Robert J. Bodnar is the C. C. Garvin Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. He earned a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, MS in Geology from the University of Arizona, and PhD in Geochemistry and Mineralogy from Penn State University. Bodnar previously worked at the U. S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, and at Chevron Oilfield Research Company in La Habra, California, before joining Virginia Tech in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Geochemical Society, Society of Economic Geologists, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mineralogical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of London, Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, and was elected honorary member of the Geological Society of India and the Italian Mineralogical Association. Awards include the Society of Economic Geologists Lindgren Award and Silver Medal, the American Geophysical Union’s N. L. Bowen Award, the Thomas Jefferson Medal from the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Science. He was named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist in 2010 and in 2010 was awarded the Laurea Honoris Causa by the Università di Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy.

Research Interests

Bodnar is a geochemist whose research involves experimental and theoretical studies to determine the thermodynamic and phase equilibrium properties of geofluids at pressure and temperature conditions relevant to Earth and planetary processes. He applies these results to better understand physical and chemical processes associated with the formation of mineral deposits of copper, gold, silver, uranium, etc., formation and evolution of hydrocarbon deposits, causes of volcanic activity and development of protocols to predict the timing and magnitude of volcanic eruptions, processes associated with mountain building, geologic storage of carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change, among others. Recent efforts have focused on the search for water and building blocks of life in extraterrestrial samples, including meteorites and samples returned from various missions to sample neighboring planets, asteroids, and comets.

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Primary Section

Section 15: Geology

Secondary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology