Tonci Balic Zunic

Tonci Balic Zunic

Associate Professor

Born on 20th April 1952 in Blato on the island Korcula in Croatia, Yugoslavia. Married with Dora with whom he has two children and two grandchildren.


1975 - 1977 research assistant, X-ray diffraction laboratory, "Ruder Boškovic" Institute, Zagreb.
1977 - 1986 assistant professor, Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of  Zagreb. (1982/83 guest researcher, Crystallographic Laboratory, University of Berne.)
1986 - 1991 associated professor, Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of  Zagreb. (1990/91 Humboldt fellow, Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography, University of Göttingen.)
1992 - 1994 researcher, Geological Institute, University of Copenhagen.
1994 - 1996 laboratory leader, HALDOR TOPSØE A/S, Lyngby, Copenhagen.
1996 - 2010 associate professor in Mineralogy and Crystallography, and leader of the X-ray diffraction laboratory, Geological Institute, University of Copenhagen.

2010 -2016 associate professor, leader of the X-ray diffraction laboratory and curator, Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen.

2016 - present associate professor in Mineralogy and Crystallography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen.


Honorary Member of the Italian Society of Mineralogy and Petrology

Research accomplishments

Development of original theoretical tools for the quantification of atomic coordination deformations in solids. Author of the computer program IVTON for the calculation and evaluation of geometrical aspects of crystal structures.

New methods for the quantitative analysis of phase composition and shape of anisotropic crystallites by powder diffraction.

With E. Makovicky and L.A. Olsen, discovery of the new type of the high-pressure phase transition: reversible phase transition with migration of chemical bonds mediated by the preservation and movement of the lone electron pairs of atoms.

Major contribution to the mineralogy of fumaroles from Icelandic volcanoes.

With various co-authors, determination of 81 new crystal structures from single-crystal or powder diffraction data.

With various co-authors, discovery and determination of 22 new minerals.

With various co-authors, 25 structural studies at high pressures or high/low temperatures.

Moreover, various investigations in the fields of cement and ceramics, crystal chemistry of sulphosalts, silicates and fluorides, environmental protection, planetology, metamorphic petrology, ore mineralogy, paleoclimate, biomineralogy with medical applications, heterogeneous catalysis and archaeology.

Project leader:

Nordic Mineralogical Network (2006-2010)

Modular crystal structures and ordering of atoms in minerals (2006-2008: part of the project ORION under Eurominsci / Eurocores program)

Analysis of geological materials with advanced powder X-ray diffraction (2007)

Response of mineral structures to changing conditions (2009-2012)

Optimized sets of constraints in the Rietveld analysis of mineral materials (2007-2009)

The behaviour of the lone electron pairs of lead and bismuth in crystal structures of sulfosalts at high pressures (2007-2010)

Integrating state of the art mineralogical analyses in investigation of gold mineralization processes and ore prospecting in Greenland (2010-2012) 

International collaboration with research groups from universities and research institutions from Athens, Bari, Basel, Bayreuth, Belgrade, Bilbao, Bochum, Cairo, Firenze, Genova, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Iceland, Innsbruck, Moscow, Nantes, Oslo, Padova, Perugia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Prague, Roma, Salzburg, Stockholm, Taipei, Tokyo, Torino, Wien and Zagreb.

Organizing and commission activities

Organizer and coordinator from 2005 of the Nordic Mineralogical Network. Leader of the subproject inside the EUROCORES program (2006-2008). Organized in 2007 the research group on fumaroles on active European volcanoes. One of organizers in 2008 of the interest group for research on crystal structures under high pressures. Member of the Danish National Committee for Crystallography from 2009. Member of the Evaluation Committee of the Swedish Research Council 2014-2017.


Various Bachelor, Master and PhD courses in Mineralogy, Crystallography and X-ray Diffraction at the universities of Zagreb and Copenhagen.

Organizer and lecturer in workshops and PhD courses: High-pressure Single Crystal Analysis, workshop Darmstadt, 2010.

Structural Crystallography of Minerals, PhD course of the Nordic Mineralogical Network 2006-2009.

Structural State of Minerals and its Applications, PhD course University of Copenhagen 2010-2015.

Invited lecturer: Geoitalia, Rimini, 2009; Nordic Geological Winter Meeting, Oslo, 2010; University of Perugia, 2010; University of Bari, 2011; University of Vienna, 2012; 21st Conference of the Serbian Crystallographic Society, 2014; 23rd Slovenian-Coratian Crystalloraphic Meeting, 2014; University of Vienna, 2014; University of Genova, 2017.

Regular Lecturer for Stenvennerne, Amateur Geologists from Copenhagen from 2005.

Supervisor  for 12 Masters and 6 PhD students.

Associate Editor for European Journal of Mineralogy(2000-2005),Canadian Mineralogist in 2012 (special issue). Frequent referee for various mineralogical, crystallographic and geological magazines.



Associate Professor, Dr.Sci

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