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Neal Blair

Professor, Joint Appointment in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, Stanford University
B.S. Chemistry, University of Maryland
Curriculum Vitae


My research focuses on the biogeochemical transformations of carbon with an emphasis on the sources and fates of organic carbon within the Earth’s Critical Zone. Current projects involve the characterization and tracking of organic matter as it moves across landscapes and is trapped in reservoirs. Biogenic methane production is also a specialty of our lab. The role of soil fungi in the sequestration of organic matter is being investigated.


EARTH 106: The Ocean, The Atmosphere and Our Climate
EARTH 203: Energy and the Environment
EARTH 314: Organic Geochemistry
EARTH 371: Biogeochemistry (previously EARTH 317)

Selected Publications

Microbial methane from in situ biodegradation of coal and shale: A review and reevaluation of hydrogen and carbon isotope signatures. Chemical Geology (2017) 453: 128-145doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.01.027 (Vinson, D.S., Blair, N.E., Martini, A., Larter, S., Orem, W.H., McIntosh, J.C.).

A Source to Sink Perspective of the Waipaoa River Margin.  Earth-Science Reviews (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.10.001. (Kuehl, S.A., Alexander, C.R., Blair, N.E., Harris, C.K., Marsaglia, K.M., Ogston, A.S., Orpin, A.R., Roering, J.J., Bever, A.J., Bilderback, E.L., Carter, L., Cerovski-Darriau, C., Childress, L.B., Corbett, D.R., Hale, R.P., Leithold, E.L., Litchfield, N., Moriarty, J.M., Page, M.J., Pierce, L.E.R., Upton, P. and Walsh, J.P.).

Source to Sink Sedimentary Systems and Global Organic Carbon Burial: A River Runs Through It. Earth-Science Reviews (2016) doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.10.011 (Leithold, E.L., N. E. Blair, K.W. Wegmann).

Quantification of Water in Majorite GarnetAmerican Mineralogist (2015) 100:1084-1092, (Thomas, S.-M., Wilson, K., Koch-Müller, M., Hauri, E.H., McCammon, C., Jacobsen, S.D., Lazarz, J., Rhede, D., Ren, M., Blair, N., Lenz, S.).

Contribution of fungal macromolecules to soil carbon sequestration. In Soil Carbon (2014), Book Series: Progress in Soil Science, (Eds: Alfred Hartemink and Kevin McSweeney), doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-04084-4_16 (Schreiner, K.M., Blair, N.E., Egerton-Warburton, L., Levinson, W.J.), Springer Press, pp 155-161.

Impacts of watershed processes on exported riverine organic carbon. In Biogeochemical Dynamics at Large River-Coastal Interfaces: Linkages with Global Climate Change (2014)
(Eds: Thomas S. Bianchi, Mead A. Allison, and Wei-Jun Cai), (N. Blair and E. Leithold), Cambridge University Press.

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