Carnegie Research Scientist Shaunna Morrison received the 2022 Minerals Young Investigator Award for her work in crystallography, crystal chemistry, and the innovative application of data-driven techniques to better understand planetary histories, including the co-evolution of the mineral environment with life here on Earth.
Morrison is a planetary scientist and mineralogist who is drawn to new technologies and has forged her way to the cutting edge of mineralogy through machine learning and data-driven discovery. She uses these skills to improve instrumentation as a co-investigator on NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover mission, to predict the location of previously unknown mineral deposits and Mars analog environments on Earth, and to uncover mineralogical signs of life.
Minerals is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal of natural mineral system mineral resources, mining, and mineral processing.
From the announcement:
Morrison is the 4D (Deep Time Data Driven Discovery) Initiative Co-Directer, former Project Manager of the Carnegie-led 3Deep-Time Data Infrastructure, a Co-Investigator on the CheMin X-ray diffraction Instrument on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, a collaborator on the NASA Astrobiology ENIGMA Project, and a Co-Investigator of the NASA Astromaterials Data System. In addition, she is a data contributor and collaborator of the RRUFF Project, including the Mineral Evolution Database (MED), Mineral Properties Database (MPD), and the Evolutionary System of Mineralogy Database (ESMD).
Learn more about the award
Morrison builds on her technical and theoretical background in crystallography, crystal chemistry, and Martian mineralogy to explore new techniques in multidimensional, multivariate analysis and visualization by employing a range of advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to better understand the complex relationships among Earth and planetary materials, their formational environments through deep time, and their coevolution with the biosphere.