Awards and new publications

Since last update, we’ve been busy, and congratulations are due all around!

At the 2018 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Suki presented an invited talk on “The mechanism of the akimotoite-bridgmanite phase transition and implications for the dynamics of subducted slabs” (featuring the in-prep work of Jiachao Liu), and an invited poster “Effect of carbonate polymorphism on carbonate-silicate reactions in Earth’s lower mantle” (featuring the in-prep work of Mingda Lv). Mingda also presented a poster in collaboration with his CIDER  research group on “A multidisciplinary assessment of heat flux at the core mantle boundary.”

Congratulations to Olivia Krieger on her Best Poster Award at the 2019 American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics! The poster summarized her summer 2018 REU project (working with Ben Brugman).IMG_1744.jpg

At the 2019 COMPRES Annual Meeting, Ben Brugman received a Best Student Poster Award for his work on “Strength, deformation, and equation of state of tungsten carbide to 66 GPa” (sorry for not getting a photo)! Mingda Lv also delivered an excellent talk on “Experimental constraints on the fate of MgCO3 and CaCO3 subducted into Earth’s lower mantle.”


In spring 2019, we also had 3 new publications accepted!

And one more publication, not peer-reviewed: Suki’s new baby was born in March.

Postdoctoral position in experimental mineral physics/petrology

The experimental mineralogy group in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate – fixed term. Our research focus is physical properties and chemistry of materials at Mbar pressures/1000s K temperatures of Earth’s mantle. Required qualification is a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences or a related field by the start date. Research interests and experience should include at least one of the following: high-pressure mineral physics, experimental petrology, diamond anvil cells, laser heating, synchrotron techniques, and/or electron microscopy. The position is for one year, with possibility of extension based on research performance. Review of applications will begin September 15, 2018 and will continue until position is filled.

The expectations of a Postdoctoral Research Associate include:

  1. Participation and leadership of synchrotron beamtime trips
  2. Carrying out his/her own research
  3. Publishing peer-reviewed papers by collaborating with supervising faculty
  4. Vigorously applying for external grants as PI with supervising faculty as Co-PI
  5. Actively attending workshops, meetings, and conferences
  6. Mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students in the lab

For more information, please contact PI Susannah Dorfman with a letter of interest and CV including list of publications.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Welcome Garrett!

Welcome new Ph.D. student, Garrett Diedrich (B.S. University of Minnesota), starting at MSU Fall 2018! We also say goodbye and great job to our summer REU student, Olivia Krieger, who is heading back to Allegheny College to finish her bachelor’s degree in physics.

Valence and spin states of iron are invisible in Earth’s lower mantle

Our new article, “Valence and spin states of iron are invisible in Earth’s lower mantle,” is now published in Nature Communications! The project, led by postdoc Jiachao Liu, answers the question, “can we use geophysical measurements to map the composition of Earth’s mantle?” This is the first publication to come out of work initiated with MSU funding, and also our first in a Nature-family journal!

Press release related to this publication:

Mantle minerals offer clues to deep Earth’s composition – MSU News