Miyagi Receives 2017 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award

Lowell Miyagi will receive the 2017 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award is given to an early-career scientist “in recognition of outstanding contributions in the broadly defined area of mineral and rock physics.”


The Mineral and Rock Physics (MRP) focus group of AGU is privileged to honor Dr. Lowell Miyagi as the recipient of the 2017 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award. Lowell earned a B.A. at Oberlin College and his Ph.D. from Berkeley working with Rudy Wenk. Following his Ph.D., Lowell moved to Yale University as a Bateman Postdoctoral Fellow, where he collaborated with Shun Karato and Kanani Lee. Lowell is currently an assistant professor at the University of Utah.

Lowell’s research on deformation and texture development in deep Earth mineral phases, and the consequences for seismic anisotropy and dynamics, is at the forefront of rock and mineral physics. In a series of papers, Lowell has produced important experimental results on the deformation of major mineral phases in Earth’s transition zone, lower mantle, and core. In collaborations with seismologists and geodynamicists, he has contributed outstanding insights interpreting geophysical observations in the context of deformation mineral physics. Lowell’s stellar research and service establish him as not just a leader among early-career scientists but also a leader throughout all of mineral and rock physics. Congratulations, Lowell, on this well-deserved award!

—Andy Campbell, University of Chicago, and President, Mineral and Rock Physics Focus Group, AGU


Thank you for these kind words. It is an honor to receive the MRP Early Career Award. I am grateful to the MRP section and my nominators for this recognition. I would not be where I am if not for superb mentors along the way. I was fortunate to discover my interest in rock deformation at Oberlin, where I studied fault rocks with Steve Wojital. I likely would not have pursued this career path without this experience. I am grateful to my Ph.D. advisor, Rudy Wenk, who taught me so much about plasticity and texture and whose enthusiasm and insight continue to inspire me. I am indebted to Sébastien Merkel and Sergio Speziale, who as postdocs took the time to teach me to use the diamond anvil cell and synchrotron diffraction. As a Bateman Fellow, my interactions with Kanani Lee and Shun Karato gave me a much deeper understanding of mineral physics and rheology. From Dave Mogk at Montana State University I gained a greater appreciation for teaching and pedagogy. I hope I have become not only a better teacher but a better student as well.

At the University of Utah I have had the pleasure of working with remarkable colleagues who support me and students who continue to challenge and inspire me. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the Rock and Mineral Physics group at the University of Utah; their congeniality and creativity make the lab a wonderful place. To my many collaborators around the world, I could not accomplish what I have without your help.

Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for their support. In particular, my wife and children bring joy and balance to my life, and somehow they put up with my many trips abroad and to the synchrotron.

—Lowell Miyagi, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City