Emilie Jäger, Ph.D.

1957-1959 Carnegie Institution for Science, USA 
 1959-2011 Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography University of Bern, Bern, Bern, Switzerland 
Geochronology, isotope geochemistry
"Emilie Jäger"

After a degree in chemistry in her hometown of Vienna, she moved to the University of Bern in 1952. She developed a profound interest in mineralogy, chemistry, and the isotope chemistry of minerals during her doctoral studies in the Department of
Mineralogy, under the direction of H. Huttenlocher, and later in the Department of Physics, under F. G. Houtermans. The late 1950s witnessed a genuine interest in dating minerals, with the advent of new isotopic methods developed in different laboratories around the world. Emilie Jäger’s supervisors therefore decided to send her to the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC, where she learned the techniques of Rb–Sr dating of minerals; there, she was inspired by the presence of several outstanding isotope geochemists, such as George Tilton and Henry Faul. She returned to the University of Bern and set up an isotopic mineralogy laboratory in 1959–1960. The first Rb–Sr isotope measurements on minerals were carried out in 1959 using the solid-source mass spectrometry laboratory in the Department of Physics, led by J. Geiss, P. Eberhardt and H. Oeschger. By determining mineral and whole-rock Rb–Sr isotope compositions in the Alpine orogen, she developed the hypothesis that the mineral ages had to be interpreted in terms of cooling ages, a theory summarized in her 1962 paper, “Rb–Sr Age Determinations on Micas and Total Rocks from the Alps,” and further developed over the following decade. She subsequently became involved in many aspects of isotope geochemistry, such as decay constants (Steiger and Jäger 1977), establishing mineral standards for radio-isotopic dating (Jäger et al. 1963), dating mineral deposits and dating petroleum migration in reservoirs, and she participated in the establishment of environmental isotope chemistry in Switzerland and neighbouring countries. Towards the end of her career, she became increasingly interested in low-temperature chronometers, such as fission track dating, and optical luminescence.
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Fritz Houtermans grad student 1952-1956 University of Bern (Physics Tree)
Heinrich Huttenlocher grad student 1952-1956 University of Bern
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Jäger E, Wen Ji C, Hurford AJ, et al. (1985) BB-6: A quaternary age standard for KAr dating Chemical Geology: Isotope Geoscience Section. 52: 275-279
Wagner GA, Miller DS, Jäger E. (1979) Fission track ages on apatite of Bergell rocks from Central Alps and Bergell boulders in Oligocene sediments Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 45: 355-360
Armstrong RL, Jäger E, Eberhardt P. (1966) A comparison of K-Ar and Rb-Sr ages on Alpine biotites Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 1: 13-19
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