On July 15th, Rebecca Fischer defended her PhD thesis, "Earth's accretion, core formation, and core composition." This defense was a culmination of her outstanding work as a graduate student. Fischer, a student of Andy Campbell, has used the department's Laboratory for Mineral Physics to place bounds on the temperature of the Earth's outer core, place new constraints on the maximum silicon content of the core, and establish that FeO undergoes an isostructural metallization under the conditions of Earth's lower mantle. She has also collaborated with departmental professor Fred Ciesla to investigate the likelihood of the formation of Earth-like planets.
Fischer has received numerous honours during her time as a PhD student – the AGU Mineral and Rock Physics focus group 2014 Graduate Research Award, the keynote speaking position at this year's Goldschmidt conference, a 2013-2014 Plotnick Fellowship from the University of Chicago's Physical Sciences Division, a dissertation fellowship from the American Association of University Women, a 2013 Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship, and a fellowship from the Illinois Space Grant Consortium.
Fischer leaves the department for some great opportunities ahead. Following an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, which will be done jointly between the Smithsonian Institution and UC Santa Cruz, she will join the faculty of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University in 2017. Congratulations, Rebecca!