The Mineralogical Society of Southern California

961st Meeting


 October, 13th, 2018 at 7:30 P.M. 


Halophiles in Minerals”

Presented by Dr. Aaron Celestian


 Pasadena City College 

Geology Department, E-Building, Room 220 

1570 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 


About us…

The Mineralogical Society of Southern California is dedicated to the dissemination of a general knowledge of the mineralogical and related earth sciences through the study and collecting of mineral specimens. Organized in 1931, it is the oldest mineralogical society in the western United States.
The MSSC is a scientific non-profit organization that actively supports the Pasadena City College Geology Department, its associated Dana Club,, and the Field Science Scholarship Fund. Support is also given to the San Bernardino County Museum of Natural History and Mindat.
The MSSC is affiliated with the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.


About the Program:  “Halophiles in Minerals” Presented by  Dr. Aaron Celestian, Minerals Curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Learn about Dr. Celestian’s work in collaboration with JPL scientists hunting for signs of ancient life preserved in minerals on Earth. Using non-destructive analytical methods to measure biosignatures, like beta-carotene, in crystals that are thousands or possibly even millions of years old.  These findings may be applied to remote NASA missions targeting Mars and Europa, which are places in our solar system that may have life-harboring environments.

Dr. Aaron Celestian’s research interests are inspired by how minerals function on Earth and other terrestrial bodies. How do marine invertebrates control the precipitation of calcium carbonate to create their shells? Why do zeolites let some molecules in to their cage-like frameworks, but exclude others? How does water alter the process and products of mineral weathering on Earth and other planets? The answers to these questions lie at the intersection of geology, chemistry, and biology. As a mineralogist and geochemist, Dr. Celestian’s ultimate goal is to uncover the secrets behind such processes. More specifically, the overall theme of his research is the molecular-scale characterization of Earth materials to understand their roles in a variety of environments. Dr Celestian seeks to quantify mineral surface reactivity, chemical evolution of minerals over time, and the capacity of minerals to sequester ions, crystallize, and survive in a variety of environments and on a variety of time scales. In deciphering mechanisms at the atomic and molecular level, he hopes to understand, predict, and even manipulate mineral behaviors and properties at the macroscopic scale.

Upcoming Events

  • November 9: Renee Newman: “21st Century Jade: Why It’s Prized, and How It’s Tested and Valued?”
  • December 14: Walton Wright: Plate Tectonics 2
  • December 2 :Board Meeting at Bruce Carter’s house
  • January 19, 2019: Annual Banquet: Denise Nelson – “Treasures of Poland, Amber and Salt”
  • February 15: Karin Rice: Geology of Rancho La Brea/ LA Brea Tar Pits

The MSSC is pleased to offer:

X-Dana Mineral Spreadsheet

Copyright © 2018 Mineralogical Society of Southern California.

This web site may not be reproduced in whole or in part without first obtaining written permission.