Professor Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni to join EPSS faculty

Posted on Jan. 25, 2018

Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni lecturing in front of slides


Prof. Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni, a geodynamicist, will join EPSS in July 2018.  She will hold the Louis B and Martha B Slichter Endowed Chair in the Geosciences, which has been endowed specifically to support and encourage diversity in the geosciences.

Prof. Lithgow-Bertelloni received her B.S. in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico in 1987, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 1994.  She then moved on to a post-doc at the oldest Geophysical Institute in the world in Goettingen, Germany, the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism as an NSF postdoctoral fellow, and faculty positions at University of Michigan and University College London. 

The peripatetic academic life matches an equally diverse background, having been born in the Caribbean from an Italian mother and a Dominican father, and then alternately living in Puerto Rico and Italy. A love of history and classics led to an initial interest in geophysical prospecting for ancient ships, which morphed into a love for global tectonics after a first class in Geology. She has a long-standing interest in the global inner workings of the Earth and how they manifest themselves at the surface, via plate motions, topography or even climate change and evolution (yes, evolution!). It was a way to integrate geological insight with the equally appealing fluid dynamics of the mantle and mechanics of the lithosphere. She has conducted and instigated research integrating past geological and geophysical observations (plate motions, topography, sedimentary basin sequences) with dynamical models of Earth’s mantle.  

Integrating life and work, and understanding the importance to dynamics of Earth’s composition and structure, she has also developed along with Prof. Stixrude, a fully self-consistent thermodynamic model to predict mantle properties. Her honors include the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering in 2001 and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. If Prof. Stixrude has spent far too long in cloudy climes, she has spent more than enough time away from native palm trees and avocados and especially the sea! She will be joined by her husband, Prof. Lars Stixrude, another new EPSS faculty, and their 15 year old son Gabriel.


Tags: Faculty