Tweeting under pressure (and temperature): thanks and farewell Prof Abby Kavner

Professor Abby Kavner of UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences was our curator for the past week on RealScientists, answering your questions and tweeting about her research and her life in and out of the lab and office. Abby’s interests are in the physics of materials and minerals as they relate to planets, for instance their behaviour under high pressures, temperatures and magnetic conditions (as per the interior of a planet’s core). This takes her to some interesting places:

Abby RS fieldwork

Abby RS synchrotron

Abby’s week on the account touched on everything from electrochemical isotope fractionation (assessing how fast chemical reactions happen), to work-life balance and the pros and cons of sharing ideas in science, to developing new projects at the intersection of mineral physics and seismology, to whether you can make diamonds out of peanut butter… (hat tip to @Tanya_Ha for this response!) If you missed anything from Abby’s week, we’ll have a Storify of her curation available in a day or so┬áthe Storify is here.Thanks very much to Abby for her wonderful work this week. Keep following her @mineralphys.

Next week we migrate a little further north along the Californian coast to meet up with crystallographer Dr Christine Beavers, aka @XtalGrrl, of the Advanced Light Source Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


James is a recovering scientist and escaped postdoc who works in research management at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He's now retired from active @RealScientists duty, after serving from the project's beginnings in 2013 through to mid 2015. When not managing research, surviving #PlanetParenthood or pretending not to be an expat Australian in the Deep South of NZ, he tweets @theotherdrsmith.

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