Robert Hazen
Staff Scientist
(202) 478-8962

Robert M. Hazen's research focuses on aspects of the coevolving geosphere and biosphere, especially in the context of Earth's evolving mineralogy. His group investigates interactions among organic biomolecules and mineral surfaces, mineral-mediated chemistry in the context of origins of life, and the emergence of pre-biotic chemical complexity. In recent years he has introduced "mineral evolution," which is the study of Earth's changing near-surface mineralogy through deep time, and "mineral ecology," which focuses on statistical aspects of the diversity and distribution of minerals on terrestrial planets. He obtained a Ph.D. in mineralogy and crystallography from Harvard University in 1975, and a B.S. and S.M. in earth science from Massachusetts Institute for Technology in 1970 and 1971. For more information see:

Areas of interest: 

Related News

Washington, DC—Applying big data analysis to mineralogy offers a way to predict minerals missing from those known to science, as well as where to find new deposits, according to a groundbreaking study. In a paper published by American Mineralogist, Geophysical Laboratory scientists Shaunna Morrison and Bob Hazen report the first application to mineralogy of network theory (best known for analysis of e.g. the spread of disease, terrorist networks, or Facebook connections).
Washington, DC—Human industry and ingenuity has done more to diversify and distribute minerals on Earth than any development since the rise of oxygen over 2.2 billion years ago, experts say in a paper published today. The work bolsters the scientific argument to officially designate a new geological time interval distinguished by the pervasive impact of human activities: the Anthropocene Epoch.
The Geophysical Laboratory's Anat Shahar and Bob Hazen received the top two awards from the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) during the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting on 27 September in Denver, CO.  Hazen and Shahar gave outstanding award lectures and join the likes of many GL alumni in each category.  Shahar received the MSA Award and Hazen received the MSA Roebling Medal. Congratulations to both on awards well deserved!
Washington, DC, 29 March 2016—The Deep Carbon Observatory Executive Committee met on 1-2 March 2016 to discuss overarching themes for DCO’s final years—including modeling and visualization, synthesis and integration, field studies, and instrumentation—as well as plans beyond the end of the decadal program in 2019.
The Geophysical Laboratory’s own Bob Hazen will be starring in “Life’s a Rocky Start,” a PBS NOVA special on January 13, 2016 at 9pm EST on PBS. 
The Geophysical Laboratory's Anat Shahar and Bob Hazen were announced as the recipients of the Mineralogical Society of America's (MSA) 2016 MSA Award and Roebling Medal, respectively.  They will receive their awards at the MSA meeting in Denver in September 2016.
Washington, DC—Carnegie’s Robert Hazen has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation for a three-year data-driven research project on the co-evolution of the planet’s biology and geology.
Washington, DC, 5 February 2015— A team of Geophysical Laboratory scientists have found “beautifully preserved” 15 million-year-old thin protein sheets in fossil shells from southern Maryland.
Recent advances in our understanding of the quantities, movements, forms and origin of carbon in Earth are summarized in a just-published report. The research represents fast-paced progress on the depths of the biosphere, Earth, what erupts from volcanoes and leaks from sea floors, what descends back into Earth’s great depths, and the nature of carbon-bearing materials within planets.
Washington, DC— Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth’s raw materials.