2015: Ph.D. Stanford University, Environmental Earth System Science

Advisor: Dr. C. Page Chamberlain

Dissertation Title: “Quantifying Paleoclimate Dynamics Using Isotopes in Precipitation”

2009: B.A. Vassar College Earth Science with Honors, Physics

Advisor: Dr. David P. Gillikin


September, 2018 – present: Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Geosciences

September, 2015 – May, 2018: Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University, Department of Geological Sciences. Advisor: Kate Maher

September, 2009 – August, 2015: Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Environmental Earth System Science. Advisor: C. Page Chamberlain


2021: UMass Faculty ADVANCE Fellow

2014: Stanford McGee Graduate Research Grant

2010: The William K. Whiteford Fellowship Fund

2010: National Science Foundation USSP Scholarship to attend Urbino Summer School of Paleoclimatology

2009: Sigma Xi Honorary Student Member

2009: Vassar College Honors Thesis, Earth Science

2008: National Science Foundation Physics REU at San Jose State University


My research focuses broadly on understanding the connections between hydrology and geochemical cycles, and how these connections influence global climate, both in the modern and throughout Earth history. I specialize in the development and application of reactive transport models, which simultaneously represent fluid flow and complex chemical reactions, to characterize controls on the stable isotope and elemental compositions of waters, soils, rocks, and plants. I use these tools to address a broad range of topics across hydrology, critical zone biogeochemistry, and paleoclimatology:

  • Water Isotope Systematics: Characterizing the ways in which atmospheric vapor transport and biosphere-atmosphere interactions influence water isotope gradients over continents, with applications to modern hydrology and paleo-reconstructions of terrestrial climates
  • Carbon Cycling in the Critical Zone: Understanding the connections between soil respiration processes and chemical weathering via the regulation of CO2 and O2 in the subsurface, and how these connections impact modern solute fluxes and the silicate weathering negative feedback system
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Streams: Characterizing the connections between stream corridor hydrology and biogeochemistry as they influence stream emissions of CO2 and N2O, and developing reactive transport models to provide improved flux estimates

EXTERNAL FUNDING (> $1.1M to UMass Amherst)

7/1/21 – 6/30/24: NSF Hydrological Sciences (Award #2103520): Stream Corridor Hydrologic Controls on Carbon Dioxide Fluxes ($368,508). PI: Matthew Winnick; co-PI: David Boutt.

6/1/21 – 5/31/24: NSF P2C2 (Award #2102983): A Speleothem and Cave Monitoring Research Program to Reconstruct the Paleoclimatology of the Yucatan Peninsula–Testing Modes and Causes of Variability in the North American ($496,081). PI: Martin Medina-Elizalde; co-PI: Matthew Winnick.

7/1/2019 – 6/30/2021. NSF EAR-IF (Award #1906079): Acquisition of an isotope-ratio-monitoring mass spectrometer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst ($312,110). Isla S. Castañeda (P.I.), Stephen Burns and Matthew Winnick, co-PIs.

PUBLICATIONS (h-index=15, Google Scholar 3/21/23)

* – Denotes Graduate or Postdoctoral Student Directly Supervised

In Review:

[32] Xia, Z.*, Winnick, M.J., Welker, J. (in review) On the seasonality of deuterium excess in non-polar precipitation. Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

[31] Kukla, T., Rugenstein, J.C., Ibarra, D.E., Winnick, M.J., Strömberg, C.A.E., Chamberlain, C.P. (in revision) Drier winters drove Cenozoic open habitat expansion in North America. AGU Advances.

[30] Saccardi, B.*, Winnick, M.J. (in review) Improving predictions of stream CO2 concentrations and fluxes using a stream network model: A case study in the East River watershed, CO, USA. Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

[29] Winnick, M.J., Druhan, J., Maher, K. (in revision) Weathering intensity and lithium isotopes: A reactive transport perspective. American Journal of Science.

Peer Reviewed:

[28] Winnick, M.J. (2021) Stream transport and substrate controls on nitrous oxide yields from hyporheic zone denitrification. AGU Advances 2(4), e2021AV000517.

[27] Hilton, R., Turowski, J., Winnick, M.J., Dellinger, M., Schleppi, P., Williams, K., Lawrence, C., Maher, K., West, M., Hayton, A. (2021) Concentration-discharge relationships of dissolved rhenium in Alpine catchments reveal its use as a tracer of oxidative weathering. Water Resources Research e2021WR029844.

[26] Xia, Z.*, Winnick, M.J. (2021) The competing effects of terrestrial evapotranspiration and raindrop re-evaporation on the deuterium excess of continental precipitation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 572, 117120.

[25] Kukla, T., Ahlstrom, A., Maezumi, S.Y., Chevalier, Z., Lu, Z., Winnick, M.J., Chamberlain, C.P. (2021) The resilience of Amazon tree cover to past and present drying. Global and Planetary Change 202, 103520.

[24] Li, H., Bolscher, T., Winnick, M.J., Tfaily, M.M., Cardon, Z.G., Keiluweit, M. (2021) Simple plant and microbial exudates destabilize mineral-associated organic matter via multiple pathways. Environmental Science & Technology 55(5), 3389-3398.

[23] Winnick, M.J., Lawrence, C.R., McCormick, M., Druhan, J.L, Maher, M. (2020) Soil respiration response to rainfall modulated by plant phenology in a montane meadow, East River, CO, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 25, e2020JG005924.

[22] Penman, D.E., Rugenstein, J.K.C., Ibarra, D.E., Winnick, M.J. (2020) Silicate weathering as feedback and forcing in Earth’s climate and carbon cycle. Earth-Science Reviews, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103298.

[21] Berkelhammer, M., Still, C., Ritter, F., Winnick, M.J., Anderson, L., Carroll, R., Carbone, M., Williams, K. (2020) Persistence and plasticity in conifer water-use strategies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 125, e2018JG004845.

[20] Druhan, J.L., Winnick, M.J., Thullner, M. (2019) Stable isotope fractionation by transport and transformation. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 85(1), 239-264.

[19] Liu, Y., Lawrence, C.R., Winnick, M.J., Hsu, H.-T., Maher, K., Druhan, J.L. (2019) Modeling transient soil moisture limitations on microbial carbon respiration. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 124(7), 2222-2247.

[18] Mix, H.T., Caves-Rugenstein, J.K., Reilly, S.P., Ritch, A.J., Winnick, M.J., Kukla, T., Chamberlain, C.P. (2019) Atmospheric flow deflection in the late Cenozoic Sierra Nevada. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 518, 76-85. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.04.050

[17] Druhan, J.L., Winnick, M.J. (2019) Reactive transport of stable isotopes. Elements 15, 107-110. doi: 10.2138/gselements.15.2.107

[16] Kukla, T., Winnick, M.J., Ibarra, D.E., Maher, K., Chamberlain, C.P. (2019) The sensitivity of terrestrial δ18O gradients to hydroclimate evolution. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmosphere, 124, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JD029571

[15] Hsu, H.-T., Lawrence, C.R., Winnick, M.J., Barger, J., Maher, K. (2018) A molecular investigation of soil organic carbon composition across a subalpine catchment. Soil Systems 2, doi:10.3390/soils2010006.

[14] Ibarra, D.E., Oster, J.L., Winnick, M.J., Caves, J.K., Chamberlain, C.P. (2018) Warm and cold wet states in the western United States during the Pliocene-Pleistocene. Geology 46, 355-358, doi:10.1130/G39962.1.

[13] Winnick, M.J., Maher K. (2018) Relationships between CO2, thermodynamic limits on silicate weathering, and the strength of the silicate weathering feedback. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 485, 111-120, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.01.005.

[12] Winnick, M.J., Carroll, R., Williams, K., Maxwell, R., Dong, W., Maher, K. (2017) Snowmelt controls on concentration-discharge relationships and the balance of oxidative and acid-base weathering fluxes in an alpine catchment, East River, Colorado, USA. Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2016WR019724.

[11] Caves, J.K., Bayshashov, B.U., Zhamangara, A., Ritch, A.J., Ibarra, D.E., Sjostrom, D.J., Mix, H.T., Winnick, M.J., Chamberlain, C.P. (2017) Late Miocene uplift of the Tian Shan and Altai and reorganization of Central Asia climate. GSA Today.

[10] Winnick, M.J., Caves, J.K., Chamberlain, C.P. (2015) A mechanistic analysis of Early Eocene latitudinal gradients of isotopes in precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064829.

[9] Winnick, M.J., Caves, J.K. (2015) Oxygen isotope mass-balance constraints on Pliocene sea level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet stability. Geology 43, 879-882, doi:10.1130/G36999.1.

[8] Caves J.K., Winnick M.J., Graham S., Sjostrom D., Mulch A., Chamberlain, C.P. (2015) Role of the westerlies in Central Asia climate over the Cenozoic. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 428, 33-43.

[7] Oster J., Ibarra D., Winnick M.J., Maher K. (2015) Steering of the westerly storm track over western North America at the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Geoscience 8, 201-205.

[6] Winnick M.J., Chamberlain C.P., Caves J.K., Welker J. (2014) Quantifying the isotopic ‘continental effect’. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 406, 123-133.

[5] Chamberlain C.P., Winnick M.J., Mix H., Chamberlain S., Maher K. (2014) The impact of Neogene grassland expansion and aridification on the isotopic composition of continental precipitation. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 28, 992-1004.

[4] Caves J., Sjostrom D., Mix H., Winnick M.J., Chamberlain C.P. (2014) Aridification of Central Asia and uplift of the Atlai and Hangay Mountains, Mongolia: stable isotope evidence. American Journal of Science 314, 1171-1201.

[3] Mix H., Winnick M.J., Mulch A., Chamberlain C.P. (2013) Grassland expansion as an instrument of hydrologic change in Neogene western North America. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 377-378, 73-83.

[2] Winnick M.J., Welker J., Chamberlain C.P. (2013) Stable isotopic evidence of El Niño-like atmospheric circulation in the Pliocene western United States. Climate of the Past 9, 903-912.

[1] Freund F., Kulahci I., Cyr G., Ling J., Winnick M.J., Tregloan-Reed J., Freund M. (2009) Air ionization at rock surfaces and pre-earthquake signals. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1824-1834.




UMass Amherst

GEOSCI 519 – Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry course (4 Credits). Graduate and upper-level undergraduate class exploring the processes that control the chemistry of surface-, soil-, and ground-waters. Lecture and Lab. Offered Every Fall, Taught 2018-present.

GEOG 110 – Global Environmental Change course (4 Credits). Undergraduate level, 180 students, fulfills University Science General Education requirement. Taught Fall, 2019.

GEOSCI 690R – Reactive Transport in the Geosciences (3 Credits). Graduate level course focused on reactive transport methods applied to common geoscience research. Taught Spring, 2021.

GEOSCI 587 – Hydrogeology Seminar (1 Credit). Graduate and upper-level undergraduate reading seminar focused on hydrologic and geochemical processes. Co-taught, offered every semester, Fall 2018-present.

Lab Group Members

Brian Saccardi, PhD Candidate (2019-present)

Zhengyu Xia, Postdoctoral Researcher (2020-2021)

Jordan Allen, MS/PhD Student (2020-present)

Graduate Committees

Marsha Allen, PhD Student, UMass

Brendan Moran, PhD Student, UMass

Corey Palmer, MS Student, UMass

Carolyn Anderson, PhD Student, UMass

Monica Weisenbach, MS Student, UMass

Sarah McKnight, PhD Student, UMass

Lara Munro, MS Student, UMass

LeAnn Zuniga, MS Student, UMass

Caroline Lauth, MS Student, UMass

Aeon Russo, MS Student, UMass

Dan Corkran, MS Student, UMass

Isobel Arthen, MS Student, UMass

Connor Meoli, MS Student, UMass

Matthew Hemler, MS Student, UMass

Wenxiu Teng, PhD Student, UMass

Alexandra Rice, PhD Student, UMass

Jack Dole, MS Student, UMass

Undergraduate Student Researchers/Projects Led

Julia Cafiero, UMass 2021 – Stream carbon dioxide fluxes from Rock Creek in the East River Watershed, Gothin, CO.

Emma Cady, UMass 2021 – Land-use controls on stream geochemistry in Western MA.

Sophia LaRoche, UMass 2020 – Spatial Patterns of Groundwater Geochemistry, Amherst, MA

Kimberly Bohan, UMass 2019, Temporal Dynamics in Stream Geochemistry, Jimmy Nolan Brook, Deerfied, MA

Timothy Milliken, UMass 2019, Stream CO2 Fluxes from Jimmy Nolan Brook, Deerfield, MA

Britnay Beaudry, UMass 2019, Laboratory Assistant

Maeve McCormick, Stanford University 2016, Spatial Patterns of Soil CO2 Fluxes, East River, CO

Grace Rainaldi, Stanford University 2016, Controls on Stream DOC Fluxes from Nested Watersheds in the East River, CO


Science Review Committee – Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (2021-present)

Associate Editor – American Journal of Science (2018-present)

Reviewer – Science, Nature Geoscience, PNAS, Science Advances, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Geophysical Research Letters, Scientific Reports, Journal of Hydrology, Climate Dynamics, Geology, Chemical Geology, Water Resources Research, ETH Zurich Research Commission, NSF P2C2, NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF Hydrological Sciences, ACS Petroleum Research Fund, HESS, Hydrologic Processes, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Member – American Geophysical Union (2008-present), Geological Society of America (2008-present, American Chemical Society (2017-present)

Session Convener, Goldschmidt Barcelona 2019 Session 9h, Geobiological Controls on Critical Zone Evolution and Weathering, Past, Present and Future

Panel Reviewer – Department of Energy, Biological and Environmental Science, Subsurface Biogeochemical Reactions FOA, Spring 2020


2021-present: UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

2021-present: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Hiring Committee

2021-present: Chair of Department Committee for Diversity Equity and Inclusion

2020-2021: Geosciences Curriculum Committee

2019-2020: Geosciences Department Personnel Committee

2019-present: Undergraduate Major Advisor: Environmental Sciences B.S.

2018-2019: Geosciences AQAD Graduate Student and Postdocs Committee


CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS (First and Student Author Only, does not include co-authored conference presentations), DATASETS, WHITE PAPERS (* – denotes graduate or postdoc author directly supervised)

Winnick, M.J. (Talk) Stream transport and substrate controls on nitrous oxide yields from hyporheic zone denitrification. AGU Fall Meeting, 2021.

Saccardi, B.*, Winnick, M.J. (Poster) A process based stream network model for predicting CO2 concentrations and fluxes at high resolution. AGU Fall Meeting, 2021.

Xia, Z.*, Winnick, M.J. (Poster) Seasonal water storage and evapotranspiration partitioning controls on the relationship between continental moisture recycling and precipitation deuterium excess. AGU Fall Meeting, 2021.

Allen, J.*, Lawrence, C., Williams, L., Maher, K., Winnick, M.J. (Poster) Nitrogen Gas Emissions from Shale Critical Zone Environments. AGU Fall Meeting, 2021.

Allen, J.*, Winnick, M.J. (Poster) Nitrogen Gas Emissions from Shale Critical Zone Environments. GSA Annual Meeting 2021.

Saccardi, B.*, Winnick, M.J. (Poster) A Process-based Stream Network Model for Predicting CO2 Concentrations and Fluxes. AGU Fall Meeting, 2020.

Winnick, M.J. (Talk) Controls on Stream Corridor N2O Yields During Hyporheic Zone Denitrification. AGU Fall Meeting, 2020.

Winnick, M.J, Lawrence, C.R., Maher, K. (2020) Soil environmental conditions in the East River Watershed, CO. Environmental System Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE) (United States); Development of a molecularly informed biogeochemical framework for reactive transport modeling of subsurface carbon inventories, transformations and fluxes. Doi: 10.15485/1660455

Winnick, M.J. (2019) Modeling Concentrations and Evasion Fluxes of CO2 in Rivers and Streams. White Paper, DOE Workshop: Leveraging Distributed Research Networks to Understand Watershed Systems.

Winnick, M.J., Druhan, J., Maher, K. (Invited) Weathering regimes and lithium isotopes: a reactive transport perspective. AGU Fall Meeting, 2019.

Winnick, M.J., Maher, K. (Poster) Soil gas controls on coupled pyrite-carbonate weathering dynamics and carbon fluxes. Goldschmidt, 2019.

Winnick, M.J., Lawrence, C., McCormick, M., Druhan, J., Maher, K. (Poster) Plant phenology modulation of soil respiration pulse behavior in a sub-alpine meadow, East River, CO, USA. AGU Fall Meeting, 2018.

Winnick, M.J., Maher, K. (Talk) The lithium isotope ‘croissant’ from a reactive transport perspective. Goldschmidt Boston, August, 2018.

Winnick, M.J., Maher, K. (Invited) Thermodynamic constraints on coupled carbonate-pyrite weathering dynamics and carbon fluxes in the East River watershed, CO. AGU Fall Meeting, 2017.

Winnick, M.J., Maher, K. (Talk) Relationships between CO2, thermodynamic limits on silicate weathering, and the strength of the silicate weathering feedback. Goldschmidt Paris, August, 2017.

Winnick M.J., Carroll R., Williams K., Maxwell R., Maher K. (Talk) Concentration-discharge relationships, nested reaction fronts, and the balance of oxidative and acid-base weathering fluxes in an alpine catchment, East River, CO. American Geochemical Society 253rd National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April, 2017.

Winnick M.J., Carroll R., Williams K., Maxwell R., Maher K. (Poster) Concentration-discharge relationships, nested reaction fronts, and the balance of oxidative and acid-base weathering fluxes in an alpine catchment, East River, CO. AGU Fall Meeting, 2016.

Winnick M.J., Caves J.K. (Poster) Oxygen isotope mass-balance constraints on Pliocene sea level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet stability. AGU Fall Meeting, 2015.

Winnick M.J., Chamberlain C.P. (Talk) Evaluating the controls of terrestrial moisture recycling and E-T partitioning on synoptic-scale isotopic gradients in precipitation: Implications for monitoring the effects of climate change into the future. IAEA International Symposium on Isotope Hydrology, May, 2015.

Winnick M.J., Chamberlain C.P., Caves J.K., Welker J.M. (Invited) Quantifying the climatic and topographic controls of precipitation isotopes in continental interiors: applications to unraveling isotopic records of climate in Cenozoic Central Asia. AGU Fall Meeting, 2014.

Winnick M.J., Caves J.K., Ibarra D.E., Wood A.M., Mix H.T., Chamberlain C.P. (Poster) Early Eocene latitudinal isotope gradients in precipitation and implications for global latent heat transport: new data from British Columbia, Canada and a global data-model comparison. AGU Fall Meeting, 2014.

Winnick M.J., Caves J.K., Welker J.M., Chamberlain C.P. (Talk) Quantifying the isotopic continental effect: Implications for reconstructing past climate and topography from isotopic gradients. GSA Annual Meeting, 2014.

Winnick M.J., Chamberlain C.P. (Poster) The ‘continental effect’: A mechanistic framework for interpreting terrestrial isotopic gradients in precipitation. AGU Fall Meeting, 2013.

Winnick M.J., Welker J.M., Chamberlain C.P. (Talk) Stable isotopic evidence of El Nino-like atmospheric circulation in the Pliocene western United States. AGU Fall Meeting, 2012.

Winnick M.J., Welker J.M., Chamberlain C.P. (Poster) Characterizing atmospheric teleconnections in the Pliocene epoch using stable isotopes. AGU Fall Meeting, 2011.


University of Illinois Chicago, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, April, 2018

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of Geology, September, 2018

University of California Berkeley, Isotope Geochemistry Seminar, March, 2018

University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, March, 2017

University of California Santa Cruz, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, March, 2017

Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, February, 2017

San Mateo County Sustainability Academy, February, 2017

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept. of Geosciences, January, 2017

San Diego State University, Dept. of Geological Sciences, January, 2017

San Jose State University, Geology Club, April, 2016