Stephen E. Kaczmarek

Photo of Stephen E. Kaczmarek
Stephen E. Kaczmarek
Assistant Professor, Carbonate petrology
(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 Sedimentology, Diagenesis, Dolomitization

Dr. Kaczmarek is an assistant professor of geology and director of the Carbonate Petrology & Characterization Laboratory at Western Michigan University. His academic interests focus on the physical and chemical processes involved with forming sedimentary carbonates. He is especially interested in the processes and outcomes of diagenetic alteration in limestones. Most of his work requires detailed textural, mineralogical, and geochemical characterization of natural and laboratory synthesized minerals. To obtain this information, he and his students utilize 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 activities are supported by various grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and private corporations.

After earning his Ph.D. in 2005, Dr. Kaczmarek was employed as a research scientist for ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company (2005-2011). There, he investigated limestone petrogenesis, taught a variety of courses, and worked on global exploration and production projects. After leaving URC in 2011, he returned to academia as an assistant professor of geology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. In 2015, he joined the faculty at WMU.

Dr. Kaczmarek serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Sedimentary Research, and routinely referees manuscripts and proposals for more than a dozen scientific journals and grant funding agencies worldwide

Ongoing 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

Recent grants:

  • 2019-2021: Investigating the early diagenetic history of Miocene Limestones and Dolostones, Qatar, ExxonMobil Research Qatar, WMU #10242, PI ($150,000)
  • 2018-2020: Collaborative research: testing models of calcite microcrystal diagenesis through experiments, geochemistry, and advanced imaging, U.S. NSF (EAR-SGP), #1828880, PI ($155,671)
  • 2018-2020: Fostering interest in earth science teaching through the reflective practice of science, U.S. NSF (DUE-IUSE-GEOPATHS-EXTRA), #1701007, co-PI ($365,883).
  • 2017-2019: Unraveling the early diagenetic history of Eocene limestones and dolostones, Qatar, ExxonMobil Research Qatar, #09855 & #09404, PI ($155,000)
  • 2016-2019: Acquisition of a handheld XRF spectrometer to enhance sedimentary and paleoenvironmental research, U.S. NSF (EAR-IF) #1636441, PI ($76,771)


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

Recent Publications

  • Ryan, B.H., Kaczmarek, S.E., and Rivers, J. (2018) Dolomite dissolution: An alternative pathway for the formation of palygorskite clay, Sedimentology,
  • 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., Machel, H., and Fouke, B. (2017) Dolomite, very-high magnesium calcite, and microbes – implications for the microbial model of dolomitization, in Characterization and Modeling of Carbonates - Mountjoy Symposium I (Eds. A. MacNeil, J. Lonnee, & R. Wood) SEPM Special Publication 109, p. 7-20.
  • Winkelstern, I.Z., Kaczmarek, S.E., Lohmann, K.C., and Humphrey, J. (2016) Calibration of dolomite clumped isotope thermometry, Chemical Geology, 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, 85, p. 1197-1212.

For a more complete list of publications, visit Dr. Kaczmarek's web pages on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.