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 Diagenesis

Dr. Kaczmarek is an assistant professor of geology and head of the Carbonate Petrology & Characterization Laboratory at Western Michigan University. His academic interests focus on the diagenetic processes that affect sedimentary carbonates. He is especially interested in the processes and outcomes associated with dolomitization and mineralogical stabilization of limestones to low-magnesium calcite. Most of his work relies on 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.

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

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. His research activities are supported by various grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and industry sponsors.

Funded Research

  • 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, please visit these links to Google Scholar and ResearchGate