banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > School of Geosciences

Matthew  Pasek

Matthew Pasek

Matthew Pasek
Associate Professor


Office: SCA 533
Phone: 813/974-8979
Lab: SCA513


Ph.D., Planetary Science- University of Arizona , 2006

B.S., Geology + Chemistry, College of William and Mary, 2002


Understanding the origin of life from the perspective of meteorites, metabolism, and phosphorus.  Determining potentially prebiotic pathways leading to the origin of life using phosphorus redox cosmobiogeochemistry.

Cosmochemical studies of planetary systems as constrained by thermodynamic equilibrium models.  Cosmochemistry of meteorites and placing constraints on the impact history of the inner solar system.

Constraining redox processes in the modern phosphorus biogeochemical cycle, including the role of lightning and meteoritic impacts. 

Graduate Students

Tian Feng, Jennifer Lago, Carolyn Lang, Christopher Mehta, Jacqueline Sampson

Specialty Area

Astrobiology, Geochemistry, Cosmochemistry

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
56233GLY 7912019Directed Research


Recent Publications

Gull, M., Zhou, M., Fernandez, F.M., and Pasek, M.A., 2013, Prebiotic Phosphate Ester Synthesis in a Deep Eutectic Solvent. Journal of Molecular Evolution, accepted.

Pasek, M.A., 2013, Without phosphate limits. Nature Geoscience 6, 806-807.

Kee, T.P., Bryant, D.E., Herschy, Marriott, K.E.R., Cosgrove, N., Pasek, M.A., Atlas, Z.D., and Cousins, C. 2013. Phosphate activation via reduced oxidation state phosphorus (P). Mild routes to condensed-P energy currency molecules. Life 3, 386-402.

Pasek, M.A., Harnmeijer, J., Buick, R., Maheen, G. and Atlas, Z., 2013, Evidence for reactive reduced phosphorus species in the early Archean ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 110, 10089-10094.

Gull, M. and Pasek, M.A., 2013. Is struvite a prebiotic mineral? Life 3, 321-330.

Mousis, O., Lakhlifi, A., Picaud, S., Pasek, M.A., and Chassefiere, E. 2013, On the abundances of noble and biologically useful gases in Lake Vostok, Antarctica. Astrobiology 13, 380- 390.

Bryant, D.E., Greenfield, D., Walshaw, R.D., Johnson, B.R.G., Herschy, B., Smith, C., Pasek, M.A., Telford, R., Scowen, I., Munshi, T., Edwards, H.G.M., Cousins, C.R., Crawford, I., and Kee, T.P., 2013. Hydrothermal modification of Sikhote-Alin under low pH geothermal environments. A plausible prebiotic route to activated phosphorus on the early earth. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 109, 90-112.

Pasek, M.A., Block, K., and Pasek, V.D., 2012, Fulgurite morphology: a classification scheme and clues to formation. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 164, 477-492.

Pasek, M.A., and Greenberg, R., 2012, Acidification of Europa’s subsurface ocean as a consequence of oxidant delivery. Astrobiology 12, 151-159.

Pasek, M.A., Mousis, O., and Lunine, J.I., 2011, Phosphorus Chemistry on Titan. Icarus 212, 751-761.

Pech, H., Vasquez, M., Van Buren, J., Xu, L., Salmassi, T., Pasek, M.A., and Foster, K., 2011, Elucidating the redox cycle of environmental phosphorus using ion chromatography. Journal of Chromatographic Science 49, 573-581.

Bryant, D.E., Marriott, K.E.R., Macgregor, S.A., Fishwick, C.W.G., Pasek, M.A., and Kee, T.P., 2010, Plausible prebiotic ancestors of sugar-phosphates. Chemical Communications 46, 3726-3728.

Carter, E.A., Pasek, M.A., Smith, T., Kee, T.P., Hines, P., and Edwards, H.G.M., 2010, Rapid Raman mapping of a fulgurite. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 397, 2647-2658.

Carter, E.A., Hargreaves, M.D., Kee, T.P., Pasek, M.A., and Edwards, H.G.M., 2010, A Raman spectroscopic study of a fulgurite. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 368, 3087-3097.

Pasek, M.A., and Block, K., 2009, Lightning-induced reduction of phosphorus oxidation state. Nature Geoscience 2, 553-556.

Mousis, O., Lunine, J.I., Pasek, M., Cordier, D., Waite, J.H., Mandt, K.E., Lewis, W.S., and Nguyen, M-J., 2009, A primordial origin for the atmospheric methane of Saturn’s Moon Titan. Icarus 204, 749-751.

Mousis, O., Lunine, J.I., Thomas, C., Pasek, M., Marbouef, U., Alibert, Y., Ballenegger, V., Cordier, D., Ellinger, Y., Pauzat, F., and Picaud, S., 2009, Clathration of volatiles in the solar nebula and implications for the origin of Titan’s atmosphere. Astrophysical Journal 691, 1780-1786.

Bryant, D.E., Greenfield, D., Walshaw, R.D., Evans, S.M., Nimmo, A.E., Smith, C., Wang, L. Pasek, M.A., and Kee, T.P., 2009, Electrochemical studies of iron meteorites. Phosphorus redox chemistry on the early Earth. International Journal of Astrobiology 8, 27-36.