Stephen E. Kaczmarek

Photo of Stephen E. Kaczmarek
Stephen E. Kaczmarek
Assistant Professor of Geosciences
(269) 387-5479
1127 Rood Hall, Mail Stop 5241
Mailing address: 
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5241 USA
  • Ph.D., Geology, Michigan State University, 2005
  • B.S., Geology, Michigan State University, 2000
Research interests: 
  • Carbonate Petrology

Dr. Kaczmarek is an assistant professor of geology and director of the Carbonate Petrology & Characterization Laboratory at Western Michigan University. His research focuses on understanding the physical and chemical processes involved by which sedimentary carbonates are formed. He is especially interested in two fundamental process – dolomitization and stabilization to low-magnesium calcite. An understanding of these diagenetic processes requires fundamental information about nucleation and crystal growth. To obtain this information, he and his students utilize high-temperature laboratory experiments along with various analytical instruments, including X-ray diffractometry (XRD), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), thin-section petrography (TSP), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and stable isotope (C & O) geochemistry. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and through industry sponsorships.

After earning his Ph.D., Kaczmarek worked as a research scientist for ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company (2005-2011) where he investigated limestone petrogenesis, taught a variety of courses, and worked on exploration and production projects globally. After leaving ExxonMobil, he returned to academia as an assistant professor of geology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts (2011-2015), and is now on the faculty at WMU.
Dr. Kaczmarek routinely referees manuscripts and proposals for more than a dozen scientific journals and grant funding agencies worldwide. He also serves one the editorial board for the Journal of Sedimentary Research.

Current Research Projects:

•   Dolomite nucleation and growth kinetics
•   Controls on dolomite stoichiometry and cation ordering
•   Diagenetic controls on the origin of low-magnesium calcite microtextures
•   Unraveling the early diagenetic history of Eocene carbonates of Qatar
•   Application of XRF for sedimentary and paleoenvironmental research in the MI Basin


•   Physical Geology (GEOS 1300)
•   Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (GEOS 4350)
•   Carbonate and Evaporite Depositional Systems (GEOS 6460)
•   Carbonate Petrology (GEOS 6650)

Recent Publications

  • Kaczmarek, S.E. and Thornton, B. (2017) The effect of temperature on stoichiometry, cation ordering, and reaction rate in high-temperature dolomitization experiments, Chemical Geology, 468, p. 32-41.
  • Kaczmarek, S.E., Gregg, J.M. Bish, D., and Machel, H. (2017) Dolomite, very-high magnesium calcite, and microbes – implications for the microbial model of dolomitization, Characterization and Modeling of Carbonates - Mountjoy Symposium 1 (Eds. A. MacNeil, J. Lonnee, and R. Wood) SEPM Special Publication 109,
  • Winkelstern, I.Z., Kaczmarek, S.E., Lohmann, K.C., and Humphrey, J. (2016) Calibration of dolomite clumped isotope thermometry, Chemical Geology, v. 443, p. 32-38.
  • Kaczmarek, S.E., Fullmer, S., and Hasiuk, F.J. (2015) A universal classification scheme for the microcrystals that host limestone microporosity, Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 85, p. 1197-1212.
  • Kaczmarek, S.E. and Sibley, D.F. (2014) Direct physical evidence of dolomite recrystallization, Sedimentology, v. 61, no. 6, p. 1862-1882.

For a more complete list of publications by Dr. Kaczmarek, please visit Google Scholar or ResearchGate