Murphy Receives 2013 Mineral and Rock Physics Graduate Research Award

murphy_caitlin-aLars 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.

Caitlin received her B.S. in environmental science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 2007 and her Ph.D. in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in 2012. Caitlin is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution, in Washington, D. C., where she is performing high-pressure mineral physics and materials science experiments in collaboration with Yingwei Fei. Her research interests include the effects of impurities and defects on the thermodynamic, elastic, and electronic properties of minerals and metals found in the Earth’s deep interior.