Carmen Enid Martínez is a soil and environmental chemist and biogeochemist. My research and teaching foci are soil minerals, soil organic matter, reactions at the solid-solution interface, and their associated (biogeo) chemical processes. My aim is to gain a mechanistic understanding of soil transformations and processes that increase our science-based knowledge of managed and natural ecosystems.
The goal of my research program is to provide a fundamental understanding of the chemical and biogeochemical processes involved in the cycling of major (N, S, C, Fe, Al, Mn), trace (Zn, Cu) and toxic (Cd, Cr, Pb) elements present in terrestrial ecosystems. We use process-based measurements and state-of-the-art spectroscopic (e.g., XAS, FTIR, NMR), microscopic (e.g., TEM, SEM) and diffraction (e.g., XRD) methods to understand ecosystem element cycles and processes from the molecular to the field scale. Recent research topics include: molecular scale investigations of the interaction of organic carbon and nitrogen at mineral surfaces and biomolecular signature in soils with depth, trace metal biogeochemistry, and processes within Fe-N-organic matter coupled systems as influenced by redox condition.
My philosophy of teaching coincides with my project as a researcher--namely, to provide students with in-depth knowledge of each particular subject, focusing on both concepts and fundamentals, while keeping in mind how basic knowledge can be applied to real life situations. I have developed and taught undergraduate as well as graduate courses. The undergraduate course (Chemistry of the Environment: Air, Water, and Soil) provides a global perspective of the chemical principles, composition and processes that operate within and among air, water and soil environments. In the graduate courses (Soil Environmental Chemistry ; Soil Processes: Chemical and Biogeochemical) the students learn to identify the soil components and properties responsible for the chemical reactivity of soils and learn the fundamental chemical processes that occur in soils. In these courses the students learn to link theoretical concepts to environmental problems and we discuss primary current literature that sometimes challenges generally accepted concepts.
- Schmidt, M., & Martinez, C. E. (2018). Supramolecular association impacts biomolecule adsorption onto goethite. Environmental Science & Technology. 52:4079−4089.
- Fine, A. K., Schmidt, M. P., & Martinez, C. (2018). Nitrogen-rich compounds constitute an increasing proportion of organic matter with depth in Oi-Oe-Oa-A horizons of temperate forests. Geoderma. 323:1-12.
- Bhattacharyya, A., Schmidt, M. P., Stavitski, E., & Martinez, C. (2018). Iron speciation in peats: chemical and spectroscopic evidence for the co-occurrence of ferric and ferrous iron in organic complexes and mineral precipitates. Organic Geochemistry. 115:124–137.
- Schmidt, M. P., & Martinez, C. (2017). Ironing Out Genes in the Environment: An Experimental Study of the DNA-Goethite Interface. Langmuir. 33:8525-8532.
- Schmidt, M. P., & Martinez, C. E. (2016). Kinetic and conformational insights of protein adsorption onto montmorillonite revealed using in-situ ATR-FTIR/2D-COS. Langmuir. 32:7719−7729.
- Rosenfeld, C. E., McCormack, M. L., & Martinez, C. (2014). A novel approach to study composition of in situ produced root-derived dissolved organic matter. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 76:1-4.
- Bhattacharyya, A., Stavitski, E., Dvorak, J., & Martinez, C. (2013). Redox interactions between Fe and cysteine: Spectroscopic studies and multiplet calculations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 122:89-100.
- Yoon, S., Yáñez, C., Bruns, M. A., Martínez-Villegas, N., & Martinez, C. (2012). Natural zinc enrichment in peatlands: Biogeochemistry of ZnS formation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 84:165-176.
- Bazilevskaya, E., Archibald, D. D., Aryanpour, M., Kubicki, J. D., & Martinez, C. (2011). Aluminum coprecipitates with Fe (hydr)oxides: Does isomorphous substitution of Al3+ for Fe3+ in goethite occur? Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 75:4667-4683.
- Martinez, C., Yáñez, C., Yoon, S., & Bruns, M. A. (2007). Biogeochemistry of metalliferous peats: Sulfur speciation and depth distributions of dsrAB genes and Cd, Fe, Mn, S, and Zn in soil cores. Environmental Science & Technology. 41:5323-5329.
Presentations and Activities
- Biological weathering in metal-contaminated soils: Influence of biologically derived dissolved organic compounds on mineral dissolution. Soil Science Society of America Meetings. November 2015. Soil Science Society of America. Minneapolis, MN. .
- Character of organic matter in deep soils of temperate forest ecosystems. International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms (ISMOM). July 2015. ISMOM. Montréal, Canada.
- Kinetic, thermodynamic and conformational insights of BSA adsorption onto montmorillonite revealed using In-Situ ATR-FTIR/2D-COS. International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms (ISMOM). July 2015. ISMOM. Montréal, Canada.
- A study of biomolecule adsorption onto ferrihydrite: Building the foundation of organo-mineral associations in soil. 17th Annual Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology Student Symposium. 2014. University Park, PA.
- The persistence of a set of biomolecules along a vertical decomposition gradient in a temperate forest surface soil. 17th Annual Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology Student Symposium. 2014. University Park, PA.
- Linking nutrient and contaminant dynamics in rhizospheres of hyperaccumulators. Goldschmidt Conference. August 2013. Florence, Italy.
- Iron Speciation in Redox Stratified Peat Soils. American Chemical Society. March 2013. American Chemical Society. San Diego, CA USA.
- Evidence for the accumulation of heterocyclic N compounds in temperate forest soils as a function of depth. Goldschmidt Conference. June 2012. Montreal, Quebec Canada.
- Nitrate transformation and immobilization: effects of biotic-abiotic and oxic-anoxic conditions. Goldschmidt Conference. June 2012. Montreal, Quebec Canada.