Nicole Ferrie


Nicole Ferrie is a Ph.D. student interested in utilizing geochemical behavior to research seismologic processes and paleoclimate reconstruction. Her research focuses on using boron adsorption and isotopic fractionation (1) as a fluid tracer in shallow subduction complexes and (2) as a proxy for paleoatmospheric CO2 reconstruction in paleosols.

Nicole performs experimental work on both subducted rock from the Nankai Trough and modern soils alongside X-ray diffraction and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis for integration into geochemical and geomechanical models. She is aiming to build widely applicable models to simulate boron geochemical behavior in shallow subduction zones and paleosols over a range of naturally occurring pHs and temperatures. These models seek to (1) quantify the evolution of fluid release during sediment alteration in subduction zones, improving our understanding of fluid’s role in earthquake generation; (2) increase the accuracy of regional atmospheric CO2 reconstruction using paleosols and (3) reduce the need for experimental boron sorption data on aluminosilicate minerals in future research.

Previously, Nicole graduated from the University of Washington with a double major in atmospheric sciences and Earth and space sciences (honors degree), where she studied metamorphic petrology with Dr. Cailey Condit. For her honor’s thesis, Nicole researched the progressive alteration of rocks through fluid-rock modification and deformation from a paleo subduction interface in the Central Alps. This work aimed to quantify the role of the brittle to ductile transition region in earthquake generation. At UW, Nicole served as an atmospheric consultant at Nanohmics assisting in building a suborbital low-SWaP optical sensor and imaging spectropolarimeter to measure atmospheric aerosol absorption and scattering for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.