Professor and Head, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary


Contact Information

Office Phone: 403-220-5389


Location: Earth Sciences 506A;



Professor Bernhard Mayer is an internationally known isotope tracer geochemist. He combines aqueous, gas and isotope geochemical approaches to determine the sources, the transport and the fate of methane, ethane and other redox-sensitive species such as sulfate and nitrate in subsurface environments. Dr. Mayer’s research applies innovative scientific approaches to improve recovery of fossil fuels with the goal to reduce environmental impacts. He has (co-)authored more than 160 papers in international refereed journals and 15 book chapters on a wide variety of geochemical topics including shale gas development, geologic CO2sequestration, and water sources in the Athabasca oilsands. In addition, he conducts extensive research on sources and fate of nutrient in surface water and groundwater systems. His expertise has garnered him a member appointment on the national scientific review panel on “Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction” coordinated by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) in response to a request by the Government of Canada, Minister of Industry from 2012-2014. He held an Annual Killam Professorship at the University of Calgary in 2017-18. 

Dr. Bernhard Mayer received his PhD in isotope geochemistry in 1993 from the University of Munich (Germany). After an 18 months stint as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary, he returned to Germany as an assistant in the department of sedimentary and isotope geology at the Ruhr-University Bochum (1994-1997). In September 1997, Dr. Mayer accepted a professorial appointment at the University of Calgary.