Jerry X. Mitrovica

Jerry X. Mitrovica

Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science
Jerry Mitrovica

I was born in Melbourne, Australia, and raised there and - after the age of 9 - in Toronto with my six siblings. Debates about politics, history and literature were far more common in our home than discussions of science, but my parents always allowed me to follow my curiosity, wherever that led. I was fortunate to be educated at wonderful public schools - Westwood Jr. High School and the University of Toronto, in particular - and to be guided by generous mentors and colleagues. I am passionate about all of the science we explore in the group, from sea level changes in our progressively warming world to ancient, critical events in Earth and human history, and my life outside academia is preoccupied by art, literature and rock music.

Old stuff:

Sea-level change over time scales ranging from billions of years to hours provides the connective theme for my research. 

Working with a remarkable group of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and international colleagues, I have investigated dynamic topography driven by mantle flow (the third, vertical dimension of plate tectonics), as well as long term rotational stability of the Earth, and their connection to the geological record of sea-level change. My group and our collaborators have also been very active in developing state-of-the-art methods for modeling ice age dynamics and sea-level changes and applying these models to a diverse range of studies involving the Earth's interior structure and dynamics, paleoclimate and ice sheet stability, modern global change, and archaeology. Moreover, we have made important contributions to studies of modern sea-level records, body tides as a lens on Earth structure (so-called "tidal tomography") and planetary dynamics. In all cases, this work seeks to innovate, rather than repeat previous approaches, in our ongoing effort to gain fundamental insight into the evolution of the Earth system. 


Jerry X. Mitrovica received a B.A.Sc. (Hons.) in Engineering Science, a M.Sc. (Physics) and Ph.D. (Physics), all from the University of Toronto, in 1983, 1985 and 1991 respectively. He spent two years as a Post-Doctoral Visiting Scientist in the Radio and Geoastronomy Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, before joining the faculty of the Department of Physics, University of Toronto in 1993. He moved to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University as a Professor of Geophysics in 2009, and was named the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard, in 2015.

Awards and Honors 

2016 Fellow – Geological Society of America
2015 Arthur L. Day Medal – Geological Society of America
2015 Stanford Cox Visiting Professor – Stanford University
2015 Kirk Bryan Award – Geological Society of America
2014 Bowie Lecturer – American Geophysical Union (Geodesy)
2014 Fellow – Royal Society of Canada
2014 W.S. Jardetsky Medal – Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty
2014 Distinguished Visiting Lecturer – Oregon State University
2013 Crowell Distinguished Lecturer – UC Santa Barbara
2009 Birch Lecturer – American Geophysical Union (Tectonophysics)
2008 William Smith Lecturer – Geological Society of London
2008 Krumbein Lecturer – University of Chicago/Northwestern
2007 Guggenheim Fellowship - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
2006 Augustus Love Medal - European Geosciences Union
2005 Fellow - American Geophysical Union
2004 Named, Director - Earth Systems Evolution Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
2004 Visiting Miller Professor, Earth & Planetary Science, UC Berkeley
2002 Young Explorer Prize – CIAR
2002 Career Award – Canadian Foundation for Innovation
2001 Steacie Prize in the Natural Sciences, National Research Council - Canada
2001 McLean Award, University of Toronto
2001 Named, J. Tuzo Wilson Professor of Geophysics, University of Toronto
2000 Rutherford Memorial Medal - Physics, Royal Society of Canada
1999 Premier's Research Excellence Award- Ontario, Canada
1998 American Geophysical Union Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing (Geophysical Research Letters)

1998 Outstanding Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Toronto


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Contact Information

p: +1 617 496 2732