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The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society
From the President - "Ask not what your Society can do for you...."
As the Society's President, I ask you to make every effort to pay your membership dues on time. This means that we can avoid expensive follow-up notices and that your publications arrive in a timely fashion! Log in at or contact Mary Gray ( in The Society office for information. The first round of renewal reminders were sent out recently.
At this time of year, when we are all busy thinking about resolutions for 2017, I ask you to consider offering your services on a Society committee. These committees are essential to the work of the Society. Put your name forward now (
Important CMS deadlines
All 2017 Award Nominations
Due February 20, 2017
2017 Student Travel Grants
Due February, 6 2017
2017 Student Research Grants
Due February 6, 2017
Four questions to a Clay Scientist
In this December newsletter, we introduce a new section devoted to a short interview based on four questions asked of one of our eminent clay scientists. Prof. Joe Stucki has kindly accepted the invitation to initiate this interview section.

Joseph William Stucki is a soil chemist and professor at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences of the University of Illinois. Joe is an Honorary Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland, was the George Brown Lecturer of the Clay Minerals Group of the MinSoc in 2009, and is a Fellow of the SSSA and the ASA.

Joe has also received the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Mid-Career Clay Scientist Award from the CMS in 1992 and the Marilyn and Sturges W. Bailey Distinguished Member Award from the CMS in 2009. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Clay Minerals Society, publisher of Clays and Clay Minerals and the CMS Workshop Lectures Series.

Q1. Why/how did you start working on clay minerals?
I was introduced to the world of clay minerals when I started my Ph.D. studies at Purdue University in 1972, under the direction of Dr. Charles B. Roth. He invited me into the lab on almost my first day there and demonstrated the reduction of iron in nontronite by adding sodium dithionite to the suspension. When it turned from yellow to blue-green, I became fascinated and embarked upon my career-long endeavor of trying to understand the redox reactions of structural iron in smectites. My interest in clay science was further solidified during those years by rich conversations with and instruction from Professors Joe L. White, Philip F. Low, James L. Ahlrichs, and Dale Swartzendruber.
Q2. If you had to tell us one success study and one which completely failed so far in your career, what would they be?
One of the most significant successes of my research career was the discovery in 1986 that microorganisms are able to reduce structural iron in clay minerals. While the original idea for this was mine, it would not have been possible without the contributions of wonderful colleagues and collaborators whose ideas and skills made it happen.
The one set of experiments that completely failed was my attempt to reduce structural iron in nontronite in the dry state, such as a film or powder, so that washing the sample would be unnecessary. To do this, I tried various gaseous reductants. None of them worked, except hydrazine, but it yielded only low levels of reduction.
Q3. With the background that you have now, in what field of clay science would you go if you had to envisage again a PhD?
If I could start over, but keep what I know now, I would build on my knowledge of iron redox processes by pursuing applications of redox-activated smectites in medical science, pesticide fate and toxicity, clay-water interactions, and mitigation of anionic contaminants in the environment. I would also like to learn more about the effects of redox on the crystal structure, interlayer forces, reoxidation, and tetrahedral iron.
Q4. What would you tell a student starting a career in clay science?
The first suggestion I would make is that he or she obtain as much basic science background as possible in mathematics, chemistry, mineralogy, and spectroscopy, even if it means taking a little longer to complete the degree or training. I would also strongly suggest that he or she always remain teachable, and seek for opportunities to learn from colleagues by cultivating respectful collaborations with others in the field. This can be accomplished by attending and giving presentations at scientific meetings and taking the initiative to become personally acquainted with others who are active in their respective areas of expertise.
Annual Meeting 2017: Living with Clays: From nanoscale interactions to incorporation in everyday life
The first Clay Minerals Society Conference to be held in conjunction with the Oil Sands Clay Conference will take place June 5th–8th, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. View the conference program, workshop and social events on the conference website.

Important dates
Abstract submission deadline: Monday, March 20, 2017 (11:59 PM MT)
Notification date: Monday, April 17, 2017
RSVP date: Monday, April 24, 2017
Early Bird Registration deadline: Monday, May 1, 2017
Social media
 Social media efforts have proven to be successful in the last year. Growth continued with the Facebook page topping 200 'Likes' (followers) and the Twitter account nearing 300 followers. The website also underwent a face lift to help with accessibility. These social networks allow us to share updates, news, and conversations within our society, but also with other interested parties. Any updates that are sent to the list serve are shared, direct messages are shared, and the platforms allow people to share photographs and conversations from meetings with others who were not able to attend. This brings us closer together as a group. It enables The Clay Minerals Society to grow, be active, and be visible in this age of information.
The overall success of social media depends on the users. Don't forget that Facebook and Twitter are tools, no different than other tools we use in the field or the lab. If you learn to use them they can benefit you. Do you have an announcement about a conference, class, job opening, session or anything else that seems newsworthy? Send a direct Tweet to the twitter account with info; we can share it and help you reach a wider audience. Do you have a call for papers announcement for a session you are sharing? Share information on the Facebook page. It will allow more people to see the information and ultimately share it for you with less effort. Going into the next year, if you have interest but haven’t yet taken the leap, try out some forms of social media. See what The Clay Minerals Society is doing and contribute in order to spread the word and increase visibility of our efforts. We are working on making information more accessible to all, members and non-members alike. I hope you join us.

@ClayMinSociety on Twitter on Facebook or search @TheClayMineralsSociety
Pre-published papers
And read our pre-published content, here. This allows open access by any member or non-member to the full text of these papers before they are formally published. 
Forthcoming content in Clays and Clay Minerals
GeoscienceWorld and Ingenta
Read the following papers:
  • Cadmium(II) complexes adsorbed on clay edge surfaces: Insight from first principles molecular dynamics simulation
    Chi Zhang, Xiandong Liu, Xiancai Lu, Evert Jan Meijer, Kai Wang, Mengjia He, and Rucheng Wang
  • Investigation of the interlayer organization of water and ions in smectite from the combined use of diffraction experiments and molecular simulations. A review of methodology, applications, and perspectives
    Eric Ferrage
  • Molecular dynamics simulations of anion exclusion in clay interlayer nanopores
    Christophe Tournassat, Ian C. Bourg, Michael Holmboe, Garrison Sposito, and Carl I. Steefel
  • Molecular simulation of cesium adsorption at the basal surface of phyllosilicate minerals
    Sebastien Kerisit, Masahiko Okumura, Kevin M. Rosso, and Masahiko Machida
  • Structural and spectroscopic characterization of montmorillonite intercalated with n-butylammonium cations (n = 14) modeling and experimental study
    Eva Scholtzová, Jana Madejová, L’ubosˇ Jankovic, and Daniel Tunega
  • Stability of the hydronium cation in the structure of illite
    Elizabeth Escamilla-Roa, Fernando Nieto, and C. Ignacio Sainz-Díaz
  • Effect of polydispersity of clay platelets on the aggregation and mechanical properties of clay at the mesoscale
    Davoud Ebrahimi, Andrew J. Whittle, and Roland J.-M. Pellenq
  • Comparative computational study of Np(V) and U(VI) adsorption on (110) edge surfaces of montmorillonite
    Alena Kremleva and Sven Krüger
  • Structure and dynamics of watersmectite interfaces: Hydrogen bonding and the origin of the sharp ODw/OHw infrared band from molecular simulations
    Marek Szczerba, Artur Kuligiewicz, Arkadiusz Derkowski, Vassilis Gionis, Georgios D. Chryssikos, and Andrey G. Kalinichev
  • Ion adsorption at clay-mineral surfaces: The Hofmeister series for hydrated smectite minerals
    Thomas Underwood, Valentina Erastova, and H. Chris Greenwell
  • Intercalation of ethylene glycol in smectites: Several molecular simulation models verified by X-ray diffraction data
    Marek Szczerba and Andrey G. Kalinichev
Please pass a copy of CMS-e-News to a colleague. They can read about CMS membership here.
The Clay Minerals Society  •  3635 Concorde Pkwy Suite 500  •  Chantilly, VA 20151-1110
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