Dominguez Lab @ CSUSM

The Dominguez Lab (D-Lab) is an interdisciplinary research lab at California State University, San Marcos. Our research philosophy is based on the idea that our work should be fun and interesting. Some of the most interesting problems in science lie at the intersections of disciplines.

Our work on the abundances and distributions of isotopes of elements (mostly Oxygen and Hydrogen) aims to apply basic physical and chemical principles to understand a variety of scientific problems in astrophysics, planetary science, and atmospheric and geophysical/chemical systems.

Our approach is to model problems first, identify the model assumptions, and then carry-out experiments to better understand these assumptions.

That said, your ability to contribute to our efforts is limited by your desire to challenge yourself in an undergraduate focused research environment. If you are interested in learning more, please feel to contact me or one of the current group members to find out about our group meeting schedule.

Currently, D-lab is pursuing:


  • isotope ratio methods to understanding the origins of water in molecular clouds and the solar system. Our experiments are also expected to shed light of the origins of the solar system and planets by providing strong isotopic constraints on molecular cloud and protoplanetary disk processes.
  • Understanding the physics of scattering, diffusion, and thermo-diffusion at the isotopic level of resolution.
  • Using infrared spectroscopy of surfaces to develop the next generation tools for the analysis of returned samples (cometary dust, interstellar dust, etc.) from NASA missions and underexplored terrestrial systems
  • Infrared (ATR) spectroscopy of natural materials for hydrologic reconstructions (in collaboration with Dr. Rochelle Graham at Hydrologic Research Center).

I'm always on the look out for highly motivated undergraduate students in physics (and chemistry) who are interested in research. New members are expected to spend at least 5 hours doing research (reading papers, group meeting, working in the lab or on code).

If you are a student interested in learning more about the research in the lab, please feel free to contact me or any of the members of the lab. I encourage shadowing a member and coming to group meetings to better understand our current projects.

Currently, Prof. Dominguez is in search of student(s) who are interested in parallel computation (cloud computing). If you are interested in getting involved in a basic physics research project and have excellent computer programming (Matlab preferred) skills, please contact Prof. Dominguez.

Laboratory Meeting Notes and Presentations