Jerry X. Mitrovica

Jerry X. Mitrovica

Fellow: Awarded 2007
Field of Study: Earth Science

Competition: US & Canada

Education: University of Toronto

Jerry X. Mitrovica is a Professor of Geophysics in Harvard University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Previously, he was Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto and the director and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research–Earth System Evolution Program. A mathematical geophysicist, Mr. Mitrovica studies the changes in the Earth over millennia through varied means, including  Global Positioning System (GPS) and very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) surveying as well as space geodesy.  Searching for the answer to the question of what will happen to sea levels if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapses, he has been studying the effects of polar wander and the long-term evolution of the Earth, which his Guggenheim Fellowship helped to support, as well as other global change processes. The findings of Mr. Mitrovica and his coresearchers Natalya Gomez and Peter U. Clark, published in the journal Science (February 6, 2009), have generated great interest, especially since they suggest that if the ice sheet collapses sea levels will rise much more dramatically than previously predicted, though not uniformly around the globe.  To read more about his hypothesis, see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/323/5915/753 and  http://www.livescience.com/environment/090205-more-sea-level-rise.html.

Among his other publications are "A Resonance in the Earth’s Obliquity and Precession over the Past 20Myr Driven by Mantle Convection" (1997); "Recent Mass Balance of Polar Ice Sheets Inferred from Patterns of Global Sea-Level Change" (with M. Tamisiea et al., 2001); and "Evidence for an Ancient Martian Ocean in the Topography of Deformed Shorelines" (with J. T. Perron et al., 2007), all published in Nature.

Mr. Mitrovica has been a visiting professor at the University of Milan and Miller Visiting Professor at the University of California Berkeley.  In 2002, he was the E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellow of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and in 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

His many honors include the Premier’s Research Excellence Award, presented by the Government of Ontario, Canada; the Royal Society of Canada’s Rutherford Medal; the McClean Award from the University of Toronto; the Steacie Prize in the Natural Sciences; and the European Geophysical Union’s Augustus Love Medal.

 

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