Dr. Aaron Celestian, Ph.D.
Geology 111, 325, 330, 430, 432, 510
My goals as a mineralogist and geochemist are to probe the secrets of how Earth materials work, and to take that understanding to predict and design new functionality. I have focused on the molecular-scale characterization of Earth materials to understand their roles in a variety of environments. I seek to quantify surface reactivity, evolution over time, and the capacity of minerals to sequester ions, crystallize, and survive in a variety of extreme environments. In deciphering mechanisms at the atomic and molecular levels, I hope to understand, predict, and even manipulate mineral behaviors and properties at the macroscopic scale.
Dr. Aaron Celestian is a tenured Associate Professor of Geology at Western Kentucky University, and Director of the Advanced Materials Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and B.S. from the University of Arizona. In addition to teaching introductory and advanced geology and materials science courses, he has published over 20 high impact papers and over 80 conference presentations in the last 10 years in the fields of mineralization and mineral processes, geochemistry, crystallography, paleo-climate, and materials behavior in extreme environments. Since being at WKU, Dr. Celestian has brought in over $2M in grants to support his research and instrumentation development initiatives. His current research aims at developing materials that reduce the cost of hydrocarbon cracking and provide simultaneous benefits such as sulfur-bearing molecule extraction/detection, de-watering of fluids, and metal separation. He is a member of the Oak Ridge National Lab Science Review Committee (3 years, 1 year as Chair), Associate Editor for the American Mineralogist (4 years), and researcher in the Kentucky NanoNet.