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Alex Gysi

Assistant  Professor

Economic Geology

  • 575-835-5754
  • Bureau of Geology 237

I currently have a dual appointment as an Economic Geologist in the NMBGMR and Assistant Professor in the department of Earth & Environmental Science. I am the head of the Ore Deposits and Critical Minerals (ODCM) research group and experimental laboratory housed in the bureau of geology. I maintain the MINES thermodynamic database for simulating ore-forming processes and fluid-rock interaction. My background includes international research and work within academia and in collaboration with the industry in the topics of petrology and mineralogy, aqueous geochemistry, and economic geology.

As an Economic Geologist in the bureau, my goal is to provide the state of New Mexico with the tools necessary to advance our assessment capabilities for the responsible exploration and mining of mineral resources. I also aim at providing educational platforms for the community to help making informed decisions about mineral resources and learn about the geology of ore deposits in New Mexico.

My research is currently funded through several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and focuses on the geochemistry and mineralogy of ore-forming processes associated to hydrothermal-magmatic systems, particularly those hosting critical mineral deposits. The critical metals such as the rare earth elements (REE) are important resources used for the production of alternative energy efficient green technologies. My research group uses a holistic approach to study ore deposits including field observations, numerical modeling, and laboratory experiments. In the Ore Deposits and Critical Minerals Experimental lab we will be able to simulate fluid-rock reaction processes using hydrothermal reactors and measure the thermodynamic properties of REE and other critical metals in aqueous fluids and minerals using calorimetric instruments. This Fall, I will also begin field work with my student on (per)alkaline/carbonatite REE mineral deposits in New Mexico with particular interest in the Gallinas Mountains and the Cornudas Mountains.

(See Curriculum Vitae)


  • Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of Iceland, Iceland, 2011
  • M.Sc., Mineralogy and Petrology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2007

Professional Experience

  • 2014-2020: Assistant Professor in Lithogeochemistry, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering,
    Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
  • 2011-2014: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, McGill University.


  • Lithogeochemistry of hydrothermal ore deposits.
  • Thermodynamics of fluid-mineral equilibria.
  • Experiments and numerical modeling of hydrothermal fluid-rock interaction.
  • Geochemistry of rare earth elements and other critical metals.
  • Evolution of pegmatites and alkaline/peralkaline magmatic-hydrothermal systems.
  • CO2 sequestration in geological rock formations.



  • 2019-2024, NSF-EAR CAREER grant 1845258 (PI: A. Gysi), $577,485. Partitioning of Rare Earth Elements (REE) Between Minerals and Aqueous Fluids in Ore Deposits
  • 2017-2019 NSF-EAR 1649656 (PI: A. Gysi), $328,368. The thermodynamic properties of rare earth element (REE) minerals: a solid solution model for xenotime-(Y) and monazite-(Ce).