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Photo of Nagy, Kathryn L.

Kathryn L. Nagy, PhD

Professor and Department Head

Environmental Biogeochemistry, Mineral-Water Interactions


Building & Room:

2442 SES


845 West Taylor St.

Office Phone:

(312) 355-3276


We investigate geochemical and biogeochemical reactions in mineral-organic matter-water systems pertinent to Earth’s surface and near-surface regions. Exploration of molecular-scale processes responsible for limiting or enabling transport of chemical consituents in natural waters is accomplished using a variety of experimental approaches, natural materials, field samples, and advanced analytical techniques including synchrotron radiation. Current work is focused on identifying and characterizing environmental reactions involving the neurotoxic element mercury, other trace elements, and nutrient sulfur.

Selected Publications

  • Lee S. S., Fenter P., Nagy K. L., and Stuchio N. C. (2017) Real-time observation of cation exchange kinetics and dynamics at the muscovite–water interface. Nature Communications 8, 15826.
  • Callagon E., Lee S. S., Eng P., Laanait N., Sturchio N. C., Nagy K. L., and Fenter P. (2017) Heteroepitaxial growth of cadmium carbonate at dolomite and calcite surfaces: Mechanisms and rates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 205, 360-380.
  • Poulin B. A., Ryan J. N., Nagy K. L., Stubbins A., Dittmar T., Orem W., Krabbenhoft D. P., and Aiken G. R. (2017) Spatial dependence of reduced sulfur in Everglades dissolved organic matter controlled by sulfate enrichment. Environmental Science & Technology 51, 3630–3639.
  • Manceau A., Enescu M., Simionovici A., Lanson M., Gonzalez-Rey M., Rovezzi M.,Tucoulou R., Glatzel P., Nagy K. L., Bourdineaud J.-P. (2016) Chemical forms of mercury in human hair reveal sources of exposure. Environmental Science & Technology 50, 10721–10729.
  • Poulin B. A., Aiken G. R., Nagy K. L., Manceau A., Krabbenhoft D. P., and Ryan J. N. (2016) Mercury transformation and release differs with depth and time in a contaminated riparian soil during simulated flooding. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 176, 118-138.
  • Buchanan S., Targos L., Kearney K. E., Nagy K. L., Turyk M. (2015) Fish consumption and hair mercury among Asians in Chicago. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 57, 1325-1330.
  • Manceau, A., Lemouchi C., Enescu M., Gaillot A.-C., Lanson M., Magnin V., Glatzel P., Rovezzi M., Poulin B., Ryan J.N., Aiken G.R., Gauthier-Luneau I., Nagy K. L. (2015) Formation of mercury sulfide from Hg(II)−thiolate complexes in natural organic matter. Environmental Science & Technology 49, 9787-9796.
  • Manceau A. and Nagy K. L. (2012) Quantitative analysis of sulfur functional groups in humic substances by XANES spectroscopy. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 99, 206-223.
  • Lee S. S., Nagy K. L., Park C., and Fenter P. (2011) Heavy metal sorption at the muscovite (001)-fulvic acid interface. Environmental Science & Technology 45, 9574–9581.
  • Nagy K. L., Manceau A., Gasper, J., Ryan J. N., and Aiken G. R. (2011) Metallothionein-like multinuclear clusters of mercury(II) and sulfur in peat. Environmental Science & Technology 45, 7298-7306.


BS Geology, 1977, University of Delaware

MS Geological Sciences, 1981, Brown University

PhD Geology, 1988, Texas A&M University

Post-Doctoral Associate, 1989-1990, Yale University