Qi Fu - University of Houston
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Qi Fu

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Qi Fu

Curriculum Vitae pdf

Assistant Professor of Organic Geochemistry, Astrobiology, Isotope Geochemistry

Ph.D., Geology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN (2006)
M.S., Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China (1997)
B.S., Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China (1994) 

Office: 328B SR1
Office Hours: T | 2:00p - 3:00p
Phone: (713) 743-3660

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Experimental Organic Geochemistry Laboratory


Since joining UH in September 2013, I have developed 2 courses at graduate level: "Organic Geochemistry" and "Stable Isotope Geochemistry". In addition, I teach undergraduate courses, and Geochemistry/Petrology seminar for graduate students.

  • GEOL 1330 Physical Geology
  • GEOL 3370 Mineralogy
  • GEOL 6396 Geochemistry/Petrology Seminar
  • GEOL 6343 Organic Geochemistry
         This course is designed to provide students with basic knowledge of origin, properties, and fate of organic compounds at molecular levels in sedimentary basins, and selected analytical techniques used for their identification and characterization. Topics include: classification and reaction principles of organic molecules, origin and transformation of organic compounds in sedimentary processes, kerogen and biomarkers in petroleum generation, geochemistry of coal, interactions between organic and inorganic compounds, and analytical techniques (GC, GC/LC-MS, and GC-IRMS) with their application in geological processes. Students will get hands-on operation experience with each analytical technique. Case studies and recent development of knowledge will also be covered.
  • GEOL 6397 Stable Isotope Geochemistry
         This course introduces basic concepts and principles in stable isotope geochemistry, and examines the application of stable isotopes in a variety of geological processes. Topics include: basic concepts and theoretical principles of stable isotopes (fractionation factors, mechanisms of isotopic exchange, etc.), and light stable isotope systematics, including C, O, H, S, and N, in igneous and metamorphic processes, hydrothermal systems, biogeochemical processes, and extraterrestrial materials.

Research Interests

My research interests are in the broad area of organic geochemistry, with a focus on understanding formation and interaction of organic compounds in a variety of geological processes. By integrating laboratory experiments with theoretical modeling and an array of advanced analytical techniques, including stable isotope, chemical, and mineral surface analyses, the ultimate goal is to advance our knowledge on organic reactions and their roles in the evolution of organic matter and formation of energy resources.
Current projects include:

  1. Understanding reaction pathways and corresponding stable carbon and hydrogen isotope signatures during abiotic organic synthesis processes in hydrothermal systems. Funded by NASA Exobiology program in collaboration with NASA JSC.
  2. Experimental study of carbon and hydrogen isotope equilibrium between hydrocarbons and CO2 following their generation and/or expulsion from source rocks in sedimentary basins. Funded by American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF).
  3. Reaction kinetics and evolution of carbon isotopes during carboxylic acid oxidation under shallow subsurface conditions on Mars. Funded by UH New Faculty Research program.
  4. Assessment of chemical composition and carbon isotope characterization of shale gas and tight oil reservoirs in China. In collaboration with Nanjing University, China, and funded by China Scholarship Council.

Selected Publications

  • Fu Q., Socki R. A., and Niles P. B. (2015) Evaluating reaction pathways of hydrothermal abiotic organic synthesis at elevated temperatures and pressures using carbon isotopes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 154, 1-17.
  • Qian Q., Parajuli B., Fu Q., Yan K., Gossage J. L., Ho T. C. (2013) Assessment of acid deposition effects on water quality of the upper Rio Grande river section in Texas. Journal of Water Resource and Protection 5, 792-800.
  • Lu P., Fu Q., Seyfried W. E. Jr., Hedges S. W., Soong Y., Jones K., and Zhu C. (2013) Coupled alkali feldspar dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation in batch systems: 2. New experiments with supercritical CO2 and implications for carbon sequestration. Applied Geochemistry 30, 75-90.
  • Lu P., Fu Q., Seyfried W. E. Jr., Hereford A., and Zhu C. (2011) Navajo Sandstone – brine – CO2 interaction: implications for geological carbon sequestration. Environmental Earth Sciences 62, 101-118.
  • Seyfried W. E. Jr., Pester N., and Fu Q. (2010) Phase equilibria controls on the chemistry of vent fluids from hydrothermal systems on slow spreading ridges: Reactivity of plagioclase and olivine solid solutions and the pH-silica connection. In Diversity of Hydrothermal Systems on Slow Spreading Ocean Ridges (eds. P. Rona, C. Davey, J. Dyment, and B. Murton). Geophysical Monograph Series 188, pp.297-320. American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C.
  • Fu Q., Lu P., Konishi H., Dilmore R., Xu H., Seyfried W. E. Jr., and Zhu C. (2009) Coupled alkali-feldspar dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation in batch systems: 1. New experiments at 200°C and 300 bars. Chemical Geology 258, 125-135.
  • Fu Q., Foustoukos D. I., and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2008) Mineral catalyzed organic synthesis in hydrothermal systems: An experimental study using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. Geophysical Research Letters 35, L07612, doi:10.1029/2008GL033389.
  • Fu Q., Sherwood Lollar B., Horita J., Lacrampe-Couloume G. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2007) Abiotic formation of hydrocarbons under hydrothermal conditions: Constraints from chemical and isotope data. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, 1982-1998.
  • Seyfried W. E. Jr., Foustoukos D. I., and Fu Q. (2007) Redox evolution and mass transfer during serpentinization: An experimental and theoretical study at 200°C, 500 bar with implications for ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems at Mid-Ocean Ridges. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, 3872-3886.

Selected Conference Abstracts

  • Fu Q., Locke D. R., and Niles P. B. (2015) Experimental study of carboxylic acid oxidation under Martian conditions: Chemical and isotope characterization. Goldschmidt conference 2015.
  • Mujib M. Z. and Fu Q. (2015) Carbon isotopes of evolved CO2 during acetic acid oxidation by different oxidizing agents. 46th Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf., Abstract #2954.
  • Fu Q., Haynie K. L., Gong C., Darnell M., and Khan S. (2015) Tar balls on Elmer's Island, Louisiana: Identifying technology and geochemical characterization. 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Houston, Texas.
  • Fu Q., Darnell M., and Bissada K. K. (2014) Maturation of Green River shale kerogen with hydrous pyrolysis: Characterization of geochemical biomarkers and carbon isotopes. AGU Fall Meeting 2014, Abstract #V51D-4810.
  • Fu Q., Darnell M., Szymczyk E., and Bissada K. K. (2014) Chemical speciation and carbon isotope systematics during kerogen maturation: An experimental study. AAPG annual convention 2014, Houston, Texas.
  • Socki R. A., Niles P. B., Sun T., Fu Q., Romanek C., and Gibson E. K. (2014) Martian cryogenic carbonate formation: Stable isotope variations observed in laboratory studies. Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXXV, Abstract #2757.
  • Fu Q., Socki R. A., Niles P. B., Romanek C., Datta S., Darnell M., and Bissada K. K. (2013) The origin of carbon-bearing volatiles in Surprise Valley Hot Springs in the Great Basin: Carbon isotope and water chemistry characterizations. AGU Fall Meeting 2013, Abstract #B13E-0561.
  • Fu Q., Socki R., and Niles P. B. (2012) Evaluating reaction pathways of hydrothermal abiotic organic synthesis at elevated conditions using carbon isotopes. The Organic Geochemistry Gordon Research Conference.