Welcome to the Molecular Geochemistry Laboratory

If chemistry is the central science, then geochemistry is the central science as applied to understanding the natural world around us.

Geochemists seek to answer questions relating to the evolution of life on Earth and how metalloenzymes may have evolved, the chemistry of the oceans and how they are affected by global warming, the interplay between flora, fauna and the environment in chemical terms, how pollutants interact with soils and minerals, and how radioactive waste can be securely stored for millennia. We do this by connecting the very big — mountains — with the very small — atoms and molecules, and the very fast — fundamental reactions — with the often very slow — weathering

If you share our passion for understanding and explaining how the world works — join us! To find out about opportunities in our laboratory, contact one of the group leaders: Erik BjörnJean-François BoilyMichael Holmboe, C. André Ohlin, Andrey Shchukarev, and Staffan Sjöberg.

New paper on methylmercury bioavailability!

Top right: Principles for DOM-thiol controlled uptake of MeHg via thermodynamically or kinetically controlled mechanisms. Bottom right: Large, systematic decrease in DOM-thiols, and thereby increase in MeHg uptake across the terrestrial-marine aquatic continuum.

Research in Björn’s group show how the availability of methylmercury for incorporation at the base of the aquatic food web (by phytoplankton cellular uptake) is controlled by the concentration of thiol functional groups in dissolved organic matter. The research further shows how the concentration of DOM-thiols systematically decreases across the terrestrial-marine aquatic continuum.

PhD position available in the Holmboe group!

Many countries such as Sweden rely on nuclear power to meet their energy needs.  As a result, various types of deep geologic repository concepts for the disposal of nuclear waste are being planned worldwide. The goal of this PhD project is to study radiation-induced chemistry at the molecular level in the context of nuclear waste disposal, using advanced theoretical and experimental techniques, such as molecular simulations, gamma-radiation and X-ray synchrotron-based methods. This 4-year PhD project is funded by the Swedish Radiation Authority (SSM), and builds upon prior research in the Holmboe group in collaboration with Prof. Mats Jonsson, Applied Phys. Chem, KTH, Sweden.

Link to add in English  

Figure 1. Schematic of flip-flopping of structural Fe(III) to Fe(II) and back, due to reactions with the primary radicals from water radiolysis. 

Congratulations Sébastien!

Sébastien Le Crom (Kempe Postdoc in Boily group) is beginning a “Maître de Conférence” position at Institut Mines-Télécom Nantes (France) in September 2023. 

Sébastien also gave the following talk (link here) entitled “” at the 2023 Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Lyon:

Le Crom S., Boily J.-F. 2023 Ciprofloxacin Binding Mechanisms on Goethite: A Molecular Dynamics Study. Goldschmidt 2023 Conference.

2023 Boily papers so far

[7] Luong N.T., Veyret N., Boily J.-F. ‡ 2023. CO2 mineralization by MgO nanocubes in nanometric water films. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. (accepted, Aug. 29, 2023).

[6] Luong N.T., Boily J.-F. ‡ 2023 MgO Water film-driven brucite nanosheet growth and stacking. Langmuir31, 11090-11098.

[5] Luong N.T., Oderstad H. Holmboe M., Boily J.-F. ‡ 2023 Temperature-resolved nanoscale hydration of a layered manganese oxide. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 25, 17352-17359.

[4] Luong N.T., Holmboe M., Boily J.-F. ‡ 2023 MgO nanocube hydroxylation by nanometric water films. Nanoscale. 15, 10286-10294.

[3] Adeniyi K.O, Osmanaj B., Manavalan G., Samikannu A., Mikkola J.-P., Avni B., Boily J.-F., Tesfalidet S.‡ 2023. Engineering of layered iron vanadate nanostructure for electrocatalysis: simultaneous detection of methotrexate and folinic acid in blood serum. Electrochim. Acta. 142538.

[2] Zhou L., Lassabatère L., Luong N.T., Boily J.-F, Hanna K. ‡ 2023 Mineral nanoparticle aggregation alters contaminant transport under flow. Environ. Sci. Technol. 57, 2415-2422.

[1] Luo T., Pokharel R., Chen T., Boily J.-F., Hanna K. ‡ 2023. Fate and transport of pharmaceuticals in iron and manganese binary oxide coated sand columns. Environ. Sci. Technol., 57, 214-221.