Alexandra Nagurney

Graduate Researcher

Allie received her BS in Geology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA in May 2016. She started her PhD in August 2016 at Virginia Tech. She is co advised by Marc Michel and Mark Caddick in the Metamorphic Processes Group.

Allie’s research involves multiple projects under the large theme of mineral growth in metamorphic systems. Right now, her research focuses on understanding how grain boundaries and interfaces in metamorphic rocks promote or inhibit the growth of minerals, such as garnet. She is currently analyzing how the physical and chemical characteristics of garnet-quartz grain boundaries change under increasing temperature in rocks from the Nelson Contact Aureole, British Columbia. Her other current work involves thermodynamic modelling to understand the factors controlling garnet nucleation over a range of metamorphic systems. Combined, she hopes that her research will lead to a better understanding of the growth processes in metamorphic rocks.

In her work Allie combines classic petrology techniques (Petrography, Electron Microprobe Quantitative Analysis and Chemical Mapping) with nanoscale analysis (Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Liftout and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) in order to understand metamorphic rocks from the mm scale all the way to the nanoscale.

Research Experience

2015-2016 Lafayette College, Easton, PA

  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis: Petrogenesis and Magmatic Evolution of Subglacial Magmatic Systems, Southeastern Iceland
  • Advisor: Dr. Tamara Carley

Summer 2015 Lunar and Planetary Institute Summer Intern, Houston, TX

  • Summer Research Internship: Petrology, Bulk Composition, and Provenance of Lunar Meteorite NWA5000
  • Advisor: Dr. Allan Treiman & Dr. Paul Spudis

Teaching Experience

Lafayette College

2013  Teaching Assistant – Earth’s Climate: Past, Present, and Future
2014  Teaching Assistant – Natural Disasters: Agents of Chaos
2015  Teaching Assistant – Structural Geology
2016  Teaching Assistant – Dinosaurs, Darwin, and Deep Time

Research Areas

Mineral Growth


Metamorphic Petrology




Ph.D. Graduate Student, Virginia Tech Geosciences

Bsc. Lafayette College


Virginia Tech Environmental Nanosciences

Office Address
5057 Derring Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: +1.540-231-3299
Fax: +1.540.231.3386

Mailing Address
1405 Perry Street
4044 Derring Hall (0420)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

© 2016 Virginia Tech Environmental Nanosciences