Western's Dr. Elizabeth Silber has been awarded a prestigious NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) for 2016-17. She will be taking the fellowship to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
She was the top female candidate in Physics and Astronomy and thus received an invitation to also apply for the Loreal-NSERC research supplement, though unfortunately the supplement is not available to those taking the PDF out of country.
Elizabeth is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Gordon Osinski, where she is modelling impact craters.
Elizabeth graduated with Distinction with Hon. BSc. (Specialization in Astrophysics and Major in Planetary Science) in 2007, followed by a 2014 PhD titled "Observational and theoretical investigation of cylindrical line source blast theory using meteors" under Dr. Peter Brown's supervision.
At Brown University in Providence Rhode Island, Elizabeth will be in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, where she will work on numerical modelling of impact cratering processes on icy bodies in the Solar System. For example, Europa, Jupiter's satellite, is one of the primary targets (apart from our neighbour Mars) for search for possible life in the Solar System.
One of Elizabeth's research objectives will be to model multi-ring basins (these are enormous craters) in order to investigate and constrain the thickness of the Europa's crust, which is important in establishing the state of internal heating (e.g. how much heating in the shell vs contribution of rocky interior). Inference about internal heating could shed more light on various geophysical processes, including tidal heating in the icy shell, better understanding of surface features, and finally, it has astrobiological implications, such as hydrothermal activity. This work can also be expanded to include other icy bodies, as well as rocky bodies (such as Ceres, Moon and Mercury).
In speaking of this new phase of her career, Elizabeth reflects, "I'd like to say that I am very grateful for all the opportunities I had here at Western, including being involved in really awesome research and unique projects, and meeting amazing people. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to work on research you love, and at Western I got that chance. Of course, that's thanks to my doctoral advisor (P. Brown) and my postdoctoral supervisor (G. Osinski)."Last updated on and