Shun-ichiro Karato named
the Adolph Knopf Professor
Shun-ichiro Karato, the newly designated Adolph Knopf Professor of Petrology,
specializes in research on mineral physics and chemistry, particularly on the
physical and chemical properties of materials under deep Earth conditions.
Karato conducts high-pressure experimental studies to understand the dynamics
and evolution of Earth and other terrestrial planets based on materials properties.
Particularly well known are his pioneering studies on the influence of water
on the physical properties of minerals in the deep interior of the Earth. He
combines laboratory studies on minerals at the atomic scale with geophysical
observations at the Earth’s surface to provide new understanding of material
circulation in the Earth’s interior that occurs at the scale of thousands
Karato was already an internationally recognized scientist when he came to
Yale in 2001 after teaching for 12 years at the University of Minnesota. Among
other honors, he won the Alexander von Humboldt Prize in 1995, the Japan Academy
Prize in 1999 and the Vening Meinesz Medal in 2006. He also presented the Vening
Meinesz Lectures in 1998 and 2006 at the University of Utrecht and the American
Geophysical Union’s Birch Lecture in 2004.
The author of the books “The Dynamic Structure of the Deep Earth: An
Interdisciplinary Approach” and “Deformation of Earth Materials:
An Introduction to the Rheology of Solid Earth,” Karato has written approximately
180 articles about the Earth’s interior.
The Yale geophysicist earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics
from the University of Tokyo, where he served as an assistant professor in
the school’s Ocean Research Institute from 1977 to 1989. He has been
a visiting scientist at the University of Colorado, Bayerisches Geoinstitut
in Germany and at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization,
and was both a research fellow and visiting fellow at the Australian National
University. He has been a guest lecturer and keynote conference speaker at
universities and other institutions around the world.
Karato serves on the editorial boards of Tectonophysics, Pure and Applied Geophysics and the Journal of Geodynamics.
He was an associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research. He has served
on numerous scientific research panels and advisory committees. Among many
other professional activities, he was a chair of the Mineral and Rock Physics
Committee of the American Geophysical Union and has been a member of the Science
Council of Japan since 2006.
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