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Laura Gardner

PhD Candidate

B.S. Environmental Science, University of California Los Angeles, 2008
Curriculum Vitae

I study minerals trapped inside diamonds to learn about Earth’s composition and history. Because we can only dig so far into our planet, it’s difficult to know exactly what lies beneath our feet. Super-deep diamonds can tell us more about what is happening in the deep Earth. These diamonds form in the lower mantle, much deeper than the diamonds we typically use for jewelry. When they form, they often trap and preserve bits of mantle material inside of them. Over billions of years, natural processes bring some of these diamonds to Earth’s surface. By studying the minerals inside these super-deep diamonds, we can learn things like how much water is in the deep Earth, how elements cycle through the planet, and how oxygen accumulated in our atmosphere.