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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

Complete list of publications on Google Scholar

  • Li A., Tang Q., Kearney K.E., Nagy K.L., Zhang J., Buchanan S., and Turyk M.E. (2022) Persistent and toxic chemical pollutants in fish consumed by Asians in Chicago, United States. Science of the Total Environment 811, 152214.
  • Manceau A. and Nagy K.L. (2019) Thiols in natural organic matter: Molecular forms, acidity, and reactivity with mercury(II) from First-Principles calculations and high energy-resolution X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 3, 2795-2807.
  • Bourdineaud J.-P., Gonzalez-Rey M., Rovezzi M., Glatzel P., Nagy K.L., and Manceau A. (2019) Divalent mercury in dissolved organic matter is bioavailable to fish and accumulates as dithiolate and tetrathiolate complexes. Environmental Science & Technology 53, 4880-4891.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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