lex van geen


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


Alexander van Geen

Lamont Research Professor
Geochemistry Division
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
of Columbia University
Palisades, New York 10964, USA

Phone: (845) 365 8644; Fax: (845) 365 8155
E-mail: avangeen@ldeo.columbia.edu


1989    Ph.D. Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic

            Institution, Cambridge, MA.  Thesis title: "Trace metal sources for the Atlantic inflow to the 

            Mediterranean Sea".

1982    B.S. Oceanography, B.S. Chemistry (cum laude), University of Washington, Seattle, WA.


2010- Lamont Research Professor, LDEO
2000-2010 Doherty Senior Research Scientist, LDEO
1997, 2002 Professeur Invite, Universite d'Aix-Marseille III, France
1997-2000 Research Scientist, LDEO
1994-1997 Associate Research Scientist, LDEO
1993 Adjunct Research Scientist, LDEO
1990-1993 Post-doctoral investigator, Water Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California
1989-1990 Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
1984-1989 Research assistant, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
1982-1984 Watch officer on Dutch navy research vessel Tydeman

Research Interests

From chemical oceanography and paleoceanography, my interests have increasingly turned to interactions between the environment and human health. The theme that runs through my on-going projects is that patterns of contamination, e.g. arsenic (As) in well water of across South Asia or lead (Pb) in soil contaminated with mine tailings in the Peruvian Andes, are spatially highly variable. This complicates prediction but also creates opportunities for mitigation. My students and I promote more widespread deployment of field kits for testing water and soil, developing new kits if necessary, in order to identify and avoid exposure to toxins of children in particular. I tend to focus on the vulnerability of (and access to) uncontaminated water or soil by working with other earth scientists as well as public-health and social scientists.

Professional Activities

  • Convener Goldschmidt2013 session "Impacts of air, soil, and water geochemistry on human health"
  • Member of the Earth Institute Faculty, 2011-present
  • Convener of two International Continental Scientific Drilling (ICDP) program workshops to develop new sampling technologies for groundwater studies, Salt Lake City (technical feasibility, 8/2010) and Hanoi (science plan, 4/2011)

  • Convener, US-Mexico workshop on climate research funded by NSF (August 2009)

  • Co-convener, AGU Chapman conference on groundwater arsenic (Cambodia, March 2009)

  • Interim chair, AQUATRAIN advisory committee EU Marie Curie Research Training Network, 2008-2009.

  • Member, proposal review panel, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France)

  • Steering Committee member, The Earth Clinic of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

  • Steering Committee member, Cross-Cutting Initiatives of the Earth Institute
  • Associate Director, Columbia Superfund Basic Research Program, 2000-
  • US and international patents pending for arsenic field kit
  • Invited by UNICEF to present arsenic mitigation program, Bangkok, 2002
  • Interviewed by the BBC, Scientific American, Science, Popular Science, The Economist, La Recherche, Frankfurter Allgemeine and other media about arsenic in Bangladesh
  • Co-organized and hosted "Arsenic in Drinking Water" conference attended by over 100 international participants, New York, 2001 (http://superfund.ciesin.columbia.edu)
  • NSF panelist, Marine Geology and Geophysics, 1997 and 2000
  • Chief scientist, RV Melville, 1999; RV Pt Sur, 1995 and 1997

Graduate advisees:

Zanna Chase (PhD DEES Columbia, 2001), Francesco Fiondella (MS DEES/JS Columbia, 2001), Renee Takesue (PhD DEES Columbia, 2002), Ken Kostel (MS DEES/JS, Columbia, 2002), Alisa Opar (MS DEES/JS Columbia, 2004), Sophie Thoral (Thèse de Doctorat, U. Aix-Marseille III, 2004), Alberto Sanchez (PhD 2006, UABC, Ensenada, Mexico), Allan Horneman (PhD 2005 DEEE, Columbia), Amy Schoenfeld (MS DEES/JS Columbia 2005), Fanny Travassac (Thèse de Doctorat, U. Aix-Marseille III, 2005), Jerome Metral (DESS University of Grenoble, 2005), Jessica Leber (MS DEES/JS Columbia, 2007), Karrie Radloff (PhD 2010 DEEE Columbia), Zahid Aziz (PhD 2011 DEES, Columbia U.), Peter Knappet (PhD 2010 Earth and Planetary Sciences, U. Tennessee), Christine George (PhD 2012 MSPH, Columbia), S. Xiah Kragie (MS 2012, DEES Columbia), John Feighery (PhD 2013, DEEE Columbia), Ivan Mihaljov (PhD 2013, DEES Columbia), Meridel Phillips (MS DEEE 2014), Yongfeng Jia (PhD 2015, China University of Geosciences, Beijing), Prabhat Barnwal (PhD 2015 SDEV Columbia U.), Md. Rajib Hassan Mozumder (PhD candidate, DEES, Columbia), Franziska Landes (PhD candidate, DEES, Columbia), Anand Kumar (PhD candidate, TERI University, India), Runti Choudhury (PhD candidate, IIT Guwahati, India), Brittany Huhmann (PhD candidate, MIT), Asif Javed (PhD candidate, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan), Junaid Ali Khattak (PhD candidate, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan), Ursula Ellis (Screenwriting and Directing MFA Thesis Candidate, Columbia 2016).

Undergraduate advisees:

Anna Schmidt (1995, Boston College), Stefan Petranek (1996, Bowdoin College), Cristina Rumbaitis (1996, Columbia U.), Anna Michel (1996, MIT), Maryann Sapanara (1997, MIT), Elisabeth Scheidecker (U. South Carolina, 1998), Amanda Scdoris (Barnard College, 1999), Dina Stamler (Barnard College, 1999), Julien Emile-Geay (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris; 2000), Marta Vicarelli (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris; 2002), Roseline Louis (Ecole Normale Superieure de Chimie, Rennes, France; 2004), Cristina Ortega (U. Chile, Santigo, Chile; 2005), Anya Manning (Barnard College, 2006), Sajaa Ahmed (Columbia College, 2007), Laura Seidman (Columbia College, 2007), Alexandrina Tzanova (Columbia College, 2008), Misheal Artani (Barnard College, 2008); Annael Goupil (Ecole Normale Superieure de Chimie, Rennes, France; 2010), Lucy Stowe (Columbia College, 2011), Fiona Kinniburgh (Columbia College, 2012); Joelle Boxer (Columbia College, 2016).

High school advisees:

Stefan Petranek (1995, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, NY), Joy Ann Mahabir (2005, Bronx High School of Science, NY), Thomas Bidal d’Asfeld (2006, French high school, Paris), Pamela Mishkin (Horace Mann High School, 2010-11), Capucine Le Meur (Lycee Francais de New York, 2013).


© 2005, 2006 Lex Van Geen