F. Marc Michel

Assistant Professor

Born and raised in upstate New York, Marc Michel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology with a minor in Art and Art History from Colgate University.  He worked as a hydrogeologist for Lessard Environmental, Inc. for almost 5 years before moving to Stony Brook University where he completed a Ph.D. in Geosciences. His dissertation focused on understanding the atomic structures of several different nanomaterials that are important in many natural biogeochemical processes.

In 2008, Marc moved to Stanford University where he completed two years of post-doctoral studies with Gordon E. Brown, Jr. followed by two more years working as a Research Associate with John R. Bargar at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL). Marc left Stanford in 2012 to start as Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. He is also faculty in the Academy of Integrated Science, Division of Nanoscience and teaches in the newly formed Nanoscience BSc. degree program in the College of Science at VT. He is the principle investigator of a newly funded NSF grant on nanoparticle crystallization and co-PI on the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT) and the National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NCE2NI).

Father to three children, in his “spare” time, he enjoys an occasional mountain bike adventure, racing sprint karts with his father and brother, vegetable gardening, and building stuff.

In the News

HEANEY, P.J. (2015) At the blurry edge of mineralogy. American Mineralogist – Highlights and Breakthroughs, 100, 3.

“New insight into how iron oxide minerals influence transport of uranium in the subsurface.” U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Science, Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Highlights, February 2010.

PENN, R. L. (2007) Resolving an elusive structure. Science – Perspectives in Chemistry, 316, 1704-1705.

“Hidden Hydrite.” Research Highlights in Nature Materials (2007), 6(7), 470.

“Mineral Structure Solved.” Chemical & Engineering News – Science & Technology Concentrates, May 28, 2007: 31.

“Solving the Riddle of Ferrihydrite’s Elusive Structure.” Annual Report: Advanced Photon Source Science 2007, May 2008, ISSN 1931-5007, 124-125.

GREEN, M. E. “Ferrihydrite Structure Revealed.” Materials Today (2007) 10(7-8): 15.

Research Areas




Synchrotron Science



Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences and Academy of Integrated (nano)Science, Virginia Tech


Research Associate, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), SLAC National Accelerator Facility


Post-doctoral Researcher, Stanford University


Ph.D. Geosciences, Stony Brook University


Graduate Student, Stony Brook University


Hydrogeologist, Lessard Environmental, Inc.


B.A. Geology, Colgate University

Virginia Tech Environmental Nanosciences

Office Address
5057 Derring Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: +1.540-231-3299
Fax: +1.540.231.3386
Email: mfrede2@vt.edu

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

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