New Mineral Named in Honor of Barbara Dutrow

Professor Barbara L. Dutrow is the Gerald Cire and Lena Grand Williams Alumni Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University (USA) and she has been honored by having a newly discovered mineral species of the tourmaline group named after her: dutrowite. Discovered in the Apuan Alps of Tuscany (Italy), this unique mineral has the formula Na(Fe2+2.5Ti0.5)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3O and is now recognized by the International Mineralogical Association. The type specimen of dutrowite formed from the metamorphism of the silica-rich volcanic rock rhyolite.

For more than 25 years, Barbara’s teaching and research have focused on mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and computational modeling and visualization. She has authored and coauthored many publications, including her textbook Manual of Mineral Science, a worldwide standard and reference for the study of minerals. She is also a long-time and active member of the Elements Executive Committee.

The researchers from Austria, Italy, and Sweden who discovered dutrowite named the mineral after Barbara in recognition of her many contributions to mineral sciences and crystal chemistry, particularly her well-known and comprehensive research into tourmaline and its embedded geologic information. Of the 34 tourmaline species, dutrowite is the first species to be named after a woman.

“Gems, and especially minerals, have been my life’s passion. It is tremendously gratifying to receive this honor,” said Barbara on hearing the news. “Discoveries such as this show us that there is still much to learn about our Earth and its many minerals and the geologic information they contain.”

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