John Olesik

Senior Research Scientist
Adjunct Faculty
John Olesik and his group, the Trace Element Research Laboratory (TERL), are focused on: (1) enhancing accuracy, precision and detection limits provided by plasma-based instruments for elemental analysis, (2) investigating the fundamental chemistry and physics to convert samples to atoms and ions and (3) applying plasma spectrometry for elemental chemical analysis of biogeochemical, geological, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental samples. The TERL has four Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Optical Emission Spectrometers, an ICP Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, an ICP-MS with a collision/reaction cell and a high resolution ICP-Sector Field MS. Recent collaborative projects include Laser Ablation-ICP-MS measurement of otoliths to identify fish migration patterns in Lake Erie and element ratios in corals as proxies for temperature and river flow into oceans. The group was the first to build and use Capillary Electrophoresis-ICP-MS for elemental speciation. John serves on the Editorial Boards of Spectrochimica Acta Part B and Spectroscopy and is a Regional Associate Editor of the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry. He was the Society of Applied Spectroscopy Lester Strock Award 2001 and the spectrochemical Analysis Award from the American Chemical Society in 2009.
Areas of Expertise
  • Analytical Geochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin 1982

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