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.


[2016-Present] Graduate Student at the Unviersity of Chicago (Geophysical Sciences)
[2016] B.S. San Francisco State University (Geology)


[2016-Present] Graduate Student at the Unviersity of Chicago (Geophysical Sciences)
[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


Zurkowski C.C., Chidester B.A., Davis A.H., BrauserN.M., Greenberg E., Prakapenka V.B. and Campbell A.J.(2017) Stability of the high pressure phase Fe3S2 up to 175 GPa in the Fe-S-O system. Abstract. COMPRES AnnualMeeting.
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.

Conferences and Meetings:

[2017] Presented a poster at the Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences Annual Meeting


[2016] Department Honoree, 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


[2017] Docent in the mineralogy and meteorite exhibitions of the Field Museum in Chicago
[2017] Math and science tutor at the Marillac Social Center in Chicago
[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