Alumnus Awarded Global Center of Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Alumnus Matthew L. Whitaker, B.S. Geology 2002, was awarded a Global Center of Excellence Fellowship at the Geodynamics Research Center of Ehime University, Japan, after finishing his Ph.D. in Geoscience with concentrations in Mineral Physics and Geochemistry at Stony Brook University. Matt's primary research passion is high pressure mineral physics, which he uses to understand the Earth's core and planetary interiors. The institute is a world renowned center for high pressure mineral physics, and a perfect match for Matt's research interests.
Matt completed his B.S. in Geology with a Minor in Chemistry at New Paltz in 2002, and his Ph.D. in 2009 at Stony Brook. His Ph.D. dissertation is "A Journey Toward the Center of the Earth – Iron/Light-Element Alloys at Extreme Conditions and Their Implications for the Earth's Core".
Matt has a strong background in Experimental Petrology, Geochemistry and Planetary Science. His primary research interests lie in studying the physical properties of iron/light-element alloys and mineral phases under extreme conditions of high pressure and temperature. He carries out these investigations by conducting in situ experiments on these minerals (and eventually melts) at simultaneous high pressures and temperatures in multi-anvil apparatuses using combined ultrasonic interferometry and synchrotron X-radiation. He is also beginning to expand the pressure range under which he studies these materials by conducting experiments in Diamond Anvil Cells. By studying these materials under these extreme conditions, Matt hopes to shed light on possible light elements in planetary cores, and expand the database of available data on these important minerals and alloys and their behavior at high pressures and temperatures (www.mpi.stonybrook.edu/people/MatthewWhitaker).
The Geodynamics Research Center does advanced research on the physical composition, structure, and dynamics of the earth’s deep interior, using experimental methods such as high-pressure experiments, synchrotron radiation, and measurement of physical properties, along with large-scale numerical methods such as first-principle calculation and mantle movement simulations. The center is also leading the world in research results in the application of numerical simulation technology to the earth’s deep interior, based on quantum mechanics and hydromechanics (www.ehime-u.ac.jp/english/research/GRC).
Matt and his new bride Sara have now moved to Matsuyama, Japan, so he can begin his studies at the University. We wish them best of luck in all their endeavors.