Darren Hillegonds

Darren Hillegonds

Research Fellow in Analytical Chemistry

I am an analytical chemist specialising in inorganic mass spectrometry, with a focus on isotope tracing and analysis in natural systems.  My research in the Earth Sciences Department is in application of noble gas isotopic analysis to terrestrial systems, and in developing the analytical capabilities of the Oxford University Noble Lab, a multi-user facility consisting of four magnetic sector mass spectrometers for analysis of all stable noble gas isotopes in gas, water, and solid samples.

Education: Purdue University (Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry), University of Michigan (B.S. in Chemistry and Classical Archaeology)

Professional experience: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (postdoc. in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, career post in Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry), International Atomic Energy Agency (professional posting in Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry).

Noble gas geochemistry

Barry PH, Kulongoski JT, Landon MK, Tyne RL, Gillespie JM, Stephens MJ, Hillegonds DJ, Byrne DJ, Ballentine CJ (2018) Tracing enhanced oil recovery signatures in casing gases from the Lost Hills oil field using noble gases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 496: 57-67.

Visser A, Moran JE, Hillegonds D, Singleton M, Kulongoski J, Belitz K, Esser BK (2016) Geostatistical analysis of tritium, groundwater age and other noble gas derived parameters in California. Water Research, 91: 314-330.

Kulongoski JT, Hilton DR, Barry PH, Esser BK, Hillegonds DJ, Belitz K. (2013) Volatile fluxes through the Big Bend section of the San Andreas Fault, California: Helium and carbon-dioxide systematics. Chemical Geology, 339:92-102.

Visser A, Singleton MJ, Hillegonds DJ, Velsko CA, Moran JE, Esser BK (2013) A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27(21):2472-2482.



Welten KC, Caffee MW, Hillegonds DJ, McCoy TJ, Masarik J, Nishiizumi K. (2011) Cosmogenic radionuclides in L5 and LL5 chondrites from Queen Alexandra Range, Antarctica: Identification of a large L/LL5 chondrite shower with a preatmospheric mass of approximately 50,000 kg. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 46(2):177-196.

Huber L, Gnos E, Hofmann B, Welten KC, Nishiizumi K, Caffee MW, Hillegonds DJ, Leya I. (2008) The Complex Exposure History of the Jiddat al Harasis 073 L-chondrite shower. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 43(10):1691-1708.

Welten KC, Hillegonds DJ, Masarik J, Nishiizumi K. (2007) Cosmogenic 41Ca in diogenites: Production rates, pre-atmospheric size and terrestrial ages. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259(1):653-662.

Welten KC, Nishiizumi K, Caffee MW, Hillegonds DJ, Johnson JA, Jull AJT, Wieler R, Folco L. (2006) Terrestrial ages, pairing, and concentration mechanism of Antarctic chondrites from Frontier Mountain, Northern Victoria Land. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 41:1081-1094.



Kumar B, Han L-F, Wassenaar LI, Klaus PM, Kainz GG, Hillegonds D, Brummer D, Ahmad M, Dagnachew BL, Araguás L, Aggarwal P (2016) A compact tritium enrichment unit for with large sample volumes with automated re-filling and higher enrichment factor. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 118: 80-86.

Hillegonds DJ, Wassenaar LI, Aggarwal PK (2013) Synthesis Report: Intercomparison test fort the determination of low-level tritium activities in natural waters for age dating purposes (TRIC 2012).

Warwick PE, Croudace IW, Hillegonds DJ (2009) Determination of 41Ca in nuclear reactor bioshield concretes: A comparison of liquid scintillation counting and accelerator mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 81(5):1901-6.

Tumey SJ, Brown TA, Hamilton TE, Hillegonds DJ. (2008) Accelerator mass spectrometry of strontium-90 for homeland security, environmental monitoring and human health. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 266:2242-5.

Hillegonds DJ, Franklin S, Shelton DK, Vijayakumar S, Vijayakumar V. (2007) An update on the management of painful bone metastases with an emphasis on radionuclide therapy: Need to apply the concepts of oligometastases and quantitative staging in clinical trials. Journal of the National Medical Association, 99(7):785-794.


Calcium metabolism

Hillegonds DJ, Vogel JS, Fitzgerald RL, Deftos LJ,. Herold D, Burton DW (2013) Diagnosis and assessment of skeletal related disease using calcium 41. United States Patent Number 8388930.

Denk E, Hillegonds DJ, Hurrell RF, Vogel J, Fattinger K, Häuselmann HJ, Kraenzlin M, Walczyk T. (2007) Evaluation of 41Calcium as a new approach to assess changes in bone metabolism: effect of a bisphosphonate intervention in osteopenic, post-menopausal women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 22(10):1518-1525.

Fitzgerald RL, Hillegonds DJ, Burton DW, Griffin TL, Mullaney S, Vogel JS, Deftos LJ, and Herold DA. (2005) 41Ca and accelerator mass spectrometry to monitor calcium metabolism in end stage renal disease patients. Clinical Chemistry 51(11):2095-2102.

Hillegonds DJ, Fitzgerald R, Herold D, Lin Y, Vogel JS. (2004) High throughput measurement of 41Ca by accelerator mass spectrometry to quantitate small changes in individual human bone turnover rates. Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation 9(3):99-102.


Other research (archaeological chemistry, biochemistry, physics)

Gökturk EH, Hillegonds DJ, Lipschutz ME Hodder I. (2002) Accelerator mass spectrometry dating at Çatalhöyük. Radiochimica Acta 90:407-10.

Javorsek II D, Elmore D, Fischbach E, Miller T, Stohler M, Bourgeois M, Hillegonds D, Marder J, Rohrs H, Vogt S. (2002) Testing the atomic structure of beryllium with AMS. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 194:78-89.

Hillegonds DJ, Record R, Rickey FA, Badylak S, Jackson GS, Simmons-Byrd A, Elmore D, Lipschutz ME. (2001) PRIME Lab sample handling and data analysis for accelerator-based biomedical radiocarbon analysis. Radiocarbon 43(2A):305-11.

Record RD, Hillegonds D, Simmons C, Tullius R, Rickey FA, Elmore D, Badylak S. (2001) In Vivo Degradation of 14C-labeled Small Intestinal Submucosa (SIS) when used for urinary bladder repair. Biomaterials 22:2653-9.