David Bercovici is named the Beinecke Professor of Geology and Geophysics

David Bercovici, who was recently appointed the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Geology and Geophysics, is a specialist on geophysical and geological fluid dynamics and nonlinear science

He focuses his research on mantle convection, lithosphere dynamics and the origin of plate tectonics, hotspots and mantle plumes, and volcanic flows and eruptions. He has used simple analytical models and laboratory models to study geodynamics, and he has contributed original theories to explain scientific questions on such matters as plume heads, plate tectonics and mantle convection. As a graduate student, he earned acclaim for his breakthrough research producing a model of mantle convection that, for the first time, accounted for the nonlinear and three-dimensional nature of convective motions in spherical geometry.

The chair of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, Bercovici is also the deputy director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute.

Bercovici earned his B.S. at Harvey Mudd College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics and space physics at the University of California-Los Angeles. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and then taught for a decade at the University of Hawaii before joining the Yale faculty in 2001. He has also been a visiting researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at the École Normal Supérieure de Lyon, France.

Among the courses Bercovici teaches at Yale are the courses “Natural Disasters,” “Origins of Everything” and “Introduction to Continuum Mechanics.”

Bercovici earned the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 1996. His other honors include being named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation, the Zatman Memorial Lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis and the Caswell-Silver Lecturer at the University of New Mexico. He also received the Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Research from the University of Hawaii and the Scientist of the Year Award from the Honolulu chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists.