Earth System Geochemistry

Critical Zone • Biogeochemistry •  Environmental Geochemistry • Elements and Isotopes • Geochemical Cycles • Geomicrobiology • Low-Temperature  Geochemistry • Medical and Public Health Geology • Water, Air and Soil Pollution

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Human society and the natural world are intertwined through the chemistry of the Earth system. We use science to find out how our civilization and natural environment can be sustainably managed together. We apply the principles and tools of geochemistry and biogeochemistry to reveal and understand the links between the different parts of the Earth system. To achieve our goals, we engage in multidisciplinary collaborations with researchers from engineering, biology, and chemistry. Curiosity, collaborations, and taking advantage of technological and experimental innovations are the main drivers of research successes in the field of Earth System Geochemistry. By strategically developing key skills within our faculty and students, we establish and maintain a thriving research, teaching and learning environment.

From rocks to humans, from dust particles to soil microbes, from trace elements to Earth’s history — Earth System Geochemistry spans a mind boggling diversity and variety of processes that operate from milliseconds to eons.Despite this apparent disparity, we believe that all of these processes are so closely intertwined that we have to understand them and their vulnerable relationships in a holistic and creative, yet systematic manner. Geochemistry provides us with the common ground and platform to tackle these tasks.


Our research spans a wide variety of topics, such as tracing dust and sediment transport, studying the inhalation and dissolution of minerals and metals in the human respiratory and circulatory systems, assessing water, air, and soil pollution, measuring biogeochemical alterations in the critical zone, quantifying chemical weathering, revealing the interactions between trace metals and major element cycles, detecting past climate changes in sea-floor and lake-bottom sediments, and understanding the geomicrobiology of sulfur cycling in the deep biosphere.