Nicole Fernandez

Assistant Professor
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


Nicole Fernandez holds a BA in Earth Sciences from Boston University and a PhD in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Recipient of the Provost’s Faculty Postdoctoral Fellowship, she is currently pursuing research in France as a visiting scientist at the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux, ENSEGID. Fernandez will officially join Cornell’s Earth and Atmospheric Sciences as an Assistant Professor starting January 2022.

Research Interests

Fernandez is a low temperature geochemist. Her research combines experimental and numerical modeling methods to constrain global water and elemental cycles, their relative feedback and responses to unprecedented land use changes and a rapidly changing global climate. A primary focus in Fernandez’s work is the study of fluid-rock interactions at near-surface conditions and how they manifest across various spatiotemporal scales from the mineral-water interface to regional scale river basins. Fernandez relies upon a variety of geochemical tools including stable isotope and trace element environmental tracers to fully characterize the diversity of biogeochemical and hydrologic processes that shape the dynamic landscapes and ecosystems characterizing Earth’s surface.

Selected Publications

  • Fernandez N.M., Perez-Fodich A.L., Derry L.A., and Druhan J.L. (2021) A first look at Ge/Si partitioning during amorphous silica precipitation: Implications for Ge/Si as a tracer of fluid-silicate interactions, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 297, 158 – 178.
  • Fernandez N.M., Zhang X., and Druhan J.L. (2019) Silicon isotope re-equilibration during amorphous silica precipitation and implications for isotopic signatures in geochemical proxies, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 262, 104 – 127.


  • BA (Earth Science), Boston University, 2015
  • PhD (Geology), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2020