Gokce K. Ustunisik


Davis Scholar - Postdoctoral Fellow, Earth and Planetary Sciences

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 (212) 769-5365



  • Stony Brook University, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, 2009-2012
  • University of Cincinnati, PhD in Geology, 2005-2009
  • Ankara University, MS in Geological Engineering, 2001-2004

Professional Interests

Dr. Ustunisik is an experimental petrologist and geochemist interested in understanding the physics and chemistry of processes that relate to the origin and crustal evolution of terrestrial planets and the effect of volatiles on these processes. Her research has ranged from the large-scale investigations of compositional diversity in subduction zone volcanoes (Hasandag Volcano, Central Anatolia and Mt Jefferson, Oregon) through thermodynamic modeling and phase equilibria experiments to the study of hydrothermal alteration assemblages on Mars, to experiments on degassing in Lunar and Martian magmas for the search of wetter planetary interiors.

At the American Museum of Natural History, she is particularly interested in volatilization of Na and K in halogen-free and halogen-bearing systems during the formation of chondrules - molten rock droplets in the solar system, which eventually led to the accretion of the planets. She also designs experiments to test the prediction of equilibrium phase assemblages in dust enriched chemical systems at the temperatures where CAI-like liquids are stable constraints to see how well the experiments agree with computational codes such as VAPORS and MELTS in terms of constraining phase assemblages.


Teaching Experience


  • MAT Practicum Faculty, American Museum of Natural History,  2012-Present
  • Stony Brook University, Visiting Scientist, 2012-Present
  • Guest Lecturer in Introductory Geology, Stony Brook University, Spring 2011 and 2012
  • Guest Lecturer in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Stony Brook University, Fall 2009


  • Mineralogy - University of Cincinnati, Winter 2007-2008
  • Igneous Petrology - University of Cincinnati, Spring 2006
  • Introductory Geology - University of Cincinnati, Winter 2006, Spring 2007-2008, Fall 2007
  • Environmental Volcanology - University of Cincinnati, Spring 2006
  • Oceanography - University of Cincinnati, Fall 2006
  • Metamorphic Petrology Lab - University of Cincinnati, Fall 2005
  • Optical Mineralogy Lab - Ankara University, Spring 2002-2004
  • Modern Methods of Mineral Identification - Ankara University, Spring 2003-2004


  • Cong Pan, PhD Candidate, Stony Brook University, Spring 2012 (Training in Experimental Petrology Lab)
  • Andrew Kay, PhD Candidate, Stony Brook University, Fall 2011 (Training during Semester Research Project)

Exhibition and Outreach


  • “Degassing Pathways of Cl-, F-, H2O-, and S- Bearing Magmas Near the Lunar Surface: Implications for the Composition and Cl-Isotopic Signatures of Lunar Apatite” (In Rev., EPSL)
  • “Crystal Size Distributions (CSDs) in a Basaltic Flow at the Small Hasandag Volcano, Central Turkey: Comparison of Calculated Residence Times of Plagioclase and Clinopyroxene Crystals” (In Rev., International Journal of Earth Sciences)
  • “New Insights to the Processes Controlling Plagioclase Zoning” (In Rev., Lithos)
  • “Origin of Galena and Sphalerite Mineralization in the Koru Volcanics, Biga Peninsula, Turkey: Insights from MELTS Modeling and SUPCRT Calculations”, (accepted for publication in International Geology Review), 2012.
  • “Differential Degassing of H2O, Cl, F, and S: Potential Effects on Lunar Apatite”, American Mineralogist, V.96, 1650-1653, 2011.
  • “The Role of Fractional Crystallization, Magma Recharge, and Magma Mixing in the Differentiation of the Small Hasandag Volcano, Central Anatolia, Turkey”, Lithos, V .125, 984-993, 2011.
  •  “Some Thermal Characteristics of a Mineral Mixture of Palygorskite, Metahalloysite, Magnesite, and Dolomite”, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, V. 89-1, 169-174, 2007.
  •  “Thermal Behavior of a Mineral Mixture of Sepiolite and Dolomite”, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, V. 88-3, 813-817, 2007.


  • A New wet Moon: How Wet is Wet?, University of Wisconsin, River Falls, WI,  April 2012
  • Petrologic Explorations in Earth and Planetary Sciences, Ball State University, IN March 2010


  • Co-Convener and Co-Chair – Special Session “Mars System Science: Integrating Martian Planetary Processes from the Subsurface to the Surface” at AGU Fall Meeting 2011, San Francisco, CA (with Nekvasil, H. and Sharp T.H.)
  • Referee – Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
  • Judge in Scientific Meetings – Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Geoscience Student Award Judge, LPSC 2012
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) Judge, AGU Fall Meeting 2011


  • NAGT Teaching and Learning Workshops (Spring 2011)
  • Preparing Future Faculty Seminars, University of Cincinnati (Spring 2008)
  • Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning Workshops, University of Cincinnati (Spring 2008)