Hochella Group Logo
Dr. Michael F. Hochella, Jr.
photo of Dr. Michael Hochella
Mailing Address:
4044 Derring Hall
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 USA

Office: 5049 Derring Hall
Office Phone: 540.231.6227
Fax: 540.231.3386

Michael Hochella is University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, concentrating in the area of nanogeoscience. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech in 1975 and 1977, respectively, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1981. He has been a professor at Stanford and Virginia Tech for a total of 23 years. He has been a Fullbright Scholar, a Humboldt Award winner, and Virginia Scientist of the Year. He is a Fellow of six international scientific societies including AGU and AAAS, a Dana Medal winner (Mineralogical Society of America), and a former President of the Geochemical Society and the Mineralogical Society of America. He has also won the Brindley Lecture Award (Clay Minerals Society) and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Geochemical Society. He has served on high level advisory boards at the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. He has raised nearly 20 million dollars in funding for his research group. Fourteen of his former advisees are now professors at leading institutions around the world, while others hold prominent positions in publishing, national labs, and industry.

Research Interests:

  • Elucidating the role that nanoscience and mineral surface geochemistry/ biogeochemistry plays in major aspects of the earth sciences, including especially environmental issues and biogeochemical cycling of the elements.
  • Mineral - microbe interactions from both geochemical and biochemical perspectives, applications to nutrients and toxins in the environment and their mobility.
  • Characterizing aqueous partitioning reactions at oxide and silicate surfaces; understanding interactions between mineral surfaces and species in solution with applications to aqueous system transport.

Teaching Interests:

Teaching interests are wide ranging, from Earth systems science and sustainability (geo- and bio-aspects), to introductory, mineralogical, environmental, and resource geology, to advanced graduate level courses in his field of specialty, including nanoscience and technology, mineral surface geochemistry, mineral-microbe interaction, mineralogy, crystallography, bulk and surface atomic structure analysis, and the theory, design, and use of X-ray, electron, ion, and laser-beam spectroscopic, diffraction, and analytic instrumentation.