Jerry X. Mitrovica
Professor of Geophysics

Sea Level - and Solid-Earth Dynamics
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University
Jerry X. Mitrovica

Jerry X. Mitrovica is the Director of CIFAR's Earth System Evolution Program and a Professor of Geophysics at Harvard University. He 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 UofT faculty (in 1993) and of which he remained a full-time member until mid-2009 when he took up the above post at Harvard.

His research activities encompass the measurement, analysis and interpretation of the Earth's response to forcings with a wide range of time scales. The `response' includes: Geodynamics associated with the convective circulation in the Earth's mantle; the isostatic adjustment of the Earth driven by the late Pleistocene glacial cycles and more recent ice-ocean mass transfers; and solid Earth (body) tides induced by luni-solar gravitational forcings. The research combines theoretical descriptions and numerical predictions of the response of sufficiently general planetary models with relevant observational constraints. These constraints arise from sources as varied as geological reconstructions of lithospheric dynamics, and the remarkably accurate measurement techniques of space geodesy, particularly very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) and Global Positioning System (GPS) surveying. The broad goal of the research is to develop a clearer understanding of the elastic and anelastic properties of the planet, to formulate a unified description of the multitude of surface features which originate from the Earth responses described above, and to consider the influence of these responses on global change processes.

A selection of his current activities are listed below:
Solid Earth Tides: Development of theoretical descriptions and numerical predictions for the response of a laterally heterogeneous Earth model to the tidal forcing. Comparison of these predictions with VLBI and GPS determined estimates of tidal displacements at a variety of tidal frequencies. Long term tidal dissipation in the solid Earth.

Glacial Isostatic Adjustement: Application of geophysical inverse theory to the inference of rheology based upon the available data set. Analysis of the rotational and gravitational signature of the adjustment. Glaciation-induced changes in the orbital elements of the Earth. GPS surveying in Scandinavia (and consequent data anlaysis) with the intent to measure and interpret present-day (post-glacial) crustal deformation rates in the region.

Plate Tectonics and Mantle Convection: Predictions of the surface topographic expression of the time-dependent features of the mantle convective circulation (e.g., transient subduction, mantle plumes). Application of the result

Career and education
Full Professor, Toronto (1999-2009)
J. Tuzo Wilson Professor of Geophysics, Toronto (2001-2006)
Miller Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley (2003-2004)
Associate Professor, Toronto (1997-1999)
Assistant Professor, Toronto (1992-1997)

PDF, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (1991-1992)
Ph.D., Toronto (1991)
B.A.Sc. (Engineering Science), Toronto (1983)

Awards and honours
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, University of California, Berkeley
2002 Young Explorer Prize - CIAR
2002 E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, NSERC
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
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

Copyright 2010, The Mitrovica Group, Harvard University