My research involves unraveling the nature of matter on Earth. Atoms form all Earth materials, and through X-ray crystallography. I work to determine the arrangement of atoms in crystalline Earth materials called minerals.

I have determined and studied the atomic arrangements of numerous minerals on the Earth and even one lunar mineral (merrilite from the Apollo 14 mission). My research, which involves students in a large way, centers on the minerals apatite and tourmaline. Apatite is being investigated as a solid-state nuclear waste repository, providing a way to safely sequester radioactive waste. It also is the mineral that forms all the hard parts of the human body except small parts of the inner ear, and thus apatite studies have biological implications as well.

I am interested in studies on any mineral, and would be pleased to be consulted by any students with mineralogical questions.


Recent Publications

  • Kampf, A.R., Hughes, J.M., Nash, B.P. and Marty, J. (2017) Kegginite, Pb3Ca3[AsV12O40(VO)]·20H2O, a new mineral with an ε-isomer of the Keggin anion. American Mineralogist, 102, 461-465.
  • Kelly*, S.R., Rakovan, J.F., and Hughes, J.M. (2017) Column anion arrangements in chemically oned ternary chlorapatite and hydroxylapatite from Kurokura, Japan. American Mineralogist, 102, 720-727.
    Kampf, A.R., Nash, B.P., Marty, J., and Hughes, J.M. (2017) Mesaite, CaMn2+5(V2O7)3·12H2O, a new vanadate mineral from the Packrat mine, near Gateway, Mesa County, Colorado, USA. Mineralogical Magazine, 81, 319-327.

Selected Publications

  • Hughes, J.M., Harlov, D., Kelly*, S.R., Rakovan, J., and Wilke*, M. (2016) Solid solution in the apatite OH-Cl binary system: compositional dependence of solid solution mechanisms in calcium phosphate apatites along the Cl-OH binary. American Mineralogist, 101, 1783-1791.
  • Kampf, A.R., Hughes, J.M., Nash, B.P., and Marty, J. (2016) Vanarsite, packratite, morrisonite, and gatewayite: four new minerals containing the [As3+V4+,5+12As5+6O51] heteropolyanion, a novel polyoxometalate cluster (invited paper). Canadian Mineralogist, 54, 145-162.
  • Kampf, A.R., Hughes, J.M., Nash, B.P., Marty, J., Cooper, M.A., Hawthorne, F.C., Karpenko, V.Y., Pautov, L.A., and Agakhanov, A.A. (2016) Revision of the formulas of wernerbaurite and schindlerite: Ammonium- rather than hydronium-bearing decavanadate minerals. Canadian Mineralogist, 555-558.
  • Vaughn*, J., Woerner, W., Lindsley, D, Nekvasil, H., Hughes, J.M., and Phillips, B. (2015) Hydrogen Environments in Low-H, F,Cl Apatites Revealed By Double Resonance Solid-State NMR. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 119(51), 28065-28613.
  • Tansman*, G.F., Kindstedt, P.S., and Hughes, J.M. (2015) Crystal fingerprinting: Elucidating the crystalline identities of cheddar, parmigiano-reggiano, gouda and soft washed-rind cheeses using Powder X-ray Diffractometry. Dairy Science and Technology.
  • Hughes, J.M., and Rakovan, J. (2015) Structure, chemistry, and properties of apatite and apatite supergroup minerals. Invited Lead Article, Elements, 11, 165-170.
  • Hughes, J.M. (2015) The many facets of apatite. Mineralogical Society of America Presidential Address. American Mineralogist, 100, 1033-1039.
  • Kampf, A.R., Hughes, J.M., Nash, B.P., Wright, S.E., Rossman, G.R., and Marty, J. (2014) Ophirite, Ca2Mg4[Zn2Mn3+2(H2O)2(Fe3+W9O34)2]•46H2O, a new mineral with a heteropolytungstate tri-lacunary Keggin anion. American Mineralogist, 99, 1045-1051.

Awards and Recognition

Eponym of the mineral hughesite, Na3Al(V10O28)·22H2O; named in my honor, 2010.

John Hughes

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Mineralogy, Crystal Chemistry, X-ray Crystallography


  • Ph.D., Dartmouth College, 1981


  • (802) 656-9443
Office Location:

Delehanty Hall, Room 321

Office Hours:

MWF 11:00-1:00 and by appointment