Sergey S. Lobanov, winner of AGU’s 2019 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award
Sergey S. Lobanov

It is my great privilege to honor Dr. Sergey S. Lobanov as the recipient of the 2019 Mineral and Rock Physics (MRP) Early Career Award. Sergey earned his Ph.D. from the Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy (Novosibirsk, Russia) in 2011 and then moved to the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., as a postdoctoral associate (2012) and a research scientist (2015) to work in my spectroscopy laboratory on the optical properties of planetary materials at high-pressure/temperature conditions. Shortly after moving to Stony Brook University in 2017, where he worked with Prof. John Parise, Sergey received a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leaders Award to build his own laboratory at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany.

Through challenging optical experiments at combined conditions of high pressure and temperature, Sergey identified the mechanisms of light absorption in the mantle and showed that mantle minerals are very opaque at core–mantle boundary conditions. His findings answer a nearly 60-year-long question about the importance of radiative heat transport in the mantle. By identifying specific spectroscopic signatures associated with spin transitions in iron-bearing minerals at mantle conditions, Sergey offered a new recipe to determine the mantle spin state as a function of depth. Another area of his research interests includes the physical and chemical transformation of carbon-bearing minerals and fluids in planetary mantles. After joining GFZ, Sergey constructed a new laboratory for spectroscopic measurements at extreme conditions, and I cannot wait to see the new and exciting results coming out from his research group. Congratulations, Sergey, on your achievements and on your truly deserved award!

—Alexander F. Goncharov, Washington, D.C.


I am honored to receive the 2019 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award and would like to express my deepest gratitude to the AGU MRP section for recognizing my scientific endeavors. I am particularly grateful to Alexander F. Goncharov, who was my postdoc advisor and is a valuable colleague. Alex is by far the most influential figure I have ever worked with. During my time in the Geophysical Lab, he introduced me to the field of high-pressure mineral physics and taught me how to design and perform very challenging experiments. Alex not only has tremendous spectroscopic expertise but also is an endless source of inspiration, creative ideas, and enthusiasm. Where normal humans receive a negative response on a paper and fall into despair, Alex gets excited, beams optimism, and starts new experiments to support the initial research, generating more ideas along the way. This circle is fun to watch but, most important, it promotes discovery and is truly scientific. Alex has contributed greatly to the MRP community and I feel extremely fortunate to be one of his mentees.

I would also like to thank my nominators, the colleagues at Carnegie, Stony Brook University, and GFZ for their friendliness and help, as well as my daughter and wife for being an inspiration and endless source of support.

—Sergey S. Lobanov, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany


(2020), Lobanov receives 2019 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award, Eos, 101, Published on 07 April 2020.

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