Prof. dr. Mariette Wolthers


"Understanding how, why and at which rate minerals form, dissolve and react. Using this knowledge to quantify the impact of minerals on water quality and the environment and vice versa. Developing more sustainable methods to tailor mineral formation."


Research areas of interest include: 

  • water quality and the impact of minerals and other solids on this quality
  • anywhere where minerals form, dissolve, react in/with water
  • processes involving minerals from the nanometer and nanosecond to billions of years and field scale
  • (nano-)particle properties, nucleation, crystal growth, dissolution, (bio)mineralisation, adsorption
  • Investigating the impact of the ratio of crystal-building ions in fluids on the above, and the crystal size, shape and composition
  • how can we use the above knowledge in sustainable development and circularity
  • 'primordial soup', how did the building blocks of life form on Earth
  • crystal properties


My main research focus is on the interaction between water and minerals (crystals, Earth Materials). I investigate the influence of mineral formation/dissolution on water quality and vice versa. I explore mineral nucleation, growth, dissolution and surface reactivity, with and without impurity ions and at different rations of the crystal-building ions. My approach is both experimental and theoretical; the tools I use to study earth materials range from atomic scale computational chemistry and macroscale geochemical modelling to sophisticated analyses techniques such as electron microscopy, light scattering and synchrotron-based spectroscopy.

NWO Computational Sciences for Energy Research project

ERC Consolidator project CRYSTAL CLEAR