Aaron J. Celestian
Curriculum Vitae


  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Geosciences, Stony Brook University – Advisor: John B. Parise (August 2006) Time-resolved structural characterization of microporous silicotitanates and niobium silicotitanates

  • Masters of Science in Geosciences, Stony Brook University – Advisor: John B. Parise (2002) Ion exchange of \(K_{8}Al_{8}Ge_{8}O_{32} \centerdot 8H_{2}O\) and \(Na_{24}Al_{24}Ge_{24}O_{96}\centerdot40H_{2}O\) gismondine

  • Bachelor of Science in Geology with Emphasis in Mineralogy, University of Arizona – Advisor: Robert T. Downs (1999)

Current Positions

  • Associate Curator, Mineral Sciences, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 2016 - present

Previous Positions

  • Associate Professor (Tenured), Dept. of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, 2012-2015

  • Director of the Advanced Materials Institute, Western Kentucky University, 2010-2015

  • Vice President for Research at Terra EnViro Lab Services, LLC, 2014-2015

  • Researcher, Kentucky NanoNet, 2011-2015

  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, 2007-2012

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Science, City University of New York Queens College, 2006-2007

  • Visiting Investigator, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D. C., 2002-2003

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor: American Mineralogist, 2008 – Present

  • Topical Session Organizer & Co-Chair (2016) Mineralogical Crystallography, American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science Review Committee, Single Crystal, 2010-2013 (Chair from 2011-2012)

  • Topical Session Organizer & Co-Chair (2014) From the Surface to the Core: Microstructure, Porosity, and Wetting Phenomena in Multiphase Solid/Liquid Systems, Session 22f. Goldschmidt Geochemical Conference. Sacramento, CA.

  • Topical Session Chair (2013) Advanced Materials and Processing II, Kentucky NanoNet Symposia, Louisville, KY.

  • Topical Session Organizer & Chair (2010) Mineral Behavior and Molecular-Scale Processes in the Environment, Session T71. Geological Society of America National Meeting. Denver, CO.

  • Representative for Students and Post-docs: National Synchrotron Light Source User Executive Committee, Special Interest Group (SpIG), June 2003-June 2004

  • Reviewer for many scientific journals including: American Mineralogist, Chemistry of Materials, Inorganic Chemistry, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Journal of Applied Crystallography, Applied Clay Science, and Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

  • Reviewer for funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society


  • ZS Pharma, 2015

  • Cumberland and Western Resources, LLC, 2015

  • Vector Horizons Technologies, 2012-2015

  • Mineralogical Consulting: South Bay Auctions Inc., 2005; Law Offices of James C. Milam, 2011

Funded Grants and Awards

  • Polk, J. and Celestian A.J. (Pending, re-submission on 2/30/2016) Acquisition of Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometers (CRDS) for Stable Isotope Analyses for Transformative Geoscience, Environmental, and Water Resource Research. National Science Foundation – Division of Earth Sciences. 197,564 USD, 2015-2016.

  • Yan, B., Williams, K., Dakshinamurthy, R., Rathnayake, H., Nee, M., Celestian, A. J., Kintzel, E., Dobrokhotov, V., and Cao, Y. (Pending) Interdisciplinary Summer Research Focused on Chemistry at Western Kentucky University. National Science Foundation. 393,749 USD, 2015-2017.

  • Celestian, A. J. (2013-2014) Advancing porous nanominerals for basic energy science, environmental security, and materials genomics. National Science Foundation EPSCoR REG I. 24,956 USD.

  • All, J. and Celestian, A. J. (2013-2014) Aerosol Deposition on Tropical High Mountain Glaciers, Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Western Kentucky University (RCAP-I). 20,000 USD.

  • Cole, J. and Celestian A. J. (2013-2014) Mineral Identification in Saharan Dust Samples Spanning the Last 25,000 Years. Western Kentucky University (RCAP-I) 14,306 USD.

  • Celestian, A. J. (2011-2013) Mechanisms of ion selectivity in porous frameworks. American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund. 50,000 USD.

  • Webb, C., Celestian, A. J. (2011) Construction of the new Advanced Materials Institute. WKU Internal Grant. 400,000 USD.

  • Ferrell, B., Celestian, A. J., Webb, K., Dahl, D., Conte, E., Polk, J., and Dobrokhotov, V. (2010) Development of a multi-disciplinary institute for advanced materials science. U.S. Department of Education (FIPSE program). 2,000,000 USD (483,040 USD for single crystal XRD and TGA/DSC).

  • Celestian, A. J. (2009) Acquisiti