Florence Ling, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biology, Environmental Science
Holroyd Hall 043

I am an environmental geochemist and mineralogist, originally from New Jersey. During my Ph.D. in Geosciences at Penn State, I studied manganese oxide minerals to understand their role in controlling the amount of contaminant metals in the environment. Afterwards, I became a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, trying to understand how to mineral precipitation to uptake contaminants and to control porosity changes in subsurface environments. On my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and watching musical theater.

My research interests include examining and treating contamination in terrestrial environments, ranging from soils and acid mine drainage sites to waters produced from oil and gas operations. I am also interested in the effect of mineral precipitation on porosity changes in the subsurface. I apply several experimental techniques including X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray computed tomography, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence and time-resolved X-ray diffraction to better characterize reactions between minerals and fluids. To compare with experimental results and to provide further insight into the mechanisms behind experiments, I build reactive transport models, which models chemical species in a system where diffusion and/or flow may be occurring, to understand chemical reactions over time and space.

Areas of Expertise
Environmental Geochemistry
Dartmouth College (B.A.)
Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.)

ENV 153: Intro to Environmental Science
ISBT 321: Fundamentals of Energy and Natural Resources
ENV 401: Fundamentals of Soil Science


Ling, FT, Peters, CA, Fitts, JP, Heaney, PE, Post, JE. “Mineral-Solid Solutions as Environmental Solutions: Understanding the formation of barite, manganese oxide, and calcium silicate hydrate minerals to tackle environmental problems”.  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University – Sept. 2017, Palisades, NY

Ling, FT, Heaney, PJ, Post, JE, Santelli, CM, Burgos, WD, Rose, AW. “Treating acid mine drainage with biomineral engineering”. Princeton American Chemical Society Meeting – April 2017, Princeton, NJ.

Ling, FT, Heaney, PJ, Post, JE, Ilton, ES, Santelli, CM, Burgos, WD, Rose, AW. “Natural Mn oxides: a solution to removing contaminant lead”.  Environmental Geology & Geochemistry Seminar, Princeton University – March 2017, Princeton, NJ

Ling, FT, Heaney, PJ, Post, JE. “The uptake of contaminant lead with layered Mn oxides”. Rice University – February 2017, Houston, TX

Ling, FT. “Manganese is the New Black: Tailoring black manganese oxide precipitation for the remediation of acid mine drainage”. Juniata College – November 2016, Huntingdon, PA

Ling, FT. “A time-resolved X-ray diffraction study on the uptake of contaminant lead to layered Mn oxides”. University of Virginia – October 2016, Charlottesville, VA

Ling, FT, Heaney, PJ, Post, JE, Ilton, ES, Santelli, CM, Burgos, WD, Rose, AW. “Influences of structure and chemistry on the reactivity of terrestrial manganese oxides”. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University – February 2016, Princeton, NJ

Ling, FT, Post, JE, Heaney, PJ, Santelli, C. “Structures and behaviors of manganese oxides in terrestrial environments”.Smithsonian Institution, Department of Mineral Sciences – May 2015, Washington, DC


Ling, FT, Hunter, HA, Fitts, JP, Peters, CA, Acerbo, AS, Huang, X, Yan, H, Nazaretski, E, Chu, YS. “Nanospectroscopy Captures Nano-scale Compositional Zonation in Barite Solid Solutions”. Scientific Reports. In press. 2018.

Plattenberger, DA, Ling, FT, Tao, Z, Peters, CA, Clarens, AF. “Calcium Silicate Crystal Structure Impacts Reactivity with CO2 and Precipitate Chemistry”. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 2018.

Ling, FT, Post, JE, Heaney, PJ, Ilton, ES. “The relationship between Mn oxidation state and structure in triclinic and hexagonal birnessites”. Chemical Geology. 479. 216 – 227. Jan. 17, 2018.

Ling, FT, Post, JE, Heaney, PJ, Ilton, ES, Kubicki, JD, Santelli, CM. “Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of triclinic and hexagonal birnessites”. Spectrochimica Acta Part A. 178. 32 – 46. Jan. 17, 2017.

Ilton, E., Post, JE, Heaney, PJ, Ling, FT, Kerisit, SN. “XPS Determination of Mn Oxidation States in Mn(Hydr)oxides”. Applied Surface Science. 366. Jan. 11, 2016.

Ling, FT, Heaney, PJ, Post, JE, Gao, X. “Transformations from triclinic to hexagonal birnessite at circumneutral pH induced through pH control by common biological buffers”. Chemical Geology. 416. Oct. 9, 2015.