Olivier C. Gagné

Banting and Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science


  • Address: Geophysical Laboratory Carnegie Institution for Science 5251 Broad Branch Rd. NW Washington D.C. 20015
  • Office: A-G08
  • Phone: +1 (202) 478-8958
  • Email: ogagne@carnegiescience.edu


I'm a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory, Washington D.C. My research primarily focuses on chemical bonding in the solid state. I am particularly interested in symmetry-breaking bonding phenomena, with emphasis on compositional and structural aspects underpinning the functional properties of inorganic materials. My research aims encompass systematization of chemical-bonding behavior for entire classes of materials (e.g., oxides, nitrides, chalcogenides) to facilitate identification, quantification and particularly, prediction of anomalous bonding behavior. My interest lies in identifying transferable bonding phenomena bearing functional properties (e.g. M≡N units designed for the catalysis of nitrogen fixation) to unearth uncharted chemical and structural spaces holding promise for the exploratory synthesis of functional materials beyond the reach of high-throughput computational methods. At the Geophysical Laboratory, my work further strives to improve the accuracy of inferring the oxidation state of redox-active cations in the thriving class of chalcogenide materials (compounds with S2-, Se2- and/or Te2- as the main anion), which I use as a proxy to track the oxidation of Earth’s crust through geologic time.

Outside of science, I enjoy climbing, playing tennis, scuba diving, and skydiving.