Global Navigation Skip to Page Navigation.

Professor Alexandra Navrotsky

Welcome to Professor Alexandra Navrotsky's Web Site

"In science as in life, every day is a new adventure!"- Prof. Navrotsky


Carbides, Nitrides and Related Materials in Earth, Planetary, and Materials Science Workshop
Univeristy of California, Davis
May 22 - 24, 2014

Workshop Overview

On May 22-23, 2014 the University of California, Davis, Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology Organized Research Unit (NEAT-ORU) with the support of the National Science Foundation, sponsored a workshop entitled, “Carbides, Nitrides and Related Materials in Earth, Planetary, and Materials Science” held at UC Davis. This workshop brought together 60 international scholars (38 senior scientists and 22 junior scientists) from several fields to discuss current trends and future directions in carbides and nitrides research.

Carbides and nitrides as ceramics, semiconductors, glasses and hard materials, and as possible components in the interior of the Earth and other planets, find increasing attention in geoscience, materials science, and solid state chemistry. The incorporation of small to moderate amounts of carbon and nitrogen into oxygen-containing structures, both as trace to minor substitutions in common oxide and silicates as well as in the formation of new oxycarbide and oxynitride phases, is also a growing field of study and application. In spite of the importance of the field and overlap of their interests, the diverse communities who work on these materials do not communicate well with each other, especially across the materials science - geoscience frontier.

Major goals of the workshop were to acquaint geoscientists with the work being done in the materials community and to expose the materials community to the fascinating phenomena and problems encountered in our and other planets. The workshop aimed to unify the communities working on these materials with the hopes of catalyzing new research in order to understand the global carbon and nitrogen cycles through time. Such crossover is needed to address broader problems of energy, sustainability, critical resources, and climate change. Impact on new technological materials could be substantial. In addition, the workshop gave early-career scientists and students a first-hand experience of nascent frontier research across disciplines with the goal of developing interdisciplinary research leaders of the future.  

The carbide workshop was uniquely organized: each of six keynote speakers gave a talk followed by a related panel discussion led by other participants (both junior and senior scientists).  The longer lectures allowed speakers to present a large body of knowledge and point of view which sowed the seeds for the succeeding discussion on the same topic. This structure allowed participants to engage with the topic and gave them space to disagree and debate about the point the speaker presented. This free-form style promoted open discussion and allowed the generation of ideas from different perspectives. Additionally, 19 posters from various participants were on display throughout the workshop. Overall this format was very conducive to a creative scientific environment and we would recommend this format to other workshop organizers, particularly for interdisciplinary workshops.


NEAT Video and MRS Interview

A video focusing on the Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology Organized Research Unit was produced for the Materials Research Society Spring 2015 Meeting in San Francisco, California. The video can be seen here. Additionally, Prof. Navrotsky was interviewed about her talk, "Energetics at the Nanoscale: Impacts for Geochemistry, the Environment and Materials" which she presented as part of Symposium X - Frontiers of Materials Research at the MRS meeting. The interview can be seen here.

William Mong Distinguished Lecture

On November 25, 2013, Professor Navrotsky traveled to Hong Kong to present the William Mong Distinguished Lecture at the University of Hong Kong. Professor Navrotsky traveled to the University of Hong Kong to present her lecture entitled, "Energetics of Nanophase Oxides-Implications for Materials, Environmental, and Earth Science". Professor Navrotsky is one of a few selected individuals who are invited to present these lectures for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. William Mong Distinguished Lectures in Engineering

Alfred R. Cooper Distinguished Lecture

Professor Navrotsky presented the Alfred R. Cooper Distinguished Lecture at The American Ceramic Society Material Science and Technology meeting in Montreal on October 28, 2013. The Alfred R. Cooper Distinguished Lecture is part of the Glass & Optical Division of the American Ceramic Society. Accordingly, Professor Navrotsky's lecture was entitled, "New Frontiers in the Thermochemistry of Glassy, Amorphous, and Nanoscale Materials". Alfred R. Cooper Distinguished Lecture

Interim Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

As of July 1, 2013, Professor Alexandra Navrotsky is Interim Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS). MPS is a division within the College of Letters and Sciences. Read more: Alexandra Navrotsky Interim Dean of MPS.

Points of Interest

Navrotsky Interview Video
NEAT Video
2014 NEAT Newsletter
2013 NEAT Newsletter
2013 Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory Brochure

Alexandra Navrotsky

PhD, University of Chicago, 1967

Director, NEAT ORU,
Edward Roessler Chair in
Mathematical and Physical Sciences;
Distinguished Professor,
Interdisciplinary Professor of Ceramic,
Earth, and Environmental Materials Chemistry;
at the University of California at Davis

Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory & NEAT-ORU
University of California, Davis

One Shields Avenue
4415 Chemistry Annex
Davis, CA 95616-8779


  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1973)
  • Mineralogical Society of America Award and Fellow (1981)
  • American Geophysical Union Fellow (1988)
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (1993)
  • President, Mineralogical Society of America (1992-1993)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Uppsala, Sweden (1995)
  • Ross Coffin Purdy Award, American Ceramic Society Fellow (1995)
  • Geochemical Society Fellow (1997)
  • Alexander M. Cruickshank Award, Gordon Research Conference (2000)
  • Hugh Huffman Memorial Award, The Calorimetry Conference (2000)
  • Ceramic Educational Council Outstanding Educator Award (2000)
  • American Ceramic Society Fellow (2001)
  • American Ceramic Society, Best Paper Award of the Nuclear and Environmental Technology Division (2001)
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth Science (2002)
  • Highly Cited Researchers Award, ISI Thomson Scientific (2002)
  • Fellow, The Minerological Society (Great Britain) (2004)
  • Urey Medal, European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) (2005)
  • Spriggs Phase Equilibria Award, American Ceramic Society(ACerS)(2005)
  • Rossini Award, International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics (IACT)(2006)
  • Harry H. Hess Medalist, American Geophysical Union (AGU)(2006)
  • Roebling Award, Mineralogical Society of America (2009)
  • Best University Paper Award, DOE Geoscience Grantee Meeting (2009)
  • Elected to the American Philosophical Society (2011)