Enrica Balboni

Staff Scientist
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Email: balboni1@llnl.gov
Phone: +19254224833


  • Ph.D., Earth Science, University of Notre Dame, 2015
  • M.S., Earth Science, Università degli studi di Ferrara, 2010
  • B.S., Earth Science, Università degli studi di Ferrara, 2007

Research Interests

Enrica Balboni graduated with a Ph.D. in earth sciences from the University of Notre Dame. She conducted her graduate work under the supervision of Prof. Peter Burns and her dissertation research focused on the geochemistry of uranium and neptunium and their interactions with minerals. In 2015 she was a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Antonio Simonetti at the University of Notre Dame studying forensic signatures of uranium ore materials. Since joining LLNL in 2016, her research has focused on understanding the geochemical interactions of plutonium with various soil minerals, and plutonium environmental transport. She is also involved with the analysis of historical fallout to understand formation processes. In addition to exploring these research interests through her work at LLNL, she has also spent time mentoring students, work which earned her an outstanding mentor award in 2017.

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding mentor award, LLNL, 2017
  • Student research grant, Mineralogical Society of America, 2014
  • Predoctoral CEST Bayer Fellowship, University of Notre Dame, 2013–2014
  • Graduate internship, Getty Conservation Institute, 2008–2009
  • ERASMUS grant, European Union, 2005


  1. Lobeck, H.L., Balboni, E., Parker, C.J., Kohlgruber K., Xu, MY., Boukdad, S., Ridder, H.M., Traustason, H., Isner, J.K., Dzik, E.A., Burns, P.C. “Dissolution of poorly soluble uranyl phosphate phases in the Metaautunite Subgroup under uranyl peroxide cage cluster forming conditions“ American Mineralogist 105, 2, Pages: 182-193 (2020)
  2. Balboni, E., Joseph, C., Baumer, T., Treinen, K., Kersting, A.B. Zavarin, M.“Plutonium Desorption from Nuclear Melt Glass-Derived Colloids and Implications for Migration at the Nevada National Security Site, USA” Environmental Science and Technology 53, 21, Pages: 12238-12246 (2019)
  3. E. Balboni, T. Spano , N. Cook, A. Simonetti, and P.C. Burns, Rare earth fractionation in uranium ore and its alterations, Applied Geochemistry 87, 84–92 (2017).
  4. T.L. Spano, A. Simonetti, E. Balboni, C. Dorais, and P. C. Burns, Trace Element and U Isotope Analysis of Uraninite and Ore Concentrate: Implications for Nuclear Forensic Investigations, Applied Geochemistry 84, 277–285 (2017).
  5. T. L. Spano, A. Simonetti, T. Wheeler, G. Carpenter, D. Freet, E. Balboni, C. Dorais, and P.C. Burns, A novel nuclear forensic tool involving deposit type normalized rare earth signatures, Terra Nova 29, 294–305 (2017).
  6. K. M. Peruski,V. Bernales, M. Dembowski, H. L. Lobeck, K. L. Pellegrini, G.E. Sigmon, S. Hickam, C. M. Wallace, J. E. S. Szymanowski, E. Balboni, L. Gagliardi, and Peter C. Burns, Uranyl Peroxide Cage Cluster Solubility in Water and the Role of the Electrical Double Layer, Inorganic chemistry 56(3), 1333–1339 (2017).
  7. Balboni, E.; Jones, N.; Spano, T.; Simonetti, A.; Burns, P.C. " Chemical and Sr isotopic characterization of North America uranium ores: Nuclear forensic applications" Applied Geochemistry 74, 24–32 (2016).
  8. E. Balboni, J.M. Morrison, Wang, Z, Hengelhard, E. M., and P.C. Burns, Incorporation of Np(V) and U(VI) in carbonate and sulfate minerals crystallized from aqueous solution, Geochimica et Cosmocomica Acta 151 133–149 (2015).
  9. E. Balboni and P. C. Burns, Hydrothermal syntheses and characterization of uranyl tungstates with electro-neutral structural units, Zeitung fur Kristallographie 230(8), 490–505 (2015).
  10. E. Balboni and Burns, P.C., Cation-cation interactions and cation exchange in a series of isostructural uranyl tungstates, Journal of solid state chemistry 213, 1–8 (2014).