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