Former UMaine Ph.D. Student Credited with New Mineral Discovery

The October issue of the journal The Canadian Mineralogist includes a peer-reviewed article by UMaine Department of Earth Sciences faculty researcher Edward Grew, recent Ph.D. student Jeffrey Marsh and colleagues about the discovery in 2009 by Marsh of a new mineral, a species of garnet named “menzerite-(Y)” in honor of the German crystallographer Georg Menzer (1897-1989).

Marsh, now a faculty fellow at Colby College, discovered the mineral in specimens from his field area in Canada during work for his doctoral thesis at UMaine. This is the first time that a Maine student has ever discovered a mineral species that is new to science, according to Grew.

Menzerite-Y was officially recognized and approved in 2009 by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association. The final step in establishing a new mineral is publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, which has now been done. The National Science Foundation and University of Maine Doctoral Research Fellowship sponsored the research by Jeff and the Maine team.