The Earth's surface environment consists of a heterogeneous mixture of mineral oxides and organic macromolecules, which interact with each other and the atmosphere, water, and biota continuously. A major goal in environmental geochemistry is to gain a better understanding of interactions between these components in nature, and to apply that knowledge to predict a variety of biogeochemical processes, such as elemental cycling, biological chemistry of elements, and the fate and transport of contaminants. Our research group focuses on understanding these interactions, specifically on their fundamental aspects, such as the structure of water, and solvation/complex formation in aqueous solutions and at natural interfaces.