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Ecosystem Science and Management|College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Assistant Professor
Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry

Mengqiang "Mike" Zhu


Ph.D. University of Delaware, 2010
M.S. Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2005
B.E. North China Electric Power University, 2002 


Soil Chemistry, Soils and Environmental Quality, and Soil Mineralogy

Research Emphasis

My research interests are focused on environmentally-relevant biogeochemical processes that largely control mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants and also affect carbon and nutrient cycling in soils and aquatic environments. Specific areas of interest include 1) mineral-water interfacial reactions (e.g., sorption, redox and co-precipitation), 2) microbially-mediated transformation of metals and metalloids, 3) formation, structure and properties of environmental nanomaterials, 4) environmental remediation of soils, sediments, and water contaminated by anthropogenic activities, such as mining and energy production, and 5) speciation and cycling of P and S in soils. Multiple state-of-the-art synchrotron X-ray techniques (e.g., XAS, PDF and SAXS) and quantum chemical calculations are used in my research to provide mechanistic understanding of these processes at the molecular-scale.

Recent Publications

  1. Yin H., Dai X., Zhu M., Li F., Feng X., Liu F., Fe-doped cryptomelane synthesized by refluxing at atmosphere: structure, properties and photocatalytic degradation of phenol, J. Hazard. Mater. 2015, in press
  2. Yin H., Feng X., Tan W., Koopal L.K., Hu T., Zhu M., Liu F. Structure and Properties of Vanadium (V)-doped Hexagonal Turbostratic Birnessite and its Enhanced Scavenging of Pb2+ from Solutions, J. Hazard. Mater., 2015, 288, 80-88
  3. Legg B. A., Zhu M., Comolli L.R., Gilbert B., Banfield J.F., Impacts of Ionic Strength on Three-Dimensional Nanoparticle Aggregate Structure and Consequences for Environmental Transport and Deposition, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (23):13703
  4. Legg B. A., Zhu M., Comolli L.R., Gilbert B., Banfield J.F., Determination of the Three-Dimensional Structure of Ferrihydrite Nanoparticle Aggregates, Langmuir, 2014, 30 (33):9931
  5. Zhu M., Northrup P., Shi C., Billinge S.J.L., Sparks, D.L., and Waychunas, G.A., The Structure of Sulfate Adsorption Complexes on Ferrihydrite, Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2014, 1 (1): 97
  6. Zhu M., Puls B. W., Zhang H., Kubicki J. and Waychunas G. A. In situ Structural Characterization of Ferric Iron Dimers in Aqueous Solutions: Identification of µ-oxo Species, Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52 (12): 6788
  7. Li W., Wang Y.-J., Zhu M., Zhou D., Phillips B. L., Sparks D. L., Inhibition Mechanisms of Zn Precipitation on Aluminum Oxide by Glyphosate, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47(9):4211
  8. Zhu M., Legg. B., Zhang H., Gilbert B., Ren Y., Banfield, J. and Waychunas, G.A., Early-stage Formation of Iron Oxyhydroxides During Neutralization of Simulated Acid Mine Drainage Solutions, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46(15):8140
  9. Livi K. J. T., Lafferty B. J., Zhu M., Zhang S., Gaillot A. and Sparks D. L., Electron Energy-Loss Safe-Dose Limits for Manganese Valence Measurements in Environmentally Relevant Manganese Oxides, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46(2):970
  10. Zhu M., Farrow C. L., Post J. E., Livi K. J. T., Billinge S. J. L., Ginder-Vogel M. and Sparks D. L., Structural Study of Poorly-Crystalline Abiotic and Biotic Mn-oxides Using Atomic Pair Distribution Function, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta., 2012, 81:39

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