Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Accretion, core formation, and composition of the deep interiors of Earth and other terrestrial planets. She combines high-pressure, high-temperature mineral physics experiments with planetary-scale modeling.
Murray and Martha Ross Professor of Environmental Sciences; Harvard College Professor
Ann Pearson is the Murray and Martha Ross Professor of Environmental Sciences. Her research focuses on applications of analytical chemistry, isotope geochemistry, and molecular biology to biochemical oceanography and Earth history.
Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology; Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering; Director, Harvard Univ. Center for the Environment; Director, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, HKS; Area Chair for Environmental Science and Engineering
Daniel P. Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology at Harvard University, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.
Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and co-Director of Graduate Studies
Isotope geochemistry and historical geobiology. Re-animating ancient ecosystems and ocean chemistry using stable isotope systems, chemical speciation techniques, modern microbial experiments (for calibration) and theoretical considerations.
Fisher Professor of Natural History and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Andy Knoll is the Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University. He received his B.A. in Geology from Lehigh University in 1973 and his Ph.D., also in Geology, from Harvard in 1977.... Read more about Andrew H. Knoll
I am interested in understanding the surface expression of deep Earth dynamics and structure. My past research has focused on constraining and modelling the impacts of mantle convection on surface elevations and landscape evolution. This work has helped to reconcile numerical models and observations of this so-called ‘dynamic’ topography, while revealing that convectively driven vertical motions may occur at rates of up to 100 m per million years. These fast-evolving perturbations have significant implications across the Earth Sciences as they may destabilise polar ice sheets, alter ocean circulation via closure of ocean gateways, and control locations of resource-bearing sedimentary basins. My current work aims to integrate geological observations with numerical models to constrain these dynamic topography signals and remove them from palaeo sea-level estimates. These revised values will serve as useful tie points to calibrate ice sheet models, reducing uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise.
Please follow this link to an article featuring research that was recently completed at Los Alamos National Lab on one of our premiere gold samples. The accompanying video is definitely worth watching as well! Congratulations to Raquel Alonso Perez and the EPS Collections...
My research focuses on processes that occurred in the primitive Earth, during the period when core-mantle differentiation was ongoing. This is the era of the Earth’s history when major chemical reservoirs were established and the Earth acquired its bulk physical properties. I study the chemistry of different groups of elements through experiments carried out at high temperature and pressures using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell. This apparatus is capable of simulating the extreme conditions that existed in a deep terrestrial magma ocean. The results of these experiments are applicable to questions regarding terrestrial planet formation, bulk compositions and volatile accretion.
Please follow this link to an article in Harvard Magazine featuring the work of Drew Muscente and Andy Knoll - "Ranking Extinctions by Ecological Impact". The article looks at past extinction-level events and draws a potential link to what they may suggest in relation to current environmental conditions.
I combine approaches from the bio- and geo-sciences to address big-picture questions about the history of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere. This research is motivated by a desire to understand how life and the planet have changed together through time to reach the state that they’re at today and how that might be different on other planets where the environmental context for life or evolutionary contingency differ. My primary research goal is to understand the origin and evolutionary history of major metabolic pathways that have defined the primary productivity of the biosphere, such as photosynthesis, methanogenesis, and nitrogen fixation. These metabolisms have fueled life on Earth for most of its history, but were not all present at the origin of life. Instead, evolutionary innovations have accumulated through time, gradually increasing the productivity of the biosphere to what it is today. Understanding the origin of these metabolisms can help us to understand how and when life on Earth became productive and began to drive geochemical cycles, and will help us to predict how life may evolve on other planets.
Please follow this link to a recent Gazette article featuring the research of Peter Huybers and Cristi Proistosescu on resolving the differences in temperature ranges based on current climate models and historical records and observations.
Quoting from the article "Huybers and Proistosescu found that while the slow mode of...
Please follow this link to a tribute to pioneering geochemist Gerry Wasserburg that was published in EOS recently. Over the course of his career Gerry advised several EPS faculty members during their PhD work and visited the department frequently in more recent years. The painting shown in the tribute was done by EPS associate John Wood.