Chen Zhu

Chen Zhu

Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Environmental Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Environmental Health

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)


  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

Geochemical Modeling. Hydrogeochemistry and Water Resources. Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Chemical Reactions. Geological Carbon Sequestration (CCS).

CO2-Water-Rock Interactions, Geological Carbon sequestration, Aqueous geochemistry

I study the chemistry of water and its reactions with minerals and rocks. Through these reactions, water acquires chemical constituents and isotopic signatures. The chemical and isotopic signatures are useful to map the movement of fluid flow and allow us to calculate the in situ rates of chemical reactions under geological conditions. On a global scale, these chemical reactions are a key component of the interactions between the Earth’s hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. Many fundamental processes in Earth’s geological systems, such as chemical weathering, diagenesis, and the movement, distribution, and global cycling of chemical elements are related to these interactions. Please visit my research site for more information.

Awards + Honors

  • Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer, the Groundwater Foundation, 2021.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017
  • Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 2016-present
  • Fulbright Scholarship, 2009
  • The John Hem Excellence in Science and Engineering Award, National Ground Water Association, 2006
  • Lilly Freshman Learning Project Fellow (teaching), Indiana University, 2006
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2005
  • Guest Professorship, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland, 2004
  • Senior Associateship Award, National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences, 2003
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Gilman Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University
  • J. Brian Eby Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Waters Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Bauernschmidt Fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University
  • H. V. Ellsworth Prize in Mineralogy, University of Toronto


National and international organizations

  • Proposal review panelist, NSF, 2021-2022, 2018. NASA, 2019.
  • Co-Executive Editor, Ground Water 2022-present
  • Associate Editor, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2005-2021

Indiana University and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

  • Member of tenure evaluation committee, Bloomington campus, 2023-24; College of Arts and Sciences, 2019-2021.
  • Faculty chair, Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences (2015-2021), member, 2021-present
  • Chair, Owen Award Committee, 2023-24; member (2005-2006); (2021-22)