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Amy Hixon

Amy E. Hixon


Phone: 574-631-1872

Office: 301 Stinson-Remick


Ph.D., Environmental Engineering & Earth Science, Clemson University, 2013

M.S., Environmental Engineering & Earth Science, Clemson University, 2008

B.S., Chemistry, Radford University, 2006


Dr. Hixon received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Engineering & Earth Science from Clemson University in 2013 and 2008, respectively and her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Radford University in 2006.  While a doctoral candidate at Clemson University, she also held a position at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, where she supported the work of the Performance Assessment and Environmental Review branches.  She is currently a member of the American Chemical Society, American Nuclear Society, and the Geological Society of America. 


Hixon, A.E.; Powell, B.A. Plutonium environmental chemistry: Mechanisms for the surface-mediated reduction of Pu(V/VI). Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts201820, 1306-1322. DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00369B.

Baumer, T.; Hixon, A.E. Kinetics of europium sorption to three different aluminum (hydr)oxides: Corundum, γ-alumina, bayerite, and gibbsite. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity2018, 195, 20-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.09.004. 

Sadergaski, L.R.; Hixon, A.E. Kinetics of uranyl peroxide nanocluster (U60) sorption to goethite. Environmental Science & Technology201852, 9818-9826.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02716.

Sadergaski, L.R.; Stoxen, W.; Hixon, A.E. Uranyl peroxide nanocluster (U60) persistence and sorption in the presence of hematite. Environmental Science & Technology. 201852, 3304-3311. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06510.

Liu, Y.; Szymanowski, J.E.S.; Sigmon, G.E.; Morris, D.E.; Hixon, A.E.; Migliori, A.; Burns, P.C. Measurement of the effective capacitance of solutions containing nanoscale uranyl peroxide cage clusters (U60) reveals cluster effects. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry2018315, 341-346. DOI: 10.1007/s10967-017- 5659-2.

Baumer, T.; Kay, P.; Hixon, A.E. Comparison of europium and neptunium sorption to aluminum (hydr)oxide minerals. Chemical Geology. 2017, 464, 84-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.02.006.

Hixon, A.E.; Powell, B.A. Observed changes in the mechanism and rates of Pu(V) reduction on hematite as a function of total plutonium concentration. Environmental Science & Technology. 2014, 48, 9255-9262. DOI: 10.1020/es5013752.

Hixon, A.E.; Arai, Y.; Powell, B.A. Examination of the effect of alpha radiolysis on plutonium(V) sorption to quartz using multiple plutonium isotopes. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2013403, 105-112. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2013.04.007.

Hixon, A.E.; DiPrete, D.P.; DeVol, T.A. Development of a colorimetric test for quantification of uranium in drinking water. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. 2013, 298, 419-427. DOI: 10.1007/s10967-012-2385-7.

Hixon, A.E.; Hu, Y.J.; Kaplan, D.I.; Kukkadapu, R.K.; Nitsche, H.; Qafoku, O.; Powell, B.A. Influence of iron redox transformations on plutonium sorption to sediments. Radiochimica Acta. 2010, 98, 685-692. DOI: 10.1524/ract.2010.1769.

Alderman, B.A.; Ratliff, A.E., Wirgau, J.I. A mechanistic study of ferrioxamine B reduction by the biological reducing agent ascorbate in the presence of an iron(II) chelator. Inorganica Chimica Acta. 2009, 362, 1787-1792. DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2008.08.024.

Huang, F.H.; Slebodnick, C.; Ratliff, A.E.; Gibson, H.W. Bis(m-phenylene)-32-crown 10/monopyridinium [2]pseudorotaxanes. Tetrahedron Letters. 2005, 46, 6019-6022. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2005.07.011.

Gibson, H.W.; Wang, H.; Bonrad, K.; Jones, J.W.; Slebodnick, C.; Zackharow, L.N.; Rheingold, A.L.; Habenicht, B.; Lobue, P.; Ratliff, A.E. Regioselective routes to disubstituted dibenzo crown ethers and their complexations. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. 2005, 3, 2114-2121. DOI: 10.1039/B503072M.


DeVol, T.A.; Hixon, A.E.; DiPrete, D.P. 2012. Colorimetric detection of uranium in water. U.S. Patent 8,133,740, filed August 19, 2009, and issued March 13, 2012.

Summary of Activities/Interests

The overarching research interests of the Hixon research group revolve around how processes at the mineral-water interface control actinide behavior.  Actinides are present in the environment as a result of nuclear weapons production and nuclear fuel disposition and pose a long-term environmental concern due to their toxicity and long half-lives.  Understanding and predicting their mobility is important for risk management.  By using a combination of wet chemistry, instrumental, and modeling techniques, the Hixon research group is able to understand actinide aqueous speciation, the properties of mineral surfaces, and how the two interact.  Specific research interests include the development of comprehensive and mechanistically accurate surface-complexation models for actinide sorption to pure mineral phases and 1D advective-dispersive transport modeling of uranium in-situ recovery operations.


Notre Dame to Lead NNSA-funded Center Focused on Nuclear Chemistry

November 7, 2017

The University of Notre Dame will lead a National Nuclear Security Administration Actinide Center of Excellence (ACE) to conduct research in actinide and nuclear chemistry.

Hixon to Receive 2017 Department of Energy Early Career Award

August 17, 2017

The Office of Science of the Department of Energy has named Amy E. Hixon, an assistant professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, a 2017 Early Career Award winner. She is one of only 59 honorees across the country.

Searching for Uranium in the Copper State

June 16, 2017

In retrospect, it seems a little funny that three of Dr. Amy Hixon’s graduate students travelled to the Copper State to look for uranium. But as it turns out, there is quite a bit of uranium in Arizona, and these three students have found it where it shouldn’t be. With the help of the GLOBES program and the John J. Reilly Center, Teresa Baumer, Nicole Moore, and Meena Said have analyzed soil samples from the Navajo Nation to determine whether the soil was contaminated with uranium.

National Security and Nuclear Materials: Using Forensic Science in a Nuclear Age

September 22, 2014

When asked about the role of forensics in society, people might point to TV shows like the CSI series and its offshoots as examples of the type of information that forensics can uncover. At its core forensics takes the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” literally and focuses on understanding materials, processes, and reactions. While the actors in the series usually find their answers within an hour, researchers like Antonio Simonetti, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, and his team are working at a different pace to carefully build foundational research for the nation’s most immediate needs, as well as for its future.