Lars N. Hansen and Caitlin A. Murphy were awarded the 2013 Mineral and Rock Physics Graduate Research Award, given annually to one or more promising young scientists for outstanding contributions achieved during their Ph.D. research. Recipients of this award are engaged in experimental and/or theoretical studies of Earth and planetary materials with the purpose of unraveling the physics and chemistry that govern their origin and physical properties.
Hansen’s thesis is entitled “Evolution of the viscosity of Earth’s upper mantle: Grain-boundary sliding and the role of microstructure in olivine deformation.” Murphy’s thesis is entitled “Thermoelasticity of hexagonal close-packed iron from the phonon density of states.” They both were formally presented with the award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif.
Lars received his B.S. in Earth science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 2005 and his M.S. in geology from the University of Wyoming in Laramie in 2007. He received his Ph.D. under the supervision of David Kohlstedt from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 2012. He recently completed an appointment as a postdoctoral scholar working with Jessica Warren at Stanford University. Lars is now a university lecturer in mineralogy and petrology at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. His research interests are in the micromechanical behavior of viscously deforming rocks and its relationship to large-scale geodynamic processes.