John Rakovan


Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Ph.D. 1996 SUNY @ Stony Brook
223 Shideler Hall

My research interests involve the integration of mineralogy and low temperature geochemistry in the study of crystal surfaces and water-rock interactions found in natural systems.  In particular, I am interested in processes such as crystal growth, metal sorption, trace element partitioning and other surface mediated reactions.  I am also concerned with the structural response of minerals to substituent elements, especially lanthanides and actinides in apatite group minerals. Another research area involves geochemical processes that take place in the formation of hydrothermal mineral deposits.

Possible Thesis/Dissertation Topics

  • Structure, crystal chemistry and applications of apatite group minerals to environmental problems (e.g. heavy metal sequestration and radionuclide containment).
  • Role of crystal surface structure on water-rock interactions.
  • Mineral replacement reactions in hydrothermal systems.

Current/Recent Graduate Student Research

  • Wladyslaw Betkowski (Ph.D. 2018) Mineral replacement reactions:  implications for the geochronology and petrogenesis of the Llallagua tin deposit in Bolivia.
  • Calvin Anderson (M.S. 2018) The structure, chemistry and growth mechanisms of wire silver.
  • Caleb Chappell (M.S. 2018) Chemical and Structural Characterization of Fluorapatite from the Poudrette Pegmatite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
  • Chris Emproto (M.S. 2020) Column Anion and Trace Element Chemistry of Apatite from Crustal Carbonatite Deposits in the Grenville Province:  Implications for Crustal Carbonatite Genesis
  • Calvin Anderson (Ph.D. in progress) A new mechanism for isotope fractionation induced by natural solid state ion conduction
  • Jamshid Ahmadi (Ph.D. in progress)
  • Stephanie Mounce (M.S. in progress)
  • Azedah Sedaghat (M.A. in progress)
  • Johann Verbrugge (M.A. in progress)

Selected publications


Anderson*, C.A., Mathur, R., Rakovan, J., Tremsin, A.S. (2019) A New Metal Isotope Fractionation Effect by

Solid-State Ion Conduction. Geology, 47(7) open access:

Hughes, J.M., Harlov, D., and Rakovan, J. (2018) Structural variations along the apatite F-OH join. American Mineralogist, 103:1981-1987.

Burke*, M. Rakovan, J., and Krekeler, M. (2017) A Study by Electron Microscopy of Gold and Associated Minerals from Round Mountain, Nevada. Ore Geology Reviews, 91: 708-717.

Tremsin, A. S., Rakovan, J., Shinohara, T., Kockelmann, W. Losko, A. S. and Vogel, S. C. (2017) Non-destructive analyses of bulk crystallinity and elemental composition by energy resolved neutron imaging: application to natural gold samples. Nature-Science Reports, 7:40759, 1-9

Selected Grants

The Mineralogical Research Initiative [MRI] through Collector’s Edge: “Structure, chemistry and growth mechanisms of wire silver”. sole PI. March 15, 2017- March 14, 2020. $100,000.00

NSF-CHE#1532042: MRI: Acquisition of a Microfocus Single-Crystal Diffractometer," David L. Tierney and John F. Rakovan.  August 1, 2015  – July 30, 2017, $259,494.

Teaching Interests

GLG 180 (now 111H.A - Gems and Gem Formation)
GLG 201 - Mineralogy
GLG 432/532 - Powder X-ray Diffraction and Clay Mineral Analysis
GLG 630 - Mineral-Water Interface Geochemistry
GLG 632 - X-ray methods in crystal structure analysis

For a complete description of the courses please see the 2019/2020 Miami Bulletin.

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