The EnviroNano group, along with friends, family, nano-dogs and visitors at Carol's farewell party.

We are the Environmental Nanoscience group at Virginia Tech, led by professors Michael Hochella Jr (University Distiguished Professor, Geosciences), Mitsu Murayama (Materials Science & Engineering), and Marc Michel (Geosciences).

Our research, in a broad sense, aims to understand complex, environmentally relevant interactions between minerals, microbes, and metal contaminants. To this end our studies include laboratory experiments, mesocosm experiments, and field work, analyzed all the way down to the nanoscale.


  • Michael Hochella has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2016 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (Outstanding Faculty Awards). Well done Mike!
  • The Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NCE2NI) was chosen along with 15 other national entities as a member of the new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure. Michael Hochella is the leading PI of the Virginia Tech Center, with key contributions of Marc Michel and Mitsu Murayama, among other faculty members affiliated with VTSuN. The National Science Foundation will provide a total of $81 million over five years to support these 16 sites. Mike, Marc and Mitsu, thank you for putting our group among the world leaders in the field of Nanotechnology! 
  • Welcome to Marc Michel's new Ph.D. student, Aly Hoeher, who succesfully graduated from Miami University!
  • Congratulations to Hannah King who graduated from Virginia Tech. Marc Michel's first student successfully defended her Master's thesis and is now embracing her new adventure as a Hydrologist at Geosyntec. We wish you best luck Hannah!

  • Michael Hochella has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (United Kingdon). Kudos to you Mike! Success is your middle name! 
  • Jie Xu and Saurav celebrated their communion life with a wedding in India and another one in China. Congratulations Jie. You both looked fantastic!
  • Carol Johnson defended her Ph.D. with success! She will now start a new stage of her life with a Postdoc at Duke University! Congratulations Carol, Geosciences wishes you all the best!
  • Mitsu Murayama's great research performance was once again recognized, with The 2014 Deans's Award for Faculty Fellow. Congratulations Mitsu!
  • Another great achievement of Hannah King, awarded with the Society of Exploration Grophysics/ExxonMobil Student Education travel grant to Denver!
  • Marc Michel was featured in the article "Virginia Tech researchers search for ways to better trace effects of coal ash spills" in The Roanoke Times for his contribution in the development of new approaches to better trace long-term effects of coal ash spills.
  • James Dale passed his prelims with success and is now a Ph.D. candidate. Congratualtions James!
  • Carol Johnson was awarded with the Geosciences Outstanding Graduate Service Award, during her graduation graduation ceremony and plans to defend her thesis in August. Let's go Carol! 

[last updated October 7, 2016]

Recent Publications

  • Koilraj P., Smith S. M., Yu Q., Ulrich S., Sasaki K. (2016) Encapsulation of a powdery spinel-type Li+ion sieve derived from biogenic managanese oxide in alginate beads. Powder Technology, 301, pp. 1201 - 1207 [Abstract].
  • Serra-Maia R., Bernard O., Gonçalves A., Pareau D., Lopes F. (2016) Influence of temperature on Chlorella vulgaris growth and mortality rates. Algal Research, 18, pp. 352 - 359 [Abstract].
  • Sato K., Miyazaki H., Gondo T., Miyazaki S., Murayama M., Hata S. (2015) Development of a novel straining holder for transmission electron microscopy compatible with single tilt-axis electron tomography. Microscopy, 64, pp. 369-375 [Abstract].
  • Ikeda K-I, Yamoah N., Reynolds W. Jr., Hamada J., Murayama M. (2015) Effect of Laves phase on high-temperature deformation and microstructure evolution in a 18Cr-2Mo-0.5Nb ferritic stainless steel. Metallurgical and Materials Transformations A, 46, pp. 3460-3469 [Abstract]. 
  • Hata S., Sato K., Murayama M., Tsuchiyama T., Nakashima H. (2015) Development of an experimental protocol for three-dimensional transmission electron microscopy methods for ferrous alloys: Toward quantitative characterization of three-dimensional features in microstructures. ISIJ International, 55, pp. 623-631 [Abstract].
  • Kamikawa N., Sato K., Miyamoto G., Murayama M., Sekido N., Tsuzaki K., Furuhara T. (2015) Stress-strain behavior of ferrite and bainite with nano-precipitation in low carbon steels. Acta Materialia, 83, pp. 383-396 [Abstract].
  • Johnson C., Murayama M., Kusel K., Hochela M.F. Jr., Polycrystallinity of green rust minerals and their synthetic analogs: Implications for particle formation and reactivity in complex systems. American Mineralogist, 100, pp. 2091-2105 [Abstract]. 
  • Rubio N., Serra-Maia R., Kafa H., Mei K-C., Al-Jamal K. (2014) Production of Water-Soluble Few-Layer Graphene Mesosheets by Dry Milling with Hydrophobic Drug. Langmuir, 30, pp. 14999-15008  [Abstract].
  • Hochella M.F. Jr., Jones K., Spencer M. (2015) Nanotechnology: Nature's Gift or Man's Brainchild. Environmental Science: Nano, (in press).
  • Kim B., Levard C., Murayama M., Brown G.E. Jr., Hochella M.F. Jr. (2014) Integrated Approaches of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic and Electron Microscopic Techniques on Zn Speciation and Characterization in a Final Sewage Sludge Product. Journal of Environmental Quality,  43, pp. 908-916 [Abstract].
  • Caraballo M.A., Michel F.M., Hochella M.F., Jr. (2014) The rapid expansion of environmental mineralogy in unconventional ways: Beyond the accepted definition of a mineral, the latest technology, and using nature as our guide. American Mineralogist, (in press).
  • Yan C., Yang Y., Zhou J., Nie M., Liu M., Hochella M.F. Jr. (2014) Selected emerging organic contaminants in the Yangtze Estuary, China: A comprehensive treatment of their association with aquatic colloids. Journal of Hazardous Materials, (in press). 
  • Tiwari A.J., Morris J.R., Vejerano E.P., Hochella M.F. Jr., Marr L.C. (2014) Oxidation of C60 aerosol by atmospherically relevant levels of ozone. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, pp. 2706-2714. [Abstract]

Dec. 2007 - Wigginton, Haus (Plathe), Hochella   

Dec. 2008 - Hochella (ed.) and Elements co-founder

June 2011 - Madden, Hochella et al

2012 - Ch.1 Hochella, Aruguete, Kim, Madden

April 2012 - Bojeong Kim