Geosciences at Virginia Tech

Faculty and Instructors

Esteban Gazel
Assistant Professor of Geology

5041 Derring Hall
+1.540.231.2296 (Phone)
+1.540.231.3386 (FAX)

Mailing Address:
4044 Derring Hall (0420)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ph.D., 2009, Rutgers University
B.S., 2005, University of Costa Rica


Professional Experience

2011-Present, Assistant Professor of Geology, Geosciences, Virginia Tech
2011-Present, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
2009-2011, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University


2009-2011, Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth, Environmental, and Ocean Sciences Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.
2009-2010, Costa Rican National Science Award “Clodomiro Picado”. This is the most important scientific honor given annually by the government of Costa Rica to the most outstanding scientific research.
2008-2009, Bevier Fellowship for excellence in graduate research, Rutgers University.
2007-2008, University Excellence Fellowship, Rutgers University.
2007-2008, Graduate School Research Award in Sciences, Rutgers University.
2005, Highest honors by the Central American School of Geology, University of Costa Rica.


I study processes in the interior of Planet Earth that produce magmas, volcanoes and contribute to the evolution of our planet. My research interests involve mantle melting processes and the origin of igneous rocks. I study the development and evolution of different geochemical reservoirs of Planet Earth, the deep geochemical cycles (from ocean crust production and subduction to the deep recycling) and mantle lithologies/sources. My goal is to contribute to the understanding of how Planet Earth works internally and how this affects the surface. My approach to study these processes is from a petrological and geochemical perspective.


Geology is the passion of my life and this passion is reflected to my students in the classroom, lab and the field. This is a crucial time for geosciences! Population growth forces human development into areas at risk of natural hazards and energy and other natural resources are getting depleted. All of these challenges are increasing the need of properly trained geoscientists. My mission is to contribute to the education of the next generation of geoscientists so that they can bring solutions to these challenges.

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