The European Association of Geochemistry started its Distinguished Lecture Program in 2011 and it currently focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. This program aims to introduce and motivate scientists and students located in under-represented regions of the world to emerging research areas in geochemistry.

The Distinguished Lecturer is selected each year based on a combination of outstanding research contributions to geochemistry and the ability to clearly communicate these contributions to a broad audience.

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2020

2020 Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco

Dr. Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco is based in the Department of Geology (School of Natural Sciences), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. His fields of research are environmental mineralogy and crystallisation. His research focuses on mineral genesis and the interaction of aqueous species with mineral surfaces. In particular, he studies the mechanisms of mineral nucleation and growth and the interaction of common seawater ions, pollutants and organics with mineral surfaces and their relevance to global-scale processes like biomineralisation, biogeochemical element cycling and the evolution of the global chemistry of the oceans. More information

Lectures

Lecture 1: From atoms to minerals: how calcium carbonates form and why we should care

The crystallisation of calcium carbonates is key in abiotic and biomineralisation processes, which in turn control a large part of the global carbon cycle. Many of these processes involve the formation amorphous precursors and metastable crystalline phases prior to the crystallisation of thermodynamically stable phases. In this talk we will examine key examples showing the mechanisms of formation of calcium carbonates and their implications for biomineralisation, industrial processes and carbon sequestration.

Lecture 2: Adventures in crystallisation: How to produce synthetic minerals. Not as easy as it looks!

Although there are more than 4000 known minerals in nature, the synthesis of crystals with functional properties is essential to ensure the feasibility of modern technological applications. In this talk I will give an overview of the most commonly used crystallisation techniques, highlighting the main difficulties and challenges that need to be overcome to obtain crystals with specific compositions, structures and physicochemical properties.

Lecture 3: Using synchrotron light to find solutions to our energy problems

A synchrotron is a circular particle accelerator that produces very powerful electromagnetic radiation which is emitted when charged particles move at close to the speed of light. In this talk I will review some applications of synchrotron radiation in the fields of mineralogy and crystallisation and how these can be used to meet our energy demands and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Lecture 4: Mechanistic insights into the formation of rare earth carbonates

Rare earth elements are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table: 15 lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium. These are considered to be strategic metals because they are indispensable for green and high technology industries. Most rare earths are exploited as carbonates in carbonatite deposits, but the genesis of these ores are still under debate due to their complicated mineralogy, element composition and geologic history. In this talk we will explore the latest findings in rare earth carbonate crystallisation and the key factors that affect the crystal chemistry of these minerals.

Applications to invite the EAG Distinguished Lecturer are now open

If your institution is located in Eastern Europe and you wish to invite Dr. Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco to give one or several lectures at your institution, please contact Marie-Aude Hulshoff, EAG Office, at mahulshoff@eag.eu.com with the following information:

  • Contact name, email and telephone number
  • Name of the institution and address
  • Preferred date(s): between 26 and 30 October, or between 7 and 18 December
  • Preferred lecture(s)
  • Availability of video recording equipment (yes/no)

The European Association of Geochemistry will cover the lecturer’s travel expenses and host institutions are requested to cover local expenses (such as accomodation, meals), however should this be an issue, please do not hesitate to let our office know.

Past Lecture Tours

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2019 (videos of lectures available)

2019 Distinguished Lecturer: Prof. Karen Hudson-Edwards, University of Exeter, UK

Karen Hudson-Edwards is based in the Environment & Sustainability Institute and the Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter, where she is a Professor of Sustainable Mining. Her research focuses on understanding the character and geochemical mobility of mine wastes, and on designing management and remediation schemes to lessen their impacts on ecosystem and human health. Read more

Lectures

  • Lecture 1: The What, Where, How and Why of Mine Tailings
    Tailings are wastes comprising mixtures of crushed rock and processing fluids from mills, washeries, or concentrators that remain after the extraction of economic metals, minerals, mineral duels or coal from the mined resource. They contain potentially toxic metals and metalloids and can be very reactive, generating acidity or alkalinity and affecting ecosystem and human health. To understand their impacts we must ask the what, where, how and why questions.

Recorded at the Geological Survey of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

  • Lecture 2: The Global Biogeochemical and Health Impacts of Mining
    Mining is a vital part of the global economy, but unmanaged releases of mine wastes can affect the health of humans, ecosystems, water, soil and Earth surface environments such as rivers, estuaries, oceans and the atmosphere. New technological developments and multi-disciplinary collaborations are leading to new insights into the relationship between mining and the health of the Earth, and the effect of mining on global biogeochemical cycles.

Recorded at the Geological Survey of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

  • Lecture 3: Environmental Minerals: Bacteria, Worms, Dusts, Toxins and the Human Body
    Environmental minerals are naturally-occurring or anthropogenically-derived, inorganic or organic, often formed through biological processes, crystalline to very poorly crystalline and have fixed or variable compositions. They occur in virtually all Earth Surface environments, including the human body. Novel nano- to macro-scale technologies are allowing scientists to probe them in more detail than ever before.

Recorded at the Geological Survey of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2018 (videos of lectures available)

2018 Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Jim McQuaid, University of Leeds, UK

Dr Jim McQuaid is based in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. His research is primarily focused upon observations of the composition of both gas phase and aerosol species in the atmosphere. Over the last 20 years he has participated in a large number of research campaigns both ground-based and airborne across the globe. He has been involved in studying a range of diverse topics including long range transport of pollutants across the Atlantic and over Europe, emissions from biomass burning activities in South and West Africa as well as from the Amazon and more recently the distribution of ice nucleating particles in remote regions. Read more

Lectures

  • Lecture 1: Geoengineering the Climate

Iron fertilisation of the oceans, injecting particles high into the atmosphere and other methods that might reduce the effects of climate change. However their interactions go far beyond that for which they are designed, we must fully understand the whole cycle of such actions before committing ourselves to them.

Recorded at the Department of Geophysics, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Lecture 2: The impact of volcanic eruptions on local, regional and global scales

Major historic eruptions such as Krakatoa, Laki and Tambora had huge implications across the planet far beyond their immediate impact on the local region. These will be described and we will discuss how they have helped our understanding of nature’s power. More recently, eruptions such as Pinatubo and El Chichón have allowed us to test our understanding of the global atmosphere whilst significant financial losses associated with the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 have resulted in significant focus in our efforts to monitor and predict such eruptions including systems to monitor post eruption allowing impacted airspace to reopen as soon as possible.

Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

  • Lecture 3: The role of atmospheric mineral dust in modifying surface albedo and cloud radiative properties

Mineral dust blowing off the Sahara produces a number of changes in local marine geochemistry resulting in algal blooms that can change the oceanic ecosystems, which can have a profound effect upon the global albedo both near field and at significant distance from the emission.

Recorded at the Department of Geophysics, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Lecture 4: High altitude mineral dust and ice clouds

High in the atmosphere supercooled water can exist in the liquid phase well below 0 °C, in fact ultra pure water does not freeze until around -38 °C. In order to freeze, water droplets need a helping hand in the form of a tiny fragment of material known as an ice nucleating particle (INP). But what exactly is an INP? What is it made of? Recent studies have started to help us unpick what makes for a good INP.

Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2017 (videos of lectures available)

2017 Distinguished Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Lenny H.E. Winkel, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Lenny H.E. Winkel is currently Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) and group leader at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) in Duebendorf, Switzerland. She did her undergraduate studies in Geology at Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and obtained her Ph.D. in Geochemistry in 2006 at ETH Zurich, followed by postdoctoral research positions at Eawag and University of Grenoble, (France), University of Aberdeen (UK) and the Technical University of Crete (Greece) in the frame of an EU funded Marie Curie project. Read more

Lectures

View Lecture Abstracts

  • Lecture 1: Arsenic contamination of groundwaters

Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös University Budapest (ELTE)

  • Lecture 2: Global biogeochemical cycling of selenium

Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös University Budapest (ELTE)

  • Lecture 3: Predicting broad-scale environmental distributions of trace elements

Recorded at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2016 (videos of lectures available)

2016 Distinguished Lecturer: Prof. Alexandre Anesio, University of Bristol, UK

Alexandre Anesio’s research interests are broad and combine concepts from Geography, Biology and Chemistry to understand carbon cycle in the cryosphere. His research has concentrated in two broad areas. Firstly, he studies microbes in the cryosphere. Against all expectations glaciers harbour a highly active microbial community. Bacteria, viruses and microscopic plants thrive in conditions that might be analogous to other planets and to early Earth. Second, he is also interested in a range of climate (e.g., UV radiation and acid rain) and human impacts (e.g., mining, sewage, pesticides) on freshwaters. Read more

Lectures

View Lecture Abstracts

  • Lecture 1: Biogeochemical cycles and microbial processes in icy habitats

Recorded at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland

  • Lecture 2: Microbiological approaches in biogeochemistry: from genes to experiments

Video not available.

  • Lecture 3: The interplay between weathering and microbes during soil formation

Recorded at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2015 (videos of lectures available)

2015 Distinguished Lecturer: Prof. Miryam Bar-Matthews, Geological Survey of Israel

Prof. Miryam Bar-Matthews obtained her PhD in geology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Geological Survey of Israel. Her main field of research is the reconstruction of terrestrial palaeoclimate during the last 500,000 years using high resolution cave Speleothem records. The research covers a wide spectrum: understanding karst processes from the rainfall source (oceans) to sink (caves); the use of isotope geochemical tracers as paleoclimate proxies; how speleothem records can be used to determine critical changes in the regional hydrological cycle, with their implications for rapid aridification/desertification processes and impact on human settlement and migration patterns. Most of her research is based in the eastern Mediterranean and North East Sahara regions, but ongoing research also focuses on South Africa and the southern hemisphere. She was awarded the 2013 Hans Oeschger medal of the European Geociences Union. Read more

Lectures

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  • Lecture 1: Speleothems as paleoclimate indicators

Recorded in Budapest (Hungary) at the Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

  • Lecture 2: Novel techniques in speleothems research for paleohydrological studies

Recorded in Budapest (Hungary) at the Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

  • Lecture 3: Water availability in Middle East and North Africa and the connection to human dispersal: insights from speleothems research

Recorded in Zadar (Croatia) at the Department of Geography, University of Zadar

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2014 (videos of lectures available)

2014 Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Rachael James, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

Rachael’s research focuses on the development and application of chemical and isotopic techniques to improve our understanding of earth and planetary processes- both now and in the past. Read more

Lectures

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  • Lecture 1: Weathering, ocean chemistry and climate change: New insights from non-traditional metal stable isotopes

Recorded in Budapest (Hungary) at the Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

  • Lecture 2: Linkages between methane release from Arctic shelf sediments and climate change
    No video available
  • Lecture 3: Monitoring and impacts of leakage from sub-seafloor CO2 storage sites
    No video available

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2013 (videos of lectures available)

2013 Distinguished Lecturer: Pr. Thomas Röckmann, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Thomas Röckmann is a leading specialist in the development and application of isotope techniques to atmospheric research. He is head of the Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Group at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) of Utrecht University with currently 27 group members. His group operates a large and innovative atmospheric chemistry laboratory specialized in isotope ratio measurements on numerous trace species. His research covers a wide field of applications with isotope studies, e.g. global trace gas budgets, detailed kinetic isotope effects, impact of anthropogenic activities on the atmosphere or stratosphere-troposphere exchange. At the age of 44, he has over 120 publications in peer refereed journals (ISI listed). He participates or has participated as PI for isotope analysis in the EU projects EUROHYDROS (coordinator of WP2), SCOUT-O3, CRYOSTAT, EUPLEX and TROCCINOX and the European ice coring project NEEM (FP7). Read more

Lectures

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  • Lecture 1: Oxygen isotope anomalies in the atmosphere

  • Lecture 2: Reconstructing changes in atmospheric trace gases in the industrial era from isotope measurements on air extracted from polar firn

 

  • Lecture 3: The isotopic composition of long-lived trace gases in the stratosphere

 

Tour information

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2012

2012 Distinguished Lecturer: Pr. Tim Elliott, University of Bristol, UK

Read about Pr. Tim Elliott

Lectures

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  • Lecture 1: The Origin of Precious Metals on Earth
  • Lecture 2: Super Nova Contributions to the Solar System
  • Lecture 3: Tracing mantle evolution with novel isotopic systems

Tour information

  • 19 November: Institute of Geological Sciences, Warsaw University, Poland – Lectures 1 and 3
  • 20 November: Institute of Geological Sciences, Wrocław, Poland – Lecture 1
  • 21 November: Faculty of Geology and Geography, Sofia University, Bulgaria – Lecture 1
  • 22 & 23 November: Faculty of Environmental Science, Universitatea Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca, Romania – Lectures 1 and 3

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2011 (videos of lectures available)

2011 Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Karim Benzerara, CNRS and University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

Dr. Karim Benzerara is specialized in geomicrobiology, mineralogy, and the study of interactions between life and minerals and fossilization. Read more

Lectures

View Lecture Abstracts

  • Lecture 1: Iron biomineralization by neutrophilic anaerobic Fe-oxidizing bacteria: a nanoscale perspective.

Video of Lecture 1 given in Bucharest (2 parts)

  • Lecture 2: Combination of transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron-based x-ray microscopy for the study of geomicrobiological samples.

 Video of Lecture 2 given in Prague

  • Lecture 3: Biomineralogical study of stromatolites at the nanoscale.

 Video of Lecture 3 given in Budapest (2 parts)

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