Professor Pasteris takes a traditional mineralogic-geologic approach to non-traditional materials. Much of her current research involves biomineralization, especially the mineral component of bones and teeth.
Pasteris collaborates with chemists and materials scientists to compare Raman and infrared (IR) spectra of biological apatite (a calcium phosphate mineral) and its synthetic analogs. The current goal is to understand better how the carbonate ion is incorporated into biological apatite. She also currently is collaborating with colleagues from the School of Engineering to enhance the growth of lead-bearing minerals to form protective mineral scales on the inner walls of lead pipes. The aim is to eliminate the cause of lead poisoning due to the historical use of lead service pipes to bring drinking water into homes in the US.