George E. Harlow

Curator Emeritus, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Division of Physical Sciences



  • Princeton University, Ph.D, 1977
  • Harvard University, B.A., 1971

Research Interests

Trained as a geologist specializing in mineralogy and crystallography, Dr. Harlow has concentrated his research on the chemistry and structure of minerals as tools for understanding their origin and the record of geological processes they contain. This interest and questions about specimens in the gem collection led him to a long-term study of jadeite rock, used as jade, and related rocks from the Motagua Valley in Guatemala and, more recently, Myanmar (Burma), Japan and Cuba. NSF-funded collaborative projects on the geology along the Motagua fault (the North American-Caribbean plate boundary) in Guatemala are active. Expeditions to Myanmar permitted visits to the famous ruby deposits including the Mogok Stone Tract, which has led to a research project on the genesis of the deposit and the myriad minerals and gems they produce. A collection of well-characterized mineral standards for spectroscopy by astrophysicists and planetary scientists continues to be developed with help from NASA.


Division of Physical Sciences

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Richard Gilder Graduate School

Jadeite Research



Cárdenas-Párraga. J., A. García-Casco, J.A. Proenza, G.E. Harlow, I.F. Blanco-Quintero, C. Lázaro, C. Villanova-de-Benavent, and K. Núñez Cambra. 2017. Trace-element geochemistry of transform-fault serpentinite in high-pressure subduction mélanges (eastern Cuba): implications for subduction initiation. International Geology Review 59, 2041-2064. [doi: 10.1080/00206814.2017.1308843]

Tsujimori, T., and G.E. Harlow. 2017.  Jadeitite (jadeite jade) from Japan: History, characteristics, and perspectives. Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences 112, 184-196. [doi: 10.2465/jmps.170804]

Harlow, G.E., K.E. Flores, and H.R. Marschall. 2016. Fluid-mediated mass transfer from a paleosubduction channel to its mantle wedge: Evidence from jadeitite, omphacitite, mica rock and albitite from the Guatemala Suture Zone. Lithos 258-259, 15-36. doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2016.04.010

Martin, C., E. Ponzavera, and G. Harlow. 2015. In situ lithium and boron isotope determinations in minerals from subduction related rocks by LA-MC-ICP-MS. Chemical Geology 412, 107-116. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.022

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • AMNH Masters of Arts in Teaching Program

Courses Taught

  • Graduate courses in the theory and techniques in mineralogical crystallography and crystal chemistry (Princeton and Columbia)

Graduate Advisees

  • Robert Klimentidis
  • Kyla Simons 

Graduate Committees