Jean-François Boily

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2008-present      Professor, Umeå University, Sweden
2022                      Professor (Sabbatical) McGill University, Canada
2004-2008          Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
2000-2004          Post-doc ETH-Zürich, Switzerland
1999                      Ph.D. Umeå University, Sweden
1997                      M.Sc. McGill University, Canada
1994                      B.Sc. McGill University, Canada

Recent News    

  • June 2024: The lab partners with Boliden on a Ph.D. project on Acid Mine Drainage
  • May 2024: Maria Arizaleta will join the group in 2025 as a WISE-Formas postdoc
  • March 2024: Thi Tra My Bui and Tao Chen (Rennes Institute of Chemical Sciences) joins us from Khalil Hanna’s lab for an extended stay!
  • March 2024: New WISE-UmU funds for a postdoc, supported by Kempe
  • November 2023: New Kempe funds for a postdoc (Tao Chen)
  • November 2023: New grant from the Kempe Foundation for a post
  • November 2023: Our new XPS instrument is now installed!
  • August 2023: Sébastien Le Crom goes to IMT-Atlantique for a Maître de Conférence position!
  • July 2023: Sébastien Le Crom and Angelo Sebaaly attend the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference
  • June 2023: Tao Chen (Rennes Institute of Chemical Sciences) joins us from Khalil Hanna’s lab for an extended stay!
  • April 2023: JF Boily presents (link here) at the European Geoscience Union
  • November 2022: New funds from the Carl Tryggers Foundation! We are now looking for a postdoc to work on minerals in ice!
  • October 2022: Angelo Sebaaly (PhD student) and Sébastien LeCrom (postdoc) join the lab!
  • July-September 2022: On sabbatical at McGill. Learning aerosol modeling with Andi Zuend.
  • June 2022: GCA paper on rhodochrosite oxidation now out!
  • June 2022: CNRS (France) funds a 5-year project on coupled water flow and chemical reactivity with Khalil Hanna,  École nationale supérieure de chimie de Rennes (ENSCR))!
  • May-December 2022: PhD student Tao Luo (Rennes) joins us for an extended stay! 
  • January 2022: Microplastics paper out
  • January 2022:  Antiflammatory and antibiotics drugs transport paper out in ES&T
  • November 2021: 10 Mkr for a new XPS! Co-funded by The Kempe Foundation and Umeå University! 
  • November 2021: New funds from the Kempe Foundation! We are now looking for a postdoc!
  • November 2021: New Langmuir paper on silicates & organics on minerals


My research activities are focused on  geochemical reactions at mineral surfaces, and connect scales of molecules, single mineral particles, to single macroscopic crystals.  Examples of interest include thin water and ice films,  ice nucleation & growth, interfacial electrochemistry.

Our approach is multidisciplinary, and we routinely blend experiment with theory. Main experimental approaches include vibrational (FTIR, Raman, Sum Frequency Generation) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Electrochemical methods include Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM). Interpretations of laboratory observations are always assisted by molecular simulations (Molecular Dynamics, Density Functional Theory) of representative systems. Reaction mechanisms are often packaged into thermodynamic/kinetic models that can be used to predict atmospheric and geochemical processes.

Salient Funded Projects

Swedish Research Council

Rust in Ice (2021-2024)

Chemistry Within the Confines of Mineral-Bound Thin Water Films  (2017-2020)

Mineral Surface Structural Controls on Gas-Phase Adsorption Reactions  (2013-2016)

Molecular Controls on CO2 Adsorption on Mineral Surfaces  (2010-2012)


Direct Mineralization of Atmospheric CO2 by Enhanced Weathering (2023-2024)

CNRS (International Research Project)

Freeze/thaw controls on coupled water flow and chemical reactivity in icy environments (2023-2027) (w/ K. Hanna, Renne Institut of Chemical Sciences).

Kempe Foundation (Postdoc & Instrument support)

Carl-Tryggers Foundation (Postdoc support)

Group Members

Maria Arizaleta (2025-, Postdoc)

Thi Tra My Bui (2024-, visiting PhD student)

Tao Chen (2023-, visiting PhD student / Postdoc from November 2024)

Tao Luo (2023-present, Postdoc)

Paul Vincent Munar (September 2024-, PhD student)

Angelo Pio Sebaaly (2022-present, Ph.D student)

Romana Szakal (November 2024-, PhD student)

Frank van Rijn (2023-present, B.Sc.)

Previous Group Members

Wenting Feng (postdoc 2012-2014). Researcher at  Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Masakazu Kanematsu (Postdoc from LBNL, 2014) Environmental Scientist at Anchor QEA, Portland, OR)

Philipp Kozin, (Ph.D. 2014).  Scientific Foresight Analyst at L’Oréal (Clichy, France)

Sébastien Le Crom (postdoc 2022-2023). Associate Professor at Institut Mines-Télécom Nantes (France). 

Marie Lucas, (Postdoc, 20142016)

Mushel Uddin Munshi (M.Sc. 2014) Ph.D. at Radboud University, 2019.

Hanna Oderstad (M.Sc. 2024)

Kenichi Shimizu (postdoc 2009-2014). R&D at Northvolt

Xiaowei Song (Ph.D. 2013). Material and Product Developer at IKEA

Julie Tolu (postdoc 2012-2015). Researcher at EAWAG

Merve Yeşilbaş (Ph.D. 2018). Assistant Professor at Umeå University



Contact & Delivery Address

Jean-François Boily
Department of Chemistry
Linnaeusv. 6
Umeå University
SE-901 87 Umeå