UCLA Mineral Physics Laboratory

Prof. Kavner and members of the Earth and Space Sciences department at UCLA. 

Prof. Kavner and members of the Earth and Space Sciences department at UCLA. 

I did my graduate work at UCLA in Prof. Abby Kavner's mineral physics lab. In the mineral physics lab we use diamond anvil cells (DACs) to investigate minerals at deep Earth conditions. Diamond anvils can compress materials to over 100 GPa. That's a million times more than atmospheric pressure. The pressure at the core-mantle boundary deep inside the Earth is ~130 GPa.

I worked on projects involving rare evaporites (hanksite and tychite),  Mn-rich dolomite (kutnohorite), aragonite and solids phases of carbon dioxide. I conducted research on these materials at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Argonne National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. Additionally, I spent a summer conducting copper corrosion research at Los Alamos National Lab. I have used powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction, diffuse X-ray scattering, powder neutron diffraction and Raman spectroscopy techniques.  

I also helped develop a resistive heating system in conjunction with high pressure experiments on carbon dioxide at the high pressure instrument at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Lab. I enjoyed both engineering aspect and the science aspect of mineral physics and encourage those from a variety of backgrounds to investigate the field. 

In addition, to mineral physics research, I also did some science education research. I am currently helped with a project at UCLA to evaluate the effectiveness of the CalTeach program, which encourages teaching careers for STEM undergraduates.

In 2013 I became a Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Graduate Fellow (DOE NNSA SSGF). More information about the fellowship and its many opportunities are located in the DOE NNSA SSGF section. My research has been funded by the Deep Carbon Observatory, COMPRES, the NSF and DOE. If you are interested in the Kavner lab, please visit our  website. In CV + Publications, my current CV is given.