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Staff information


Qian Zhao

Environmental Dynamics & Simulations
Post Doctorate RA B
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K8-91
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Zhao, as a postdoctoral research assistant in Dr. Hofmockel’s group, mainly focuses on research studies regarding the stability of carbon and interactions between soil organic matter, microbes, and minerals from molecular to continental-scale ecosystems. With capabilities on different state-of-the-art analytical technique, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), Mössbauer spectroscopy (MBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), Dr. Zhao is interested in having a systematic understanding on soil organic matter decomposition mechanisms at the interface between plants, microorganisms, and minerals with environmental implications on global carbon-nitrogen cycling.

Research Interests

  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Carbon stability in ecosystem
  • Organic matter, microorganisms, and minerals interactions
  • Microbial ecology

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, U.S., 2017
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, U.S., 2012
  • B.S. Environmental Engineering, Shenyang Architecture University, Shenyang, China, 2009

Awards and Recognitions

  • American Chemical Society, 254th National Meeting, Student Travel Award, 2017
  • Department of Energy, Principal Investigator’s Meeting, Student Travel Fellowship, 2016
  • University of Nevada Reno, Graduate Student Association, Student Travel Award, 2015
  • Eastern Sierra Chapter, Air & Waste Management Association Annual Scholarship, 2015
  • University of Nevada Reno, College of Engineering, Differential Fee Fellowship, 2014
  • Shenyang Architecture University, Award of Outstanding Scholarship, 2007

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