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Dr. Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco

Associate Professor (Geology)

I am an Ussher Assistant Professor in Nanomineralogy since September 2016. I am an experimental mineralogist, highly experienced in crystallisation and environmental geochemistry. I have a strong successful track record in quantifying natural processes in the laboratory and applying these results to illuminating natural and societally relevant processes. Currently I am building a strong research group of experts in experimental nanomineralogy and also developing very strong national and international collaborations. My goals are to develop new methods for the removal of (in)organic waste products from drinking water, to and to design more energy efficient separation and recycling methods for strategic metals and to develop new carbon capture and storage techniques. The purpose of my research is to find out how to manage resources in a way that we can preserve the quality of life that we have now into the future generations. In particular, my research is focused on the understanding of mineral nucleation and growth from solution and mineral-water interaction processes. I am using a multidisciplinary approach to understand: a) Mineral formation and its role in geochemical cycles: I study the mechanisms of crystallisation of minerals at the nanoscale in order to understand the formation processes of carbonate minerals and their relevance for carbon capture and storage, biogeochemical element cycling and biomineralisation processes. b) The interaction of common seawater ions, pollutants and organics with mineral surfaces: I aim to shed light on mineral-water reactions that can be applied to remediate polluted waters and soils, to control the mobility and to find new sources of strategic metals. In particular, I focus my work on the evaluation of the capacity of carbonates, sulphates and phosphates to remove pollutants and rare-earths from natural waters with the purpose of designing more energy efficient separation and recycling methods for strategic metals.
  AMORPHOUS SOLIDS   aqueous geochemistry   Biomineralization   carbonates   CRYSTALLIZATION   Economic Geology   ELECTRON MICROSCOPY   FOURIER TRANSFORM INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY   FOURIER-TRANSFORM SPECTROSCOPY   GEOCHEMISTRY   GEOLOGY   Karstic Geomorphogy, Karst Hydrogeology,   LANTHANIDES   MATERIALS SCIENCE   MINERALOGY   Mineralogy and crystallography   mineral-water interaction   NANOCRYSTALS   NUCLEATION   Petrology, Minerology, Geochemistry   phosphates   rare-earths   RECRYSTALLIZATION   SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY   Small Angle X-ray Scattering   sulphates   SYNCHROTRON RADIATION   TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY   Wide Angle X-ray Scattering   X-RAY DIFFRACTION
 SEparating Critical metals ThrOugh mineRal crystallization (SEleCTOR)
 TARGETing crystallisation for Enhanced Carbon Capture and Storage (TARGET-CCS)
 Design of synthetic rare-earth carbonate minerals for chemical filters
 Targeting the crystallisation of environmentally and technologically important inorganic materials by a novel hydrothermal injection process.
 MetalIntelligence Research Training Network - Project: Efficient characterisation of minerals and fabrics with the scanning electron microscope

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Details Date
Assessor for funding bodies: Member of the Evaluation Panel of the Committee "Functioning of fluid and solid Earth" of the French National Research Agency (ANR, l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche). 2015-now
Assessor for funding bodies: Scientific evaluator of the HORIZON 2020 - FET-OPEN Challenging Current Thinking Research and Innovation Actions (RIA); FETOPEN-01-2018-2019-2020: FET-Open Challenging Current Thinking 2018-now
Assessor for funding bodies. Proposal evaluator for the Chilean National Science and Technology Commission. 2016
UK and Ireland Mineralogical Society representative at TCD. 2017-
Assessor for funding bodies. Proposal evaluator for the Ser Cymru II COFUND program - Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 2016
Assessor for funding bodies. Proposal evaluator for the Australian synchrotron. 2015
Graphical Advisor of the EAG international peer-reviewed journal 'Geochemical Perspectives' ( 2013-now
Member of the Editorial Board of the journal 'Minerals' (MDPI journals) 2016-now
Member of the Editorial Board of the journal 'Crystals' (MDPI journals) 2018
Reviewer for periodical publications (on average a minimum of 15 papers/year) American Mineralogist (MSA), Applied Geochemistry (Elsevier), Applied Surface Science (Elsevier), Biogeosciences (EGU), CrystEngComm (RSC), Chemical Communications (RSC), Chemistry of Materials (ACS), Environmental Science & Technology (ACS), Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (Elsevier), Geology (GSA), Journal of Crystal Growth (Elsevier), Journal of Hazardous Materials (Elsevier), Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure (Elsevier), Materials Research Bulletin (Elsevier), Minerals (MDPI), Mineralogical Magazine (GeoScienceWorld), Nanotoxicology (Informa Healthcare), Nanoscale (RSC). 2008-now
Assessor for funding bodies. Proposal evaluator for the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). 2017
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Spanish Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
European Association of Geochemistry. Honorary Member. 2011 Now
American Chemical Society 2015 2016
Szucs, A.M. and Maddin, M. and Brien, D. and Guyett, P.C. and Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Targeted Crystallization of Rare Earth Carbonate Polymorphs at Hydrothermal Conditions via Mineral Replacement Reactions, Global Challenges, 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Szucs, A.M., O'Donnell, C., Davis, S., Stavropoulou, A. and Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., How does bastnäsite form? Replacement of calcite by rare earth carbonates, 31th Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Lyon, France. Online conference, 2021, 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Szucs, Adrienn Maria; Stavropoulou, Alexandra; O'Donnell, Claire; Davis, Seana; Rodríguez Blanco, Juan Diego, Reaction pathways towards the formation of bastnäsite: replacement of calcite by rare earth carbonates., Crystal Growth & Design, 21, (1), 2021, p512 - 527, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Okhrimenko, D.V., Lakshtanov, L.Z., Olssonc, M.H.M., Ceccato, M., Dalby, K.N., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Andersson, M.P., Stipp, S.L.S., Adsorption of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds (NHC) on soil minerals: Quinoline as an example., Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 611, 2021, p125899-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
González-Santamaría, D.E., Justel A., Fernández, R., Ruiz, A.I., Stavropoulou, A., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Cuevas, A., SEM-EDX study of bentonite alteration under the influence of cement alkaline solutions., Applied Clay Science, 212, 2021, p10622-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Verma, Ankit Kumar; Bourke, Mary C.; Viles, Heather A.; Osinski Gordon R; Rodriguez-Blanco, Juan Diego, The effect of impact-generated heterogeneities and discontinuities on the subsequent weathering of impactites: insights from laboratory experiments, Earth and Space Science Open Archive, 2020, p10.1002/essoar.10505291.1 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Müller, I.A., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Storck, J-C, Santilli do Nascimento, G., Bontognali, T.R.R., Vasconcelos, C., Benning, L.G., Bernasconi, S.M., Calibration of the oxygen and clumped isotope thermometers for (proto-)dolomite based on synthetic and natural carbonates., Chemical Geology, 525, 2019, p1 - 17, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Geosciences; Special Issue "Dynamics and Kinetics of Melt-Fluid-Rock Interactions", MDPI, [eds.], 2018-2018, Notes: [Invited editor for the special Issue "Dynamics and Kinetics of Melt-Fluid-Rock Interactions"], Editorial Board, PUBLISHED  URL
Steele, A., Benning, L.G., Wirth, R., Siljeström, S., Fries, M.D., Hauri, E., Conrad, P.G., Rogers, K., Eigenbrode, J., Schreiber, A., Needham, A., Wang, J.H., McCubbin, F.M., Kilcoyne, D., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Organic synthesis on Mars by electrochemical reduction of CO2, Science Advances, 4, 2018, peaat5118 (10 pages) , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Mia Rohde Nielsen, Magnesium Sulphate's Influence on Calcium Carbonate Minerals, New Insights into the role of the MgSO4° ion pair, University of Copenhagen, 2018, Thesis, PUBLISHED

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Hodson, M.E., Benning, L.G., Cinque, G., Dermachi, B., Frogley, M., Penkman, K.E.H., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Schofield, P.F., Versteegh, E.A.A., Wehbe, K., Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls., Spectroscopy Europe, 28, (3), 2016, p12 - 15, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Distinguished Lecturer 2021 - European Association of Geochemistry 2021
Distinguished Service Award (European Association of Geochemistry) 2014
Extraordinary Doctoral Award - Honorific mention, given to a PhD thesis of a graduate student I supervised (University of Oviedo) 2015
Extraordinary Award of M.Sc. - Honorific Mention. University of Oviedo (Spain) 2003
I am an experimental mineralogist, highly experienced in crystallisation and environmental geochemistry. My research focuses on mineral genesis and the interaction of aqueous species with mineral surfaces. I have a strong successful track record in the study the mechanisms of mineral nucleation and growth and the interaction of common seawater ions, pollutants and organics with mineral surfaces and their relevance to global-scale processes like biomineralisation, biogeochemical element cycling and the evolution of the global chemistry of the oceans. My main research objective is to transform the classical view of environmental mineralogy by developing novel applications in this field that will allow managing natural resources in a way that we can preserve the quality of life that we have now into the future generations. Since I started working at TCD I have been applying for funding to build a strong research group of highly-skilled experts in experimental mineralogy to fulfil this goal. All my funding applications have been successful, obtaining more than €900K as a PI in these programs: Frontiers for the Future (SFI), iCRAG PhD Recruitment Scheme (SFI), Provost PhD Awards (TCD), Intra-faculty TCD awards (TCD), Research Boost Programme (TCD). Besides, I have been principal supervisor in a EU-funded Marie Curie H2020 research training network (€530K), obtained funding to purchase equipment as a PI (Geological Survey Ireland Equipment Call 2021; €21K) and as a collaborator (SFI Research Infrastructure Programme 2021; €3.4M). This has allowed me to build a strong and motivated research group consisting (so far) of 7 PhD students (main supervisor of 5, co-supervisor of 2) and one postdoc. We work on topics like formation mechanisms of carbonate minerals for enhancing carbon capture and storage processes, design of mineral filters to decontaminate polluted waters, new green chemistry methods to separate strategic elements, and design of advanced microscopy techniques for mineral characterisation. My group also includes postgraduates from the MSc Environmental Sciences and MSc Energy sciences, as well as senior sophister students working on research projects about crystallisation, biomineral formation and carbon sequestration. Overall, my success in grant funding, research contributions, international collaborations, awards and invited talks at international conferences demonstrate my solid reputation in the fields of nanomineralogy and geochemistry.