New Faculty Members at NBMG

A message from Jim Faulds: Please welcome several new members of the NBMG team. This includes Lora Robb, our new Business Manager, who will oversee NBMG’s fiscal and administrative functions and Matthieu Harlaux, an Assistant Professor in Economic Geology. In addition, our Geothermal Center is growing with the additions of Rozena Brecke (who is handling important administrative aspects of the Center), Cary Lindsey (a post-doctoral scholar), and Eli Mlawsky (Geothermal Data Manager). These additions will greatly enhance our ability to analyze natural resources in the state and region. Please see short biographies of everyone below. We are very fortunate to have such a talented group joining NBMG.

New Faculty Members at NBMG:

Matthieu Harlaux, Assistant Professor–Economic Geologist
Dr. Matthieu Harlaux recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Assistant Professor in economic geology. Dr. Harlaux received his MS in Geosciences from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie in 2012 in Nancy (France). Then, he completed a PhD in Geosciences from the Université de Lorraine in 2016 (Nancy, France) focusing on granite-related tin-tungsten deposits in France. After completing his PhD, Dr. Harlaux joined the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where he did a two-year postdoc working on tin deposits in the Peruvian Central Andes.

Dr. Harlaux’s research focuses on understanding the formation processes of hydrothermal ore deposits. He uses a combination of field-work and modern analytical techniques (LA-ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS, ID-TIMS, SIMS) for studying the trace element and isotope geochemistry of rocks, minerals, and fluid inclusions. More specifically, his research interests concern the processes at the magmatic-hydrothermal transition that occurs at the end of magma crystallization when exsolution of high-temperature volatile fluids occurs. This research aims to better understand the physico-chemical conditions (temperature, pressure, salinity, pH, gas content, and metal content) allowing the deposition of metal-bearing minerals by hydrothermal fluids.

Dr. Harlaux is excited to concentrate his research on the Nevada’s metallogeny, which has an incredible variety of hydrothermal ore deposits, including Carlin-type gold deposits, porphyry copper deposits, and epithermal gold-silver deposits, among the most important. Dr. Harlaux will help to strengthen the economic geology group at NBMG and to develop new research projects in strong collaboration with the mining industry and other universities. One of his ambitions will be to develop a new laboratory at NBMG focusing on the study of fluid inclusions applied to hydrothermal systems. His work will examine the ore-forming processes (fluid mixing, cooling, fluid-rock interaction, etc) in link with the Cenozoic magmatic and tectonic evolution of Nevada.

Lora Robb, Business Manager
Lora Robb joined NBMG in December as its new Business Manager. Her role includes overseeing the Bureau’s financial, administrative, and human resources operations working closely with the Director to make sure everything runs efficiently and effectively. She has worked in land use and water resources planning and as a business manager for several public agencies in the Reno area including Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Washoe County, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, and Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency. Lora holds an MA in Geography from California State University, Chico, and grew up in Truckee, California.

Lora is excited to join NBMG and return to a world where earth science and mapping are core to the organization’s mission. Her first real job out of college was working for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mapping Division so joining the Bureau feels like returning home. When not at work, Lora is often with her husband Paul hiking, camping, boating, and otherwise exploring the wide open spaces of the great state of Nevada.

New Staff at Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy

Rozena Brecke, Administrative Assistant, 775-682-8855
Rozena attained a dual degree from the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program, earning a BA in Philosophy, a BS in Health Sciences and a minor in Biochemistry (2000). She pursued an internship at the UNR’s Medical School, and presented at Cancer Research conferences in the U.S. and abroad, with plans of an MA in Biomedical Ethics. After a change of plans and searching for her purpose and passion, in 2004 she opened up her own business, a tiny organic grocery store called Vegetus, Latin for “fresh, whole, lively and sound.” In 2006, she decided that it was time to seek that advanced degree, closed up shop, but then life happened, quite literally, and she welcomed her son, Soren, into the world.

In 2014, Rozena returned to University of Nevada to work at the Wolf Shop, the student-owned and operated campus store, where she curated the General Books department, led the bookstore’s first U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility and ultimately did her best to inspire and support students to become ‘real’ adults. In 2018, she transferred as an Administrative Assistant to the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, housed in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, where she is proud to contribute to the global transition to renewable energy.

Rozena loves clean food, plants, great coffee, libations, ideas, kindness and humor. When she is not reading or cross-wording in the sunshine, she is appreciating the warm sound of vinyl in her 1938 brick home with the love of her life, son, and cat, Tuna.

Cary Lindsey, Postdoctoral Scholar, 775-682-8149
Dr. Cary Lindsey recently joined the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as a Postdoctoral Scholar. She received her BS in Geology from Mississippi State University and a PhD from University of Idaho. Dr. Lindsey’s research primarily focuses on exploration and characterization of geothermal systems. She uses techniques such as geostatistical and statistical modeling in her work as well as foundational concepts in hydrogeology and heat and mass transfer. She has worked in the Basin and Range of Oregon as well as Yellowstone National Park.

Dr. Lindsey is pleased to join the team at GBCGE-NBMG to participate in international capacity building for geothermal development where she will share her skills and training with scientists in countries on the cusp of geothermal development and looks forward to learning about and exploring geothermal systems in other regions of the world. She also continues to develop geostatistical techniques and modeling for refined characterization of heat and mass flow in geothermal systems.

Eli Mlawsky, GBCGE Geoscience Data Manager
Eli joined NBMG in October 2018 as the Geothermal Data Manager at GBCGE. His main focus is developing and maintaining an online relational database to warehouse all subsurface data for Nevada and the encompassing Great Basin region. Eli’s other roles include automation of organizational processes and project support via curating and distributing NBMG data products. He is a UNR alumnus, holding an MS in hydrogeology and BS in geophysics. Prior to joining NBMG, Eli worked as a consultant geophysicist. He enjoys data-driven modeling and all things computer science. He has pursued a lateral move in his early career to cultivate his programming skills while still working with familiar data and a welcoming earth science community that he knows and loves.

After hours, Eli can be found road biking, bouldering, painting, or fabricating in one of Reno’s great community art spaces.

NBMG Staff Directory

NBMG Welcomes Emily O’Dean—Geoscience Data Manager

A message from Dr. Jim Faulds, NBMG Director and State Geologist: We are very pleased to welcome a new staff member to NBMG—Emily O’Dean.

Emily O’Dean recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as the Geoscience Data Manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. After completing her degree, she worked as a software developer and quality engineer at SaaS (Software as a Service) startup companies in Santa Barbara, California. As a full-stack engineer, she designed and implemented systems from database schemas to front-end user experiences.

After five years in software, Emily went on to pursue her MSc in Forest Ecology at California Polytechnic State University where she applied her knowledge of complex systems to the study of forest ecosystems. Her research focused on quantifying the establishment and success of conifers in the Sierra Nevada and using computer modeling and simulation techniques to predict future range shifts. Upon completion of the program, she accepted a Data Science Fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), where she worked as the technical point of contact for researchers and working groups and assisted in managing data, instructing in data lifecycle best practices, performing statistical analyses, and presenting data through both static figures and interactive web applications. She was also a key player in the design and implementation of a new open science software portal for managing projects and disseminating data and results at NCEAS.

Emily is excited to join NBMG and apply her knowledge of database design and data workflow best-practices to managing and growing NBMG’s rich data stores. She will also utilize her software background in the design and implementation of new data dissemination portals to make NBMG’s data more available and discoverable.

New Structural Geologist at NBMG—Dr. Andrew Zuza

A message from Dr. Jim Faulds, NBMG Director and State Geologist:
We are very pleased to welcome a new faculty member to NBMG—Dr. Andrew Zuza. Dr. Zuza brings expertise and innovative approaches in structural geology and tectonics to NBMG.


Dr. Andrew Zuza recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Assistant Professor. He received his BS in Geology from Cornell University and PhD from UCLA. Andrew’s research is primarily focused on continental deformation and the evolution of orogenic systems. He uses a mix of traditional field-based structural geology methods and modern analytical techniques, including geologic mapping, balanced cross-section construction, geo/thermochronology, metamorphic petrology, and analogue modeling. His past research has been focused on the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau’s northern and southern margins—both in northern Tibet and across the Himalaya—and he has conducted mapping-based research in India, China/Tibet, Mongolia, South Africa, and the western United States.

Dr. Zuza is excited to concentrate his research on Nevada’s unique geology, which is ideal for studying continental tectonics because late Cenozoic Basin and Range extension has exposed several important Phanerozoic orogens. His work will examine some of the enigmatic middle- to late-Paleozoic events, including the Antler and Sonoma orogenies, as well as the Jurassic-Paleogene Cordilleran thrust systems. To better constrain these pre-Neogene events, he is also focused on restoring the relatively recent extension and normal faulting that has been affecting Nevada since the Miocene. Detailed reconstructions of Cordilleran and Basin and Range deformation are important for economic geology purposes, and can help locate hydrocarbon reservoirs or ore deposits.

New Faculty at NBMG

A message from Dr. Jim Faulds, NBMG Director and State Geologist:
We are very pleased to welcome two new faculty members to NBMG—Dr. Rich Koehler and Dr. Bridget Ayling.  Dr. Koehler brings expertise in neotectonics and Quaternary geology to NBMG.  Dr. Ayling is the new Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy and has a wealth of expertise in geothermal energy and unconventional petroleum resources.

Dr. Rich Koehler
Dr. Rich Koehler recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Assistant Professor.  He received his BA in Geology from the University of California, Santa Cruz; MS in Geology from Humboldt State University; and PhD in Geology from University of Nevada, Reno.  Dr. Koehler’s research focuses on earthquake geology, Quaternary geology, paleoseismology, geomorphology, and engineering geology.  To address problems in these topics, he applies expertise in air photo, lidar, and satellite imagery interpretation; Quaternary geologic and geomorphic mapping; soil stratigraphy; and paleoseismic trenching.

Dr. Koehler’s paleoseismic experience includes studies throughout the western United States, including faults in California, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska, and Nevada and international projects in Turkey, Taiwan, Jamaica, and Haiti.  Dr. Koehler has contributed to geologic and seismic hazard evaluation for major infrastructure projects including oil and gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas facilities, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, and industrial and residential developments.

In his current work, Dr. Koehler is focused on researching active faults and Quaternary geology in the Great Basin and surrounding region to better characterize seismic hazards.  Toward this goal, he is building a new Quaternary laboratory specifically designed for paleoseismic research, including state-of-the-art computing facilities for processing and analysis of 3-D topographic datasets developed from satellite, lidar, and aerial photography and soil processing facilities for the separation and processing of samples for various Quaternary dating techniques.  He also continues to collaborate with colleagues at the USGS on a project assessing earthquake and tsunami recurrence in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

Dr. Bridget Ayling

Dr. Bridget Ayling recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Associate Professor and new Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.  Dr. Ayling is a geologist and geochemist with over nine years of combined experience in the geothermal and unconventional gas sector.  She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in New Zealand, completing a BSc (Hons) degree at Victoria University of Wellington.  She then moved to Australia to undertake a PhD in environmental geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Australian National University.  After completing her PhD in 2006, Dr. Ayling joined Geoscience Australia (Australia’s national geological survey), where she became involved in geothermal energy research and mapping of Australia’s geothermal resource potential.  She spent two years at the University of Utah (2010–2012), working with researchers at the Energy & Geoscience Institute on a range of geothermal projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, before returning to Geoscience Australia to pursue research in geothermal reservoir characterization and unconventional petroleum plays.

Dr. Ayling has worked in both conventional and unconventional (i.e. EGS) geothermal settings in Australia and the United States, contributing to regional geothermal resource assessments, surface heat-flow measurement, characterization of reservoir fracture mineralogy, geochemical tracer studies, and conducting numerical modeling to understand reservoir fluid flow regimes.  More recently, she applied hyperspectral imaging techniques to map and understand the mineralogical characteristics of unconventional petroleum source rocks in Cambrian marine sediments in northern Australia.

Dr. Ayling’s current research interests center on reservoir characterization and integration of multidisciplinary datasets to understand the dynamics of geothermal systems at the reservoir and basin scale.  She is also interested in reservoir engineering, sustainable management of geothermal resources, renewable energy technologies more broadly, and the promotion of geothermal energy use in developing countries.