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Michael J. Kristo

Portrait of  Michael J. Kristo

  • Title
    Group Leader, Chemical & Isotopic Signatures
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 422-7714


After obtaining his PhD, Michael Kristo spent four years as a US Air Force officer in the Air Force Technical Applications Center and twelve years as a scientist, analyst, and manager at Charles Evans & Associates, a commercial materials analysis company in Silicon Valley.

At LLNL, Kristo is the associate program leader for the Nuclear Forensics Materials Analysis Program and group leader for the Chemical & Isotopic Signatures group. He is principal investigator on a wide variety of projects in the areas of nuclear forensics, non-proliferation, and international collaboration. He is also heavily involved in international engagement in nuclear forensics, including serving as the Guidelines Task Group co-chair for the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group.

Research Interests

Michael Kristo’s research interests include the application of analytical techniques to national security problems. He is particularly interested in the application of novel mass spectrometric techniques, imaging methods, and multidimensional statistics to nuclear forensics problems

Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, Michigan State University, 1987

B.S., Chemistry, University of Notre Dame, 1983

  1. “Nuclear Forensic Science: Analysis of Nuclear Material Out of Regulatory Control,” M.J. Kristo, A. M. Gaffney, N. Marks, K. Knight, W. S. Cassata, and I. D. Hutcheon, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2016, 44, 555–79.
  2. “Nuclear Forensics: Scientific analysis supporting law enforcement and nuclear security investigations,” E. Keegan, M.J. Kristo, K. Toole, R. Kips, and E. Young, Anal. Chem. 2016, 88 (3), 1496–1505.
  3. “Nuclear forensic analysis of uranium oxide powders interdicted in Victoria, Australia.” M.J. Kristo, E. Keegan, M. Colella, R. Williams, R. Lindvall, et al. Radiochim. Acta 2015, 103, 487–500.
  4. “Nuclear forensic analysis of an unknown uranium ore concentrate sample seized in a criminal investigation in Australia.” E. Keegan, M.J. Kristo, M. Colella, M. Robel, R. Williams, et al. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 240, 111–21.
  5. “The State of Nuclear Forensics,” M. J. Kristo and S. J. Tumey, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 2013, 294, 656–661.
  6. “Nonproliferation Nuclear Forensics,” Kim Knight, Michael Kristo, and Ian Hutcheon, Chapter 13 in Uranium: Mineralogy, Geochemistry and the Environment, Mineralogical Association of Canada Short Course 43, Winnipeg MB, 2013.
  7. “Nuclear Forensics,” Michael J. Kristo, Chapter 21 in Handbook of Radioactivity Analysis, 3rd Ed., edited by M. F. L’Annunziata. Elsevier: San Francisco, 2012, 1281–1304.
  • Global Security Directorate Silver Award, 2017
  • Director’s Institutional Award for Operational Excellence, 2016
  • PLS Directorate Award for Excellence in Publication, 2016
  • Global Security Directorate Gold Award, 2010