Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov
Assistant Professor and Interim Chairman
Earth and Marine Science


  • PhD in Geosciences (2006), SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY. Dissertation: Abiotic formation and fate of ammonium in the Hadean Ocean
  • Diploma in Geology (2000), Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia, Thesis: Mineralogy and geochemistry of the Nižná Boca Sb-Au hydrothermal deposit (Western Carpathians, Slovakia)

Research Skills and Interests

Wide range of field, laboratory, experimental and analytical techniques (mineral synthesis, surface modification, low/high T experiments, geochemical modelling, field sampling/monitoring, XRF, EPMA, SEM/EDS, XRD, BET, GC, IC, IR, Raman, UV/Vis) aimed at addressing a variety of geological, environmental and planetary science research questions.

Professional Affiliations

Geological Society of America, The Geochemical Society, National Association of Geoscience Teachers


Harrington, A.D., Smirnov, A., Tsirka, S.E. and Schoonen, M.A.A, 2014: Metal-sulfide mineral ores, Fenton chemistry and disease – Particle induced inflammatory stress response in lung cells, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2014.07.002

Gordon, A.D., Smirnov, A., Shumlas, S.L., Singireddy, S., DeCesare, M., Schoonen, M.A.A, Strongin, D.R., 2013: Reduction of Nitrite and Nitrate on Nano-dimensioned FeS, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 43, 4-5, 305-322

McCubbin, F.M., Elardo, S.M., Shearer, C.K., Smirnov, A., Hauri, E.H. and Draper, D.S., 2013: Chlorine-rich minerals in the nakhlites and chassignites: Implications for linked nakhlite-chassignite petrogenesis, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 48, 819-853

Singireddy, S., Gordon, A.D., Smirnov, A., Vance, M.A., Schoonen, M.A.A., Szilagyi, R.K., Strongin, D.R., 2012: Reduction of Nitrite and Nitrate to Ammonium on Pyrite, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biospheres, 42, 4, 275-294

Lammers, K., Murphy, R., Riendeau, A., Smirnov, A., Schoonen, M.A.A. and Strongin, D.R., 2011: CO2 Sequestration through Mineral Carbonation of Iron Oxyhydroxides, Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 24, 10422–10428

Smirnov, A., 2011: Ammonia, Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Springer, 40-41

Banerjee, D., Finkelstein, J., Smirnov, A., Forster, P.M., Borkowski, L.A., Teat, S.J. & Parise, J.B.P., 2011: Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Magnesium Based Coordination Networks in Different Solvents, Crystal Growth and Design, 11, 6, 2572-2579

Murphy, R., Lammers, K., Smirnov, A., Schoonen, M.A.A. & Strongin, D.R., 2011: Hematite reactivity with supercritical CO2 and aqueous sulfide, Chemical Geology, 283, 3-4, 210-217

McCubbin, F.M., Smirnov, A., Nekvasil, H., Hauri, E., Wang, J. & Lindsley, D., 2010: Hydrous magmatism on Mars: A source of water for the surface and subsurface during the Amazonian, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 292, 1-2, 132-138

Murphy, R., Lammers, K., Smirnov, A., Schoonen, M.A.A. & Strongin, D.R., 2010: Ferrihydrite phase transformation in the presence of aqueous sulfide and supercritical CO2, Chemical Geology, 271, 1-2, 26-30,

McCubbin, F.M., Tosca, N.J., Smirnov, A., Fries, M., Steele, A. & Nekvasil, H., 2009: Jarosite in a Clinopyroxene-hosted Melt Inclusion from Martian Meteorite MIL 03346: Evidence for Hydrothermal Formation by Sulfide Oxidation, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 16, 4907-4917

Mason, H.E., McCubbin, F.M., Smirnov,A. & Phillips, B.L., 2009: Solid-State NMR and IR spectroscopic study of the role of H in a natural carbonate-rich fluorapatite. American Mineralogist, 94, 507-516

Smirnov, A., Hausner, D., Laffers, R., Strongin, D. & Schoonen, M.A.A., 2008: Abiotic ammonium formation in the presence of Ni-Fe metals and alloys and its implications for the Hadean nitrogen cycle Geochemical Transactions, 9:5

Tosca, N.J., Smirnov, A. & McLennan, S.M., 2007: Application of the Pitzer ion interaction model to isopiestic data for the Fe2(SO4)3-H2SO4-H2O system at 298.15 and 323.15 K, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 71, 2680-2698

Smirnov, A., Pršek, J. & Chovan, M., 2006: Mineralogy and geochemistry of the Nižná Boca Sb-Au hydrothermal ore deposit (The Western Carpathians, Slovakia), Mineralogia Polonica, 37, 2, 71-94

Pršek, J., Makovicky, E., Chovan, M. & Smirnov, A., 2006: A note on the chemical composition of nuffieldite solid-solution from sulphide mineralizations (Western Carpathians, Slovakia). Mineralogia Polonica, 37, 1, 51-59

Schoonen, M.A.A., Smirnov, A. & Cohn, C.A., 2004: A perspective on the role of minerals in prebiotic synthesis, AMBIO – A Journal of Human Environment, 33, 8, 539-551

Smirnov, A. & Schoonen, M.A.A., 2003: Evaluating experimental artifacts in hydrothermal prebiotic synthesis experiments, Origins of Life and the Evolution of Biosphere, 33, 117-127

Smirnov, A. & Chovan, M., 2003: Heavy minerals in alluvial sediments of the Boca River (Nízke Tatry Mts.), Slovak Geological Magazine, 9, 4, 269-281

Bahna, B., Smirnov, A., Chovan M. & Bakos, F., 2002: River transport-induced changes in the chemical composition of alluvial gold (documented on localities of the Western Carpathians), Geologica Carpathica, 53, 105-107

Xirouchakis, D., Smirnov, A., Woody, K., Lindsley, D.H. & Andersen, D.J., 2002: Thermodynamics and Stability of Pseudobrookite-Type MgTi2O5, American Mineralogist, 87, 658-667

  • ESC 1010C Elements of Meteorology
  • ESC 1027C Geology I
  • ESC 1028A Geology II
  • ESC 1021C Planetary Astronomy
  • ESC 1022A Stellar and Galactic Astronomy
  • ESC 2100C Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • MSC 2074A Chemical Oceanography
  • NSC 2004C Science of Natural Systems