Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Josh Wimpenny

Staff Scientist
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

 +1 925-423-9263

PhD Geochemistry
The Open University, UK
BS Geology
University of Liverpool, UK

Research Interests

Josh Wimpenny started at LLNL in September 2014. He currently manages the daily operations of two inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments: the Thermo Element XR high resolution and the Thermo Neptune-plus multi collector, which are used for high-precision elemental and isotopic analyses.

Wimpenny’s research interests involve the use of stable and radiogenic isotope systems to investigate a range of questions relating to geology, cosmochemistry, and nuclear forensics. Examples of his past research include using metal stable isotopes such as Li, Mg, and Ca to trace changes in chemical weathering and dating the formation of the first solids in our solar system using the Al-Mg chronometer. Recently, he has established techniques to make high precision Zn isotope measurements; this technique has applications for constraining volatile loss in samples from the moon. High precision isotope ratio measurements of relatively novel systems such as Mo and W are in increasing demand in the field of nuclear forensics. Thus, a key component of his current research is the development and implementation of new analytical techniques by multi-collector ICP-MS that can help to constrain the history and intended use of nuclear materials.

Awards and Honors

  • Editorial board: Chemical Geology (2016 onwards)
  • Awards: Herdman prize (University of Liverpool, 2002-2003)

Selected Publications

Koeford, P., Amelin, Y., Yin, Q.-Z., Wimpenny, J., Sanborn, M. E., Iizuka, T., Irving, A. J., (2016) U-Pb and Al-Mg systematics of the ungrouped achondrite Northwest Africa 7325. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 183, 31-45.

Wimpenny, J., Amelin, Y., Yin, Q. Z. (2015). The Lu Isotopic Composition of Achondrites: Closing the Case for Accelerated Decay of 176Lu. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 812(1), L3.

Wimpenny, J., Colla, C. A., Yu, P., Yin, Q.-Z., Rustad, J. R., Casey, W. H., (2015) Lithium Isotope Fractionation During Uptake by Gibbsite. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 168, 133-150.

Wimpenny, J., Yin, Q.-Z., Tollstrup, D., Xie, L.-W., Sun, J., (2014) Using Mg isotope ratios to trace Cenozoic weathering changes: A case study from the Chinese Loess Plateau. Chemical Geology. 376, 31-43.

Wimpenny, J., Colla, C. A., Yin, Q.-Z., Rustad, J. R., Casey, W. H., (2014) Investigating the Behaviour of Mg Isotopes during the Formation of Clay Minerals. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 128, 178-194.

Wimpenny, J., Amelin, Y. A., Yin, Q.-Z., (2013) Precise Determination of the Lutetium Isotopic Composition in Rocks and Minerals Using Multicollector ICPMS. Analytical Chemistry. 85 (23), 11258-11264.

Popova, O. P., Jenniskens, P., Emel'yanenko, V., … Wimpenny, J., … et al. (2013) Chelyabinsk Airburst, Damage Assessment, Meteorite Recovery and Characterization. Science. 342. 1069-1073.

Colla, C. A., Wimpenny, J., Yin, Q.-Z., Rustad, J. R., Casey, W. H., (2013) Calcium-Isotope Fractionation between Solution and Solids with Six, Seven or Eight Oxygens Bound to Ca(II). Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 121, 363-373.

Wasserburg, G. J., Wimpenny, J., Yin, Q.-Z., (2012) Mg Isotopic Heterogeneity, Al-Mg Isochrons, and Canonical 26Al/27Al in the Early Solar System. Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences. 47 (12), 1980-1997.

Jenniskens, P., Fries, M. D., Yin, Q.-Z., …Wimpenny, J., …et al. (2012) Radar-Enabled Recovery of the Sutter's Mill Meteorite, a Carbonaceous Chondrite Regolith Breccia. Science. 338, 1583-1587.

Wimpenny, J., James, R., Burton, K., Gannoun, A., Mokadem, F., Gíslason, S., (2011) The behaviour of magnesium and its isotopes during glacial weathering in an ancient shield terrain in West Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 304, 1-2, 260-269

Wimpenny, J., Gíslason, S., James, R.H., Gannoun, A., Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E., Burton, K.W. (2010) The behaviour of Li and Mg isotopes during primary phase dissolution and secondary mineral formation in basalt. Geochimica et Cosmochima Acta 74, 18, 5259-5279

Wimpenny, J., James, R., Burton, K., Gannoun, A., Mokadem, F., Gíslason, S., (2010) Glacial effects on weathering processes: New insights from the elemental and lithium isotopic composition of West Greenland rivers. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 290, 3-4, 427-437

Wimpenny, J., Gannoun, A., Burton, K. W., Widdowson, M., James, R. H., Gíslason, S. R. (2007) Rhenium and osmium isotope and elemental behaviour accompanying laterite formation in the Deccan region of India. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 261, 1-2, 239-258

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