Dr. Scott Werts


Assistant Professor of Geology

Department of Chemistry, Physics and Geology

Winthrop University

Rock Hill, SC. 29733

(803) 323-4930




Office: Sims 213A

Labs: Sims 210 and 110


Picture: At Guadalupe Mountains National Park near the remnants of an underwater landslide near the base of the largest coral reef to have ever existed (250 million years ago in Western Texas)


Research Interests

My research interests lie primarily in the fields of geobiology and paleoclimatology.  Geobiology is the study of earth/life interactions.  Because soil is the main interface between biology and geology in the terrestrial realm, I have a keen interest in researching this thin skin of the Earth.  My main research tool in these investigations is the use of stable isotope geochemistry, most frequently carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and deuterium.  Some of my current projects involve evaluating the effect of varying parent material on soil formation in central New Mexico, carbon sequestration in the various soils of the Carolina piedmont and the effects of fire events on carbon in the mineral horizons of common soils.  Currently, students in my lab are working on paleoclimate investigations through stable isotope analysis of peat deposits in South Carolina and the changing geochemical signature of endomycorrhizal fungal spores at high temperatures as a possible proxy as a post-fire thermometer.  



Johns Hopkins University, PhD.  Geobiology

Johns Hopkins University, MA.   Geobiology

Penn State University, BS. Geology



Current:            John Yankech, Mark White

Past:                 Matthew Milligan         


Courses I Teach

Physical Geology: GEOL 110

Physical Geology Lab:  GEOL 113

Earth and Space Systems: GEOL 250

Earth and Space Systems Lab: GEOL 251

Fundamentals of Geochemistry:  GEOL 335

Hydrogeology: GEOL 340

Introduction to Soil Science



Fire Effects on Endomycorrhizal Fungal Spores

Paleoclimate Studies through Stable Isotope Analysis of Peat Deposits, SC

Lithosequence at Mountainair, New Mexico

Carbon cycling in eastern piedmont soils


Peat Plant Pictures


A Brief Vita

Werts Vita