Chris Field

The founding Director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II has been awarded the 2022 Japan Prize in the field of "Biological Production, Ecology/Environment."

Joseph Berry

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected Carnegie ecologist Joseph Berry to the newest class of AAAS Fellows, among the most distinct honors within the scientific community and part of a tradition that started in 1874.

Alan Boss

Carnegie’s Alan Boss was named one of 23 new Fellows of the American Astronomical Society. The honorees were chosen for their “extraordinary achievement and service” to the field. Boss, whose contributions to the fields of astronomy and astrophysics are numerous, was specifically recognized for “innovative theoretical investigations of the formation of stars and exoplanets” as well as “tireless leadership within the exoplanet exploration community in ensuring that NASA executes a credible and successful exoplanet program.”

Mars mosaic courtesy of NASA.

Washington, DC—Organic molecules found in a meteorite that hurtled to Earth from Mars were synthesized during interactions b

Milky Way and stellar streams, Credit: James osephides and S5 Collaboration.

A new map of a dozen associations of moving stars—called stellar streams—orbiting within the Milky Way’s halo has brought astronomers one step closer to revealing the properties of the dark matter enveloping our galaxy and shaping the universe.  Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and presented at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting, the map was produced by an international collaboration of astronomers, including several current and former Carnegie scientists.

Palm trees rise in front of the San Gabriel Mountains.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced $20 million in his 2023 fiscal year budget to support Carnegie’s new research facility in Pasadena. The new 135,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art campus will bring the institution’s life and environmental scientists together in a single location adjacent to Caltech—making a decisive investment in the global fight against climate change.

Photograph of the words diversity, equity and inclusion on a clipboard.

In an effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion work throughout the organization and our surrounding communities, Carnegie has awarded 10 projects with inaugural DEI mini-grants. “The mini-grant program launched last fall and was designed to enable Carnegie faculty, postdocs, and staff to obtain funding for small-scale projects that help advance our local and institutional DEI goals,” said Associate Science Deputy Anat Shahar who with Science Deputy and Observatories Director John Mulchaey oversees Carnegie’s DEI efforts.

Thomas Lovejoy

The founding chair of the Carnegie Scientific Advisory Council (CSAC), Thomas Lovejoy, a renowned ecologist and conservationist who is credited with coining the term “biological diversity, or biodiversity,” died December 25. He was 80.

Artist conception. Credit: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

A a perfect seasonal gift to astronomers around the world—the James Webb Space Telescope successfully launched on the morning of December 25.  This next-generation space telescope will drive a new era of discovery—with capabilities that will complement the upcoming era of extremely large ground-based telescopes, including the Giant Magellan Telescope under construction at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

A slice of a chondrite meteorite, courtesy of Nicole Nie.

Meteorites are remnants of the building blocks that formed Earth and the other planets orbiting our Sun. Recent analysis of their isotopic makeup led by Carnegie’s Nicole Nie and published in Science Advances settles a longstanding debate about the geochemical evolution of our Solar System and our home planet.

Richard Carlson, Director Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory

Earth and Planets Laboratory Director Richard Carlson, who has served Carnegie with distinction for more than 40 years and whose work has transformed our understanding of the Earth and our Solar System, will step down as Director and retire as an emeritus staff member from Carnegie effective December 31, 2021. He will be succeeded by the current Deputy Director, Michael Walter, who is an experimental petrologist and expert on the origin and evolution of planetary interiors.

Artwork created by Sue Rhee using Wombo.art.

Green is a color that is almost universally associated with plants—for good reason. The green pigment chlorophyll is essential to plants’ ability to generate food; but what happens if they don’t have enough of it?New work  reveals the complex, interdependent nutrient responses underpinning a potentially deadly, low-chlorophyll state called chlorosis that’s associated with an anemic, yellow appearance. Their findings, published by Nature Communications, could usher in more environmentally friendly agricultural practices—using less fertilizer and fewer water resources.

Fullerene C60 purchased from Shutterstock

Researchers use multi-anvil press to turn fullerene C60 into diamond glass, similar to the process of converting graphite to diamond in high-pressure apparatus. Image by Yingwei Fei.

Alycia Weinberger

Carnegie’s Alycia Weinberger and collaborators from the University of Texas at Austin and the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute received last month a $1.2 million grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation to develop an instrument for the Magellan telescopes at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile that will enable breakthroughs in our understanding of the planet formation process.

Margaret McFall-Ngai

Pioneering microbiome specialist Margaret McFall-Ngai has been named the inaugural director of Carnegie’s newly launched research division focused on life and environmental sciences, which will deploy an integrated, molecular-to-global approach to tackling the challenges of sustainability, resilience, and adaptation to a changing climate. McFall-Ngai will join the institution in January, 2022, from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she is a professor at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory and the center’s director emerita.

Carnegie mineralogist Robert Hazen

Carnegie mineralogist Robert Hazen—who advanced the concept that Earth’s geology was shaped by the rise and sustenance of life—was elected last month a fellow of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life – The International Astrobiology Society.

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