Who are we

The Utah State University Luminescence Laboratory was founded by Dr. Joel Pederson and Dr. Tammy Rittenour in 2007. It is headed by Professor Tammy Rittenour in the Department of Geosciences. The lab has two full-time laboratory managers, Michelle Nelson and Michael Strange. Michelle has been working at the lab since 2009, and Michael joined the team in 2021.

The USU Luminescence Laboratory currently has two RISO TL/OSL Readers, one with a quartz OSL single-grain attachment, and current efforts are underway to acquire a third machine with a single-grain attachment for feldspar IRSL. Lab personnel specialize in luminescence applications in geomorphology and archaeology across a wide range of topics. We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about what we do and how luminescence can be applied to your research. 

Tammy Rittenour

Tammy Rittenour

Ph.D., Professor and Lab Director

Dr. Tammy Rittenour is the Director of the USU Luminescence Lab and Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Utah State University.  Her research combines geomorphology, sedimentology and stratigraphy to reconstruct past climate and landscape evolution from fluvial, eolian, glacial and geoarchaeological records.  She developed the USU Luminescence Lab in 2007 and has experience with Luminescence geochronology since 2000.

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Michelle Nelson

Michelle Nelson

M.S., P.G., Lab Manager

Michelle Nelson is the laboratory manager and is primarily responsible for data analysis and business-related procedures. She has worked at the luminescence laboratory since 2009 and is a certified professional geologist that specializes in luminescence dating techniques. Her research lies at the intersection of geomorphology, geochronology, and soil processes. Michelle also works on geologic mapping in Virginia and is interested in understanding source rocks and sediments for critical minerals.

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Micheal Strange

Michael Strange

 Ph.D., Asst. Lab Manager

Dr. Michael Strange is responsible for the day-to-day processing of samples in the Luminescence Lab. His research is focused on the evolution of early animal life at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary and their preservation into the fossil record. Michael has also conducted paleontological resource surveys for the Bureau of Land Management, in which he assessed Pleistocene fossil resources and monitored fossil sites.

Google Scholar