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Neil Sturchio

Professor and Chair

Dr. Sturchio is Professor and Chair of Geological Sciences at the University of Delaware. He is active in research on the development and application of stable and radioactive isotopic tracer methods as well as synchrotron x-ray scattering and spectroscopy techniques in hydrogeology and environmental geochemistry. His educational background includes a B.A. in Earth Sciences and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences. He was a member of the scientific staff at Argonne National Laboratory from 1983-2000, then moved to a tenured professorship at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He established the Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory at UIC in 2000. He moved with it to the University of Delaware (UD) in 2014.

He has been principal thesis advisor for 21 graduate students, and has supervised 27 undergraduate research participants and 13 postdocs in his lab. He and his colleagues have done substantial work on compound-specific isotopic analysis of chlorinated organics, explosives, and perchlorate. He was a member of the research teams that won the DOD-ESTCP and DOD-SERDP Project of the Year Awards in 2008 and 2016. He was elected Secretary of The Geochemical Society for a three-year term (2008-2011). He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (elected 1997). He serves on the Editorial Boards of Chemical Geology, Elementa, and Environmental Forensics. He teaches courses in general geochemistry and isotope geochemistry, and is frequently invited to speak at international symposia and short courses and to participate in workshops and review/advisory panels sponsored by DOE, DOD, NSF, and the IAEA.

Research Interests

Environmental geochemistry from molecular to global scale; development and application of new methods in isotope geochemistry and in synchrotron radiation studies of mineral-fluid interactions

Current Projects

1) Application of C and N Stable Isotope Analysis to Evaluate Biotic and Abiotic Degradation of DNAN and NTO (NC Sturchio, PI; with M. Fuller and P. Hatzinger, APTIM, Inc.)

2) Mineral-Fluid Interactions: Synchrotron Radiation Studies at the Advanced Photon Source (NC Sturchio, PI; with P Fenter and SS Lee at Argonne National Lab)

3) Quantifying the Timing and Spatial Extent of Sediment Restoration Effectiveness in the White Clay Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania (with J. Pizzuto [PI] and M. O’Neal)


Lee SS, Fenter P, Nagy KL, Sturchio NC, 2017. Real-time observation of cation exchange kinetics and dynamics at the muscovite–water interface. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15826.

Fuller ME, Heraty LJ, Condee C, Vainberg S, Sturchio NC, Bohlke JK, Hatzinger PB, 2016. Relating carbon and nitrogen isotope effects to reaction mechanisms during aerobic and anaerobic degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by pure bacterial cultures. Applied Environmental Microbiology 82: 3297–3309.

Poghosyan A, Sturchio NC, Morrison CG, Beloso AD Jr, Guan Y, Eiler JM, Jackson WA, Hatzinger PB, 2014. Perchlorate in the Great Lakes: Isotopic composition and origin. Environmental Science and Technology 48, 11146-11153.

More at Google Scholars

Current Lab/Team Members

Linnea Heraty, Laboratory Manager

Bektur Abdilla, Ph.D. student

Mahmoud Sherif, Ph.D. student

Chunlei Wang, Ph.D. student

Elizabeth Lofredo, undergraduate assistant

Jared Goodstadt, undergraduate assistant


• Geochemistry• Water Science


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Earth Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences

Providing a unique spatial perspective that seeks to explain patterns of differences and commonality across the human and natural environment.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-8062
Geography and Spatial Sciences: 302-831-2294 • Earth Sciences: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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