Claire Zurkowski
Graduate Student
Phone: (410)-926-5590
Office: Hinds 525

CV in pdf format

Research interests:

I study the physical and chemical properties of materials under high pressure and high temperature conditions to better understand the constitution, structure, and evolution of the Earth's interior. I specifically look at iron alloys under high pressures to better understand light element contributions to the density deficit and crystallography of the iron rich core. Mineral physics plays an essential role providing the material properties as a basis for seismological, petrological, and geodynamical interpretations of the Earth's interior. To achieve this, we perform experiments on minerals and other materials under high pressures and temperatures comparable to those in the mantle and core of our planet. In addition to experiments in our home laboratory, our group makes regular use of synchrotron X-ray sources to probe material properties under these extreme conditions.


PhD Student at the Unviersity of Chicago (Geophysical Sciences)
2016 B.S. San Francisco State University (Geology)


2016 Visiting Student, University of Chicago's Mineral Physics Lab
2015-2016 Field and Research Assistant, San Francisco State University
2015 Research Assistant, United States Geological Society, Menlo Park
2014-2015 Research Assistant, Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory,The University of Maryland


Rudnick, R.L., Gaschnig, R.M., Li, S., Tang, M., Qiu, L., Valley, J.W., Zurkowski, C., and McDonough, W.F. (2014) Temporal evolution of the upper continental crust: implications for the mode of crustal growth and the evolution of the hydrosphere: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union.


2016 McCormick Fellowship, University of Chicago
2016 Department Honoree, San Francisco State University
2016 Summa Cum Laude, San Francisco State University
2013-2016 Deans List, Pratt Institute, University of Maryland, San Francisco State University
2014 Distinguished Flying Cross Scholarship
2013 Presidential Scholarship, Pratt Institute
2013 Valedictorian, The John Carroll School
2013 Judith Resnik Award for Women in the Sciences
2013 William J. Sacco Award for Applied Mathematics Scholarship
2013 Math, Physics, and Art Student of the Year


2016 UChicagoGrad Lab Tours (Featured Speaker)
2016 Upward Bound Tutoring Program serving high school students of low income families
2016 Argonne National Lab's Hour of Code volunteer at Peck Elementary School
2016 Mentor Matching Engine mentor for high school STEM students at the Illinois Science and Technology Institute