COMPRES 2014/2015 Distinguished Lecturer Series

published Jun 12, 2014 11:51am

COMPRES, the Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences, announces the speakers for its 2014-2015 Distinguished Lecture series in the field of Mineral Physics. The talks feature topics that emphasize the exciting high-pressure geoscience research being conducted within the COMPRES community and its significance for understanding fundamental Earth and planetary processes.

We are pleased to announce that the COMPRES Distinguished Lecturers for 2014-2015 are Dr. Przemyslaw (Przemek) Dera of the University of Hawaii, and Dr. Lowell Miyagi of the University of Utah. Their lecture titles and brief descriptions are given below. Titles, abstracts and bios may be viewed on the COMPRES Home Page at: We invite you to request a visit of a COMPRES lecturer to your institution during the next academic year by following the instructions below.

The primary target audience for these lectures is undergraduates in departments of geology and related sciences. Non-PhD granting institutions will be given priority in scheduling the Distinguished Lecturer series but applications from all academic institutions in the U.S. are welcome. COMPRES will fund all travel costs for the speaker, including transportation, accommodation and meals. There is no cost to the hosting institution. The host colleges or universities will be expected to arrange the talks and provide local logistical support.

If your institution is interested in requesting a visit, please send your request to Jay Bass, President of COMPRES [] with a copy to Heather C. Watson ( and Mark Frank (

The Lecture Program is designed to run from September 2014 through May 2015. Lecturer requests received by July 1, 2014 will be given priority. Later applications will be considered on an as-available basis. In making your request please include:

  1. The name of a contact person at your institution for the months of June to August. This is when schedules will be assembled.
  2. Contact e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
  3. Lecturer preference and flexibility.
  4. Preferred semester and/or month for the visit, including flexibility. Also, if this is to be part of a regular lecture series, tell us the day of the week and time of the series.
  5. Airport proximity and travel time to your institution
We hope that your Department will be interested in hosting one of these mineral physics lecturers in this academic year.

The COMPRES Distinguished Lecturers for 2014-2015

Dr. Przemek Dera , University of Hawaii and Hawaii Institute of Geophysics: (1) High-pressure Adventures with Metastability and Subduction: Many environments in the Earth contain metastable phases that have been preserved beyond their stability field due to kinetic barriers. These phases may carry significant energy that could be released to trigger earthquakes and other events. This lecture will review recent exciting discoveries of metastable polymorphism in major mantle minerals. (2) Tales of Rock & Sand: A Crystallographic Journey From Hades to Heaven: This presentation will review the most exciting recent experimental results and experimental methodology advances achieved at synchrotron high-pressure facilities, providing new insights into the properties, behavior and transformations of minerals in the context of deciphering the puzzles of both meteorites and deep Earth processes.

Dr. Lowell Miyagi, University of Utah: (1) Anisotropy at the core mantle boundary: A marker for geodynamic process. An overview of recent-high pressure and temperature experiments on preferred orientation and anisotropy development in lower mantle mineral phases, and what this can tell us about mantle flow above the core mantle boundary. (2) Rheology experiments at extreme conditions: Understanding the mechanical properties of Earth's interior. This talk will cover experimental advances in rheology studies of mineral phases in the mantle transition zone and lower mantle. Implications for large scale processes like mantle convection and slab subduction will be discussed.