Prof. Lars Stixrude, a mineral physicist, will join EPSS in July 2018. Prof. Stixrude received his B.S. in Geology and Physics from the University of Delaware in 1985, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. He then moved on to a post-doc at the Geophysical Laboratory, and faculty positions at Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, and most recently University College London, where he also served as Head of Department.
Combining his love of the richness of natural world with the power and generality of physics, he has long been fascinated with the behaviour of Earth-building materials and what they can teach us about the largest scales of planetary evolution. He has played a leading role in developing new approaches to the study of planetary interiors based on quantum mechanical simulation and advanced thermodynamic modeling, which have led to new insights into the mineralogy and temperature of Earth’s inner core, the composition and dynamics of the mantle, and the physical properties of minerals and melts at high pressure.
Most recently he has become interested in Earth’s earliest evolution; its transition from a molten magma ocean state to the largely solid mantle we see today, and what fossil evidence may remain of its origins in the geochemistry of plumes and the seismic structure of the deep mantle. His honors include the James B. MacElwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union in 1998, and elected fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Academia Europaea.
A native of Delaware, Prof. Stixrude has spent far too long in cloudy climes, and is looking forward to returning to sunny California. He will be joined by his wife, Prof. Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni, another new EPSS faculty member, and their son Gabriel.