Catalina Sanchez Roa

Catalina Sanchez-Roa is a Columbia Climate School Fellow in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Her primary focus is proof of concept and optimization of carbon capture and storage, through carbon mineralization. Catalina designs and executes experiments that sit at the interface between geophysics and geochemistry. She uses a bespoke triaxial rock deformation rig to conduct tests on carbonation of peridotite and basaltic samples under in-situ reservoir conditions.

Her research focuses on fluid-rock interaction, geomechanics in the subsurface and the role of mineralogy and rock physical properties in geological processes of importance to society and industry. She uses a combination of experimental rock deformation and analytical techniques (electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, computerized tomography, etc.) to evaluate the changes that occur as a result of fluid-rock interaction, temperature and pressure gradients in faults and fractured zones. By quantifying rock physical properties, her work provides data to support a safer exploitation of the subsurface for energy generation and CO2 storage. This research is fundamental to the fields of geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage, both of which are crucial to achieving sustainability and a net zero future.


  • Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. July 2017
  • B.Sc. in Geology, July 2010