Sara Mana

Professional Details

Title Assistant Professor
Department Geological Sciences
Office Meier Hall 331B
Phone 978.542.2377

Recent and Upcoming Courses

GLS 100 Dynamic Earth
GLS 108 Geology in the Movies
GLS 322 Petrology
GLS 341 Structural Geology and Tectonics
GLS 485 Field Geology II
GLS 500 Senior Research in Geology I
GLS 501 Senior Research in Geology II

Professional Biography

I am a broad-spectrum geochemist with particular interest in geochemical quantitative analysis and their applications, isotope geochemistry and geochronology. I use radiogenic isotopes and incompatible trace element geochemistry to infer the source and depth of melting in rifting environments with the ultimate goal of better understanding the role of magmatism in the early stages of rifting.

I have experience performing high-precision 40Ar/39Ar step-heating geochronology; SEM, EMPA, ICP-OES, LA-ICP-MS, and MC-ICP-MS measurements (P54, Neptune and Nu). Additionally, I am trained on pXRD, uXRF and Raman Spectroscopy.


Office hours: Wed/Fri 11:00-12:30 PM or by appointment (email me)

Selected Publications

I. Nengo, P. Tafforeau, C.C. Gilbert, J.G. Fleagle, E.R. Miller, C. Feibel, D. Fox, J. Feinberg, K.D. Pugh, C. Berruyer, S. Mana, Z. Engle, F. Spoor, 2017. New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution. Nature 548 (7666), 169-174. doi:10.1038/nature23456

J.D. Muirhead, S.A. Kattenhorn, H. Lee, S. Mana, B.D. Turrin, T.P. Fischer, G. Kianji, E. Dindi, S. Stamps, 2016. Evolution of upper crustal faulting assisted by magmatic volatile release during early- stage continental rifting in the East African Rift. Geosphere, GES01375-1, doi: 10.1130/GES01375.1.

C.M. Liutkus, B.W. Zimmer, S.K. Carmichael, W. McIntosh, A. Deino, S.M. Hewitt, K.J. McGinnis, T.  Hartney, J. Brett, S. Mana, D. Deocampo, B.G. Richmond, K. Hatala, W. Harcourt-Smith, B. Pobiner, A. Metallo, V. Rossi, 2016. Age, formation, and preservation of Late Pleistocene human footprints at Engare Sero, Tanzania. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 463, 68-82,

S. Mana, P. Ruiz, A. Gutiérrez, 2015. Critical Zone in Tropical Environments. In: “Principles and Dynamics of the Critical Zone”. Elsevier, Earth Science Series, Vol. 19, Chap. 15, 471-494.

S. Mana, T. Furman, B.D. Turrin, M.D. Feigenson, C.C. Swisher III, 2015. Magmatic Activity across the East African North Tanzanian Divergence Zone. J. Geol. Soc. 172, 368-389, doi: 10.1144/jgs2014-072.