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Suzanne Birner
Dr. Suzanne Birner
Assistant Professor of Geology and Earth Science|Chemistry
Portrait of Dr. Suzanne Birner
Office Location
Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, 421
Office Hours
  • Mon/Wed/Thur/Fri: 10:30 a.m. – noon
  • Mon/Wed/Fri: 3 – 4:00 p.m.
Class Schedules
  • GEO 386 SB (Mon/Wed/Fri: 4:00 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.)
  • GEO 386 SB (Mon/Wed/Fri: 4:00 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.)
Additional Departments
  • Sustainability and Environmental Studies

Dr. Suzanne Birner was hired in 2018 to help restart Berea’s geology program. She teaches courses in introductory geology, mineralogy, petrology, and geographic information systems. She also teaches travel courses, most recently traveling to California with students to experience the geology of California’s national parks.

Prior to starting at Berea, Dr. Birner received her PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University and a BS in Geology from the California Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the Earth’s upper mantle and the production of magma within the planet’s interior. She applies both geochemical techniques and thermodynamic modeling to understand peridotites—rare slivers of mantle rock most commonly exposed at tectonic plate boundaries.

In her free time, Dr. Birner enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and hiking with her dog.

*** If you have found an interesting rock, mineral, or fossil that you would like me to look at or identify, please email me. Please include your name and at least one photograph of the sample. Reaching out to me by email is preferable to phone calls when it comes to identifying specimens. Thank you! ***

  • Ph.D., Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, 2018
  • B.S. with Honor, Geology, California Institute of Technology, 2012
Publications & Works
    • (2021) Birner, S.K., Cottrell, E., Warren, J.M., Kelley, K.A., Davis, F.A.. “Melt Addition to Mid-Ocean Ridge Peridotites Increases Spinel Cr# with No Significant Effect on Recorded Oxygen Fugacity” Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
    • (2020) Cottrell, E., Birner, S.K., Brounce, M., Davis, F.A., Waters, L.E., and Kelley, K.A. “Oxygen Fugacity Across Tectonic Settings” AGU Monograph Series.
    • (2018) Birner, S.K., Cottrell, E., Warren, J.M., Kelley, K.A., and Davis, F.A. “Peridotites and Basalts Reveal Broad Congruence Between Two Independent Records of Mantle f O2” Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
    • (2018) Cottrell, E., Lanzirotti, A., Mysen, B., Birner, S.K., Kelley, K.A., Botcharnikov, R., Davis, F.A., and Newville, M. “A Mössbauer-Based XANES Calibration for Hydrous Basalt Glasses Reveals Radiation- Induced Oxidation of Fe” American Mineralogist.
    • (2017) Birner, S.K., Warren, J.M., Cottrell, E., Davis, F.A., Kelley, K.A., and Falloon, T.J. “Forearc Peridotites from Tonga Record Heterogeneous Oxidation of the Mantle Following Subduction Initiation.” Journal of Petrology.
    • (2017) Davis, F.A., Cottrell, E., Birner, S.K., Warren, J.M., and Lopez, O.G. “Revisiting the Electron Microprobe Method of Spinel-Olivine-Orthopyroxene Oxybarometry Applied to Spinel Peridotites.” American Mineralogist, doi:10.2138/am-2017-5823.
    • (2016) Birner, S.K., Warren, J.M., Cottrell, E., and Davis, F.A. “Hydrothermal Alteration of Seafloor Peridotites Does Not Influence Oxygen Fugacity Recorded by Spinel Oxybarometry.” Geology, doi:10.1130/G38113.1.