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Laboratory Leadership Team

Photo of Martin Schoonen

Martin Schoonen

Associate Laboratory Director for the Environment, Biology, Nuclear Science, and Nonproliferation Directorate

photo of Martin Schoonen

Martin Schoonen oversees the staff of the Biological, Environmental, and Climate Sciences Department, Nonproliferation and National Security Department, and the Nuclear Sciences and Technology Department. The directorate is structured with our vision for Brookhaven as a world-class Laboratory ready to take on the scientific challenges of the future fully utilizing our core competencies, leverages our primary user facilities, and will grow our programs through more effective integration.  EBNN brings together several strong, mission-aligned departments that we believe can leverage each other and the rest of the Laboratory to grow.

Martin comes to the Lab from Stony Brook University (SBU) and until quite recently, held a joint appointee as a SBU geochemistry professor. He is an interdisciplinary scientist who has previously served in several administrative positions at SBU, including Associate Vice President for Research, developing large-scale, multidisciplinary proposals and leading multidisciplinary research programs. He played a key role in the development of the proposal leading to the establishment of the Center for Environmental Molecular Science at SBU and Brookhaven Lab. Martin earned a Ph.D. in geochemistry and mineralogy from Pennsylvania State University in 1989.

Schoonen's research areas include environmental molecular chemistry, geocatalysis, medical geology, and astrobiology. An expert in synthesis, surface chemistry, and geochemistry of metal sulfides, in particular iron sulfides, his applied research efforts have included geologic sequestration of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide (CO2), development of mineral-based photocatalysts, and development of acid mine drainage abatement technology. His current research projects focus on the role of iron minerals in subsurface CO2 sequestration, the use of metal sulfides as catalysts to degrade organic pollutants, and the role of mineral dust in the onset of lung ailments in US servicemen and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Schoonen earned a Ph.D. in geochemistry and mineralogy from Pennsylvania State University in 1989, a Doctoral (equivalent to M.S.) from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1984 with a double major in geochemistry as well as physical and colloid chemistry, and Kandidaats (equivalent to B.S.) in Geochemistry, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, January 1981. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Geological Society, and the International Medical Geology Association.