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I study how trace metals common in natural systems (many of which are micronutrients and contaminants) and mineral structures are affected during iron and manganese biogeochemical cycling, with the goal of understanding how biogeochemical processes at the mineral-water interface affect the compositions of natural waters in present day and geologic systems. I study both abiotic and biotic factors contributing to changes in mineral structures and trace metal speciation and uptake. My research combines my interests in inorganic chemistry, aqueous geochemistry, and biomineralization. I am currently studying fungal manganese oxides with my postdoctoral fellowship -- fungi are intimately linked to several geologic and environmental processes, such as element cycling, mineral formation and dissolution, rock weathering, soil formation, and the mobility of trace metals. I use wet chemistry techniques and bulk characterization methods, such as X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy, in my research.

Join the lab!

The W&L Geochemistry Group is looking for new members. Reach out to me (via email) or stop by my office (after July) to chat if you are interested in joining the lab & doing research!

About me


Current contact info:

Geology Department

Washington & Lee University

204 W Washington Street

Lexington, VA 24450


email: hinklem at wlu dot edu

phone: +1-540-458-8271

the twitter:


Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History 

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Mineral Sciences (2015-2017)

Research Advisors: Cara M. Santelli (U of MN) & Jeffrey G. Post (SI NMNH)

Proposal Title: Controls on mycogenic manganese oxide phase transformations & subsequent impact on contaminant & micronutrient fate

Washington University in St. Louis

Ph.D. Earth & Planetary Sciences (2010-2015)

A.M. Earth & Planetary Sciences (2010-2012)

Research Advisor: Jeffrey G. Catalano

Thesis: Ion interactions at the mineral-water interface during biogeochemical iron & manganese cycling


Sewanee: The University of the South

B.S. Chemistry (2005-2009)

Research Advsior: Robert E. Bachman