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Dr. Stephen Mackwell


Dr. Stephen Mackwell
Professional Background


  • Director, Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2002–present.
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth Science, Rice University, 2005–present.
  • Director, BayerischesGeoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, Germany, 2000–2002.
  • Professor for Experimental Geophysics, BayerischesGeoinstitut, 1998–2000.
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University, 1992–1998.
  • Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University, 1987–1992.
  • Research Fellow, Cornell University, 1984–1987.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Geophysics, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, March 1985. Thesis: “Diffusion and Weakening Effects of Water in Quartz and Olivine.”
  • Diploma of Education, Christchurch Teachers College, New Zealand, November 1979.
  • Master of Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, August 1979. Thesis: “Excitation Temperatures for Late Type Stars.”
  • Bachelor of Science, Physics and Mathematics, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, August 1978.


  • National Science Foundation: Geophysics, Geochemistry
  • NASA: Planetary Geology and Geophysics
  • Petroleum Research Fund, Gas Research Institute


  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2010.
  • Stipendiat der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bayreuth, Germany, 1996.
  • Ministère de L’EducationNationale, Academie de Lille, NomméProfesseur, 1996.
  • Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 1996.



  • Editor-in-Chief, Geophysical Research Letters, 2002–2004.
  • Editorial Board, Tectonophysics, 2002–2005.
  • Editor (Solid Earth), Geophysical Research Letters, 2000–2001.
  • Editorial Board, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 1996–present.
  • Editorial Board, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 1992–1998.
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research — Solid Earth, 1992–1997.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers in Mineral Physics: Report of Mineral Physics Committee of the AGU, 1988.
  • Mineral Physics Editor for EOS Trans. AGU, 1990–1992.

Service to U.S. Government Agencies

  • Panelist for Senior Review of the Astrophysics Division Operating Missions, NASA, Washington DC, 2010.
  • Chair, NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Review of the Ames Vertical Gun Facility at NASA Ames, 2008–2009.
  • Chair, NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Review of the RELAB Facility at Brown University, 2008.
  • Review Panel for Human Tended Suborbital Science Program, NASA, Washington DC, 2008.
  • CAPTEM Sample Return Technology and Capability Working Group, 2007.
  • Panelist for “Exploration Strategy Workshop”, NASA, Washington DC, April 25–28, 2006.   
  • Executive Committee, NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), 2005–present
  • Executive Committee, NASA Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), 2005–present.
  • Member, Management and Operations Working Group, NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics, 2003–2008.
  • Expert Consultant for the Division of Earth Sciences, National Science Foundation, 1995.
  • Review Panel for NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program, 1994–1996 (Panelist), 1996-1998 (Group Chief), 2002 (Panelist), 2003–4 (Group Chief), 2005–2006 (Panel Chair).
  • Expert Reviewer for the Department of Energy’s Geosciences Research Program, 1993.
  • Program Director for Geophysics, Division of Earth Sciences, National Science Foundation, 1993–1994.

Service to German Government Agencies

  • Review Panel for Schwerpunktprogramm “InternationalesKontinentalesBohrprogram (ICDP)”, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 2001–2006.
  • Review Panel, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowships Program, 2001–-2003.
  • Berufskommission (search for Director) “MPI fürAeronomie”, Max-Planck Gesellschaft, 2001.
  • Review Panel for “InternationaleQualitäts-Netze”, DeutscherAkademischerAustauschdienst (DAAD), 2001–2003.
  • Review Panel for “UniversitäreForschungsinitiativen – LeistungsfähigkeitdurchKooperation”, Stifterverbandesfürdie Deutsche Wissenschaft, 2000–2003.

Membership and Activities on U.S. and International Committees

  • National Academy of Sciences – NRC Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey, 2009-2010 - Vice Chair of Inner Planets Panel, and Member of Steering Group.
  • National Academy of Sciences – NRC Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, 2009–2010 – Member of Steering Committee and Survey/Characterization Committee.
  • National Academy of Sciences – NRC Committee to Review New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, 2007 –2008.
  • Gilbert Award Committee, Geological Society of America, 2003–present.
  • Mineral and Rock Physics Committee, AGU, 2000–2002.
  • ForschungskollegiumPhysik des Erdkorperse.V., Mitglieder, 2000–2003.
  • Chairman, IASPEI-IAVCEI Commission on Physical and Chemical Properties of Material of the Earth’s Interior, 1995–1999.
  • 75th Anniversary Committee, AGU, 1992–1994.
  • Vice President, IASPEI Comm. on Physical Properties of Material of the Earth’s Interior, 1991–1995.
  • Meetings Committee, AGU, 1992–1996.
  • Mineral Physics Committee, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 1990–1992.
  • Mineral Acquisition and Distribution Subcommittee, Mineral Physics Committee, AGU, 1989–1990.
  • Physical Properties of Earth Materials Committee, Tectonophysics Section, AGU, 1989–1991.
  • Meetings Program Committee, AGU, 1988–1991.


  • Sylvie Demouchy, “Water Diffusion in Upper Mantle Minerals”, Ph.D., 2004.
  • Susan J. Carpenter, “The Kinetics of Hydrogen Diffusion in Single-Crystal Orthopyroxene”, Ph.D., 2000.
  • MishaBystricky, “High Temperature Deformation of Clinopyroxene and Clinopyroxene-Plagioclase Aggregates”, Ph.D., 1998.
  • Jeffrey Lawlis, “Deformation of Olivine-Orthopyroxene Aggregates”, Ph.D., 1998.
  • Susan J. Carpenter, “The Kinetics of Hydrogen Diffusion in Single-Crystal Clinopyroxene”, M.S., 1996.
  • Diana K. Fisler, “Diffusion in Mantle Minerals”, Ph.D., 1993.
  • Steven J. Nichols, “Grain Growth in Porous Olivine Aggregates at Ambient Pressure”, M.S., 1990.
  • Vivian W. Lee, “The Effect of Fluid Chemistry on Equilibrium Fluid Distribution within a Novaculite”, M.S., 1990.
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Last updated
April 25, 2011