2022) Trace and Rare Earth Element Compositions of Lawsonite as a Chemical Tracer of Metamorphic Processes in Subduction Zones. Journal of Petrology, Volume 63, Issue 8, egac065.

Newville C, Whitney DL, Kang P, Raia NH, Fornash KF (2021) How the Earth Recycles. Frontiers for Young Minds 9: 599596.

Kang P, Fornash KF, Whitney DL (2020) Controls on development of different mineral assemblages in gabbro and basalt during subduction metamorphism. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 175: 113.

Whitney DL, Fornash KF, Kang P, Ghent ED, Martin LAJ, Okay A, Vitale Brovarone A (2020) Lawsonite composition and zoning as tracers of subduction processes: a global review. Lithos 370 – 371: 105636.

Fornash KF, Whitney DL (2020) Lawsonite-rich layers as records of fluid and element mobility in subducted crust. Chemical Geology 533: 119356.

Fornash KF, Whitney DL, Seaton NCA (2019) Lawsonite composition and zoning as an archive of metamorphic processes in subduction zones. Geosphere 15: 24 – 46.

Fornash KF, Cosca MA, Whitney DL (2016) Tracking the timing of subduction and exhumation using 40Ar/39Ar phengite ages in blueschist and eclogite facies rocks (Sivrihisar, Turkey). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 171:67. doi:10.1007/s00410-016-1268-2.

Whitney DL, Teyssier C, Seaton NCA, Fornash KF (2014) Petrofabrics of high-pressure rocks exhumed at the slab-mantle interface from the ‘point of no return’ in an oceanic subduction zone (Sivrihisar, Turkey). Tectonics 33: 2315 – 2341.

Leckey EH, Smith DM, Nufio CR, Fornash KF (2014) Oak-insect herbivore interactions along a temperature and precipitation gradient. Acta Oecologica 61: 1 – 8.

Martin LAJ, Hermann J, Gauthiez-Putallaz L, Whitney DL, Vitale-Brovarone A, Fornash KF, Evans NJ (2014) Lawsonite geochemistry and stability- Implication for trace element and water cycles in subduction zones. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 32: 455 – 478.

Fornash KF, Patchett PJ, Gehrels GE, Spencer JE (2013) Evolution of granitoids in the Catalina metamorphic core complex, southeastern Arizona: U-Pb, Nd, and Hf isotopic constraints. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 165: 1295-1310.


American Geophysical Union

European Geosciences Union

Geochemical Society

Geological Society of America

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences