Eric M Pierce

Division Director, Environmental Sciences

Dr. Eric M. Pierce is director of Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science with emphasis in low-temperature geochemistry from Tulane University in 2002. His research focuses on low-temperature environmental geochemistry with emphasis in solid-fluid interactions. Specific interests are fundamental and applied issues related to the weathering of soil minerals/glass and the biogeochemical transformation of metals and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems. These studies have resulted in over a 100 journal articles, books, and reports (ORCID: Dr. Pierce currently serves as an Associate Editor for Applied Geochemistry since 2011 and was recently appointed as an Editorial Board Member for the Nature Partner Journal Materials Degradation. Dr. Pierce also serves as the laboratory research manager and co-principal investigator for the Critical Interfaces Science Focus Area sponsored by the Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research, Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Program ( In 2013, Dr. Pierce became the leader of the Earth Sciences Group within the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL. The Earth Sciences Group conducts fundamental and applied research focused on developing an improved understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in terrestrial ecosystems and the impact of byproducts of energy production (e.g., contaminants) on environmental resources (e.g., surface water and groundwater quality). The group’s research studies span a broad range of spatial and temporal scales from molecular to field-scale and from picoseconds to years.