Where are They Now?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We've been wondering where our graduates go when they leave MIT. Focusing on PhD's from 2012, 2007, 1997, this is what we found.

What was Happening in 2012?










Revisit December 2012 EAPSpeaks c/o the Wayback Machine

  • Internationally renowned professor of atmospheric science and climate Susan Solomon, paleoclimatologist David McGee, and atmospheric chemist Colette Heald (joint with MIT's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, CEE) join the EAPS faculty.
  • NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully lands Curiosity in Mars' Gale Crater.
  • Hurricane Sandy makes landfall October 29.
  • In December principal investigator Maria Zuber, and her team publish their detailed findings from NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory or GRAIL mission in three papers published in Science.
  • Former department head Professor William F. Brace dies at 86

PhD '12

Noah McLean - Statistical considerations in high precision U-Pb geochronology, with an application to the tectonic evolution of the North Cascades, Washington - advised by Samuel A. Bowring. Currently an assistant professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas.

Fern Tolley Gibbons The centennial and millennial variability of the IndoPacific warm pool and the Indonesian Throughflow - advised by Delia W. Oppo (WHOI). Currently, Currently working as United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Policy Director for Oceans and Surface Transportation.

Maya Pillar Bhatia - Hydrological and biogeochemical cycling along the Greenland ice sheet margin - advised by Sarah B. Das and Elizabeth B. Kujawinski (WHOI). Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada.


Andrea Burke - Constraining circulation changes through the last deglaciation with deep-sea coral radiocarbon and sedimentary ²³¹Pa/²³⁰Th - advised by Laura F. Robinson and Olivier Marchal (WHOI). Currently a postdoctoral investigator at WHOI.

Ryan Abernathey - Mixing by ocean eddies - advised by John Marshall. Currently an assistant professor at Columbia University.

Emily Carlson RolandEarthquake behavior and structure of oceanic transform faults - advised by Jeffrey J. McGuire (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor, University of Washington, School of Oceanography


Qin CaoSeismic imaging of the mantle transition zone - advised by Robert D. van der Hilst and Maarten V. de Hoop. Currently a geophysicist at Shell oil Company.

Diane IvyTrends and inferred emissions of atmospheric high molecular weight perfluorocarbons - advised by Ronald G. Prinn. Currently a data scientist at Grand Records Inc, San Francisco, CA.
Kyle Edward Bradley - The roof of the cyclades : a structural, stratigraphic, and paleomagnetic study of Neogene extensional tectonics in Central Greece - advised by Leigh Royden. Currently a research fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
Marilena Oltmanns - Strong wind events across Greenland's coast and their influence on the ice sheet, sea ice and ocean - advised by Fiamma Straneo (WHOI). Currently on the staff at GEOMAR, Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany.

Daniela Domeisen Stratosphere - troposphere interaction during stratospheric sudden warming events - advised by R. Alan Plumb. Currently a professor at GEOMAR  Helmholtz-Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany.

Holly DailAtlantic Ocean circulation at the last glacial maximum : inferences from data and models - advised by Carl I. Wunsch. Currently a staff researcher at the Climate Corporation, Seattle, WA.
Karin Lemkau Comprehensive study of a heavy fuel oil spill: modeling and analytical approaches to understanding environmental weathering - advised by Christopher M. Reddy (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor of marine science, Maine Maritime Academy
Evelyn Martinique Mervine - Determining timescales of natural carbonation of peridotite in the Samail Ophiolite, Sultanate of Oman - advised by Susan E. Humphris and Kenneth W. W. Sims (WHOI). Currently with De Beers, London, UK.

Camilo PontonAridification of the Indian subcontinent during the Holocene : implications for landscape evolution, sedimentation, carbon cycle, and human civilizations - advised by Timothy I. Eglinton and Liviu Giosan (WHOI). Currently a postdoctoral scholar in geochemistry at the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech.

Erin Marie Bertrand - Insights into vitamin B₁₂ production, acquisition, and use by marine microbes - advised by Mak A. Saito (WHOI). Currently assistant professor, Dalhousie University, Canada.

Rachel Mandy HorwitzThe effect of stratification on wind-driven, cross-shelf circulation and transport on the inner continental shelf - advised by Steven J. Lentz (WHOI). Currently a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, Canada.

Min Sub SimPhysiology of multiple sulfur isotope fractionation during microbial sulfate reduction - advised by Tanja Bosak and Shuhei Ono. Currently a postdoc at the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech.

Min XuAdvanced geophysical studies of accretion of oceanic lithosphere in Mid-Ocean Ridges characterized by contrasting tectono-magmatic settings - advised by Juan Pablo Canales (WHOI). Currently Senior Research Scientist at SCSIO, CAS, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou City, Guangdong, China

Abigail Emery NobleInfluences on the oceanic biogeochemical cycling of the hybrid-type metals, cobalt, iron, and manganese - advised by Mak A. Saito (WHOI). Currently an environmental chemist at Gradient Environmental Services, Cambridge, MA.

What was Happening in 2007?
  • In January Apple Inc.'s first iPhone smartphone is announced by Steve Jobs at Macworld in San Francisco. It is released on 29 June.

  • In February the New Horizons space probe makes a gravitational slingshot around Jupiter to change its trajectory towards Pluto.

  • Professor James Elliot successfully observes a stellar occultation by Pluto. The results support the likely presence of a substantial atmosphere when New Horizons flies by Pluto in 2015.

  • Professor Richard Binzel performs telescopic observations of a particularly hazardous asteroid, 99942 Apophis, indicating it to be ab ordinary chondrite meteorite - information necessary for mission planning prior to its 2029 close approach.

  • Mick Follows and his group report "a new ocean model which allows its populations of phytoplankton to realistically evolve, reflecting the diversity in populations in the natural world." The model (now the engine underpinning the Darwin Project) "promises improved understanding of the coupling between ocean and atmospheric chemistry."

More current research circa 2007 via EAPS Reports to the President 2006-07

PhD '07

Miguel Angel Zavala-Pérez - Uncertainties in estimates of the oxidative capacity of the urban atmosphere : a modeling and measurement approach - advised by Mario J. Molina. Current whereabouts unknown.

William Burke Ouimet Dissecting the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau : a study of landslides, erosion and river incision in a transient landscape - advised by Kelin X. Whipple and Leigh H. Royden. Currently a faculty member in the Deprtment of Georaphy, University of Connecticut.
Emily Van Ark - Seismic and gravitational studies of melting in the mantle's thermal boundary layers - advised by Jian Lin, Robert S. Detrick, Jr., and Stéphane Rondenay. Currently at Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI.
Kyle StraubQuantifying turbidity current interactions with topography - advised by David Mohrig. Currently an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University.
Burke J. Minsley - Modeling and inversion of self-potential data - advised by Frank Dale Morgan. Currently Research geophysicist, Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO.
Joel Peterson Johnson Feedback between erosional morphology, sediment transport and abrasion in the transient adjustment of fluvial bedrock channels - advised by Kelin X. Whipple. Currently an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
Carlos F Moffat Varas - Ocean circulation and dynamics on the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf - advised by Robert C. Beardsley and W. Brechner Owens (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor of Physical Oceanography at the School of Marine Sciences and Policy, University of Delaware. 
Melanie Fewings Cross-shelf circulation and momentum and heat balances over the inner continental shelf near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts - advised Steven J. Lentz (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor of marine science at the University of Connecticut.
Rachel Stanley - A determination of air-sea gas exchange and upper ocean biological production from five noble gasses and tritiugenic helium-3 - advised by William J. Jenkins (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor of chemistry at Wellesley College, MA.

Brian J. DeMartin - Experimental and seismological constraints on the rheology, evolution, and alteration of the lithosphere at oceanic spreading centers - advised by Gregory Hirth, J. Brian Evans and Robert Reves-Sohn. Current whereabouts unknown.

J. Thomas Farrar - Air-sea interaction at contrasting sites in the Eastern Tropical Pacific : mesoscale variability and atmospheric convection at 10°N - advised by Robert Weller (WHOI). Currently an associate scientist with tenure at WHOI, Physical Oceanography Department.

David Andrew Fike - Carbon and sulfur isotopic constraints on Ediacaran biogeochemical processes, Huqf supergroups, Sultanate of Oman - advised by John Grotzinger. Currently an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St Louis.
Seth JohnThe marine biogeochemistry of zinc isotopes - advised by Edward A. Boyle. Currently an associate professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California.
Nathalie Fairbank GoodkinGeochemistry of slow-growing corals : reconstructing sea surface temperature, salinity and the North Atlantic Oscillation - advised by Konrad A. Hughen and William B. Curry (WHOI). Currently an associate professor in the Asian School of the Environment at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
Nicholas J. Drenzek - The temporal dynamics of terrestrial organic matter transfer to the oceans : initial assessment and application - advised by Timothy I. Eglinton (WHOI). Currently a senior geochemist at GE Global Research, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Ping Wang - Imaging of structure at and near the core mantle boundary using a generalized radon transform - advised by Robert D. Van der Hilst and Maarten V. de Hoop. Current whereabouts unknown.

Clare Margaret Williams - Oceanic lithosphere magnetization : marine magnetic investigations of crustal accretion and tectonic processes in mid-ocean ridge environments - advised by Maurice A. Tivey and Deborah K. Smith (WHOI). Current whereabouts unknown.

Jessica Mendelsohn Warren Geochemical and rheological constraints on the dynamics of the oceanic upper mantle - advised by Nobumichi Shimizu, Gregory Hirth and Henry J.B. Dick (WHOI). Currently an assistant professor at the University of Delaware.

What was Happening in 1997?

  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dara Entekhabi is granted a joint appointment in EAPS.

  • In May the 7.3 Mw Qayen earthquake shakes eastern Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). At least were 1,567 killed and 2,300 were injured.

  • In September, the domain name for the web search engine Google is registered.

  • The Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate replaces the Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography as the "administrative unit in atmospheric sciences and oceanography" within EAPS to offer a "broadly based curriculum for [graduate] students interested in studying climate at the systems level, and in performing research in oceanography and atmospheric science."

  • Professor John Edmond is continuing his work on the geochemistry of the big rivers of Eastern Siberia.
  • Professor John Southard, in cooperation with John Grotzinger, is building models of submarine fans to study rapid deposition of sands from turbidity currents as an aid to deep offshore petroleum exploration.
More current research circa 1997 via EAPS Reports to the President 1996-97

PhD '97

Gary Jaroslow (deceased 2017)- The geological record of oceanic crustal accretion and tectonism at slow-spreading ridges - advided by Brian Tucholke (WHOI). 

Kwok-Lin Lee - Petrological and geochemical studies of an abyssal periodotite from the Atlantis II fracture zone - advised by Stanly R. Hart, WHOI. Current whereabouts unknown.

Igor Kamenkovich - Radiating instability of nonzonal ocean currents - advised by Joseph Pedlosky (WHOI). Now an associate professor in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 

Xiaoli Wang - Global thermohaline circulation and ocean-atmosphere coupling - advised by Peter Stone and Jochem Marotzke. Now a professor at the College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin, China.

Gunter Siddiqi - Transport properties and mechanical behavior of synthetic calcite-quartz aggregates - advised by Brian Evans. Currently head of the geothermal energy research program at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

Henrietta EdmondsTracer applications of anthropogenic iodine-129 in the North Atlantic Ocean - advised by John M. Edmond. Currently Program Director, Arctic Natural Sciences, National Science Foundation.

Jie ZhangNonlinear refraction and reflection traveltime tomography - advised by M. Nafi Toksöz. Currently Professor of Geophysics and Director of the Geophysical Research Institute at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and Founder and Chairman of GeoTomo.

Margaretha M. (Margaretha Marchand) Eckardt - Microstructure of polyphase rocks : effects on friction, deformation behavior and melt distribution - advised by J. Brian Evans. Current whereabouts unknown.

Shane Mitchell Pelechaty The Vendian-Cambrian system of Siberia : correlation, tectonics and petroleum geology - advised by John Grotzinger. Currently working for Shell in Canada.

Christopher EdwardsDynamics of nonlinear cross-equatorial flow in the deep ocean - advised by John Marshall. Currently a professor of physical and biological sciences in the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz.
Emilie Hooft - The influence of magma supply and eruptive processes on axial morphology, crustal construction and magma chambers  - advised by Robert S. Detrick (WHOI). Currently Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon
Helen Faith Webb - A qualitative and quantitative study of the distribution of pelagic sediment in the Atlantic Basin  - advised by Thomas H. Jordan. Currently an engineer with BAE Systems, Burlington, MA. 

Daniel M. SigmanThe role of biological production in pleistocene atmospheric carbon dioxide variations and the nitrogen isotope dynamics of the southern ocean - advised by Daniel C. McCorkle (WHOI). Currently Dusenbury Professor of Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University

Dennis J. BoccippioThe electrification of stratiform anvils - advised by Kerry Emanuel. Currently ‎Director, Office of Agency Council Staff at NASA.

Yu Jin - State-of-stress and rheology of Tibet and its vicinity from gravity anomalies and numerical models - advised by Marcia K. McNutt . Current whereabouts unknown.

Daniel LizarraldeCrustal structure of rifted and convergent margins : the U.S. east coast and Aleutian margins - advised by Kerry Emanuel. Currently Associate Scientist with Tenure, Geology & Geophysics (WHOI).
Mousumi RoyContinental deformation at varying spatial and temporal scales - advised by Leigh Royden. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico.
Raymond Paul LeBeauSimulations of time-dependent three-dimensional vortices with application to Neptune's Great Dark Spot - advised by Timothy E. Dowling (WHOI). Currently Associate Professor, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, Saint Louis University.
Julian P. Sachs - Nitrogen isotopes in chlorophyll and the origin of Eastern Mediterranean sapropels - advised by Daniel J. Repeta (WHOI). Currently Professor of Chemical Oceanography, School of Oceanography, University of Washington
Xinyu Zheng - Moist zonally-symmetric models and their applications to West African monsoons - advised by R. Alan Plumb and Elfatih A.B. Eltahir. Current whereabouts unknown.


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