EGU Early Career Scientist Award (EMRP): Richard Bono

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on research questions which bridge core processes, such as the geodynamo, to crust-to-space effects, including magnetic shielding and the evolution of life. Currently, I work in the Geomagnetism Laboratory at the University of Liverpool and in January 2022, I will be joining the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Department at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. I earned my PhD in 2016 at the University of Rochester advised by Prof. John Tarduno, where I also earned my bachelor’s and master's degrees. In addition to pursuing my research, I also currently help to maintain the paleointensity database and assist in organizing MagNetZ, an online seminar for the paleomagnetic community. 

My passion for geology is centred on the field of palaeomagnetism – the recognition that the magnetic record stored in rocks could act as a compass or a clock going back through geologic time inspired my pursuit in addressing questions about Earth’s interior across deep time. Through field work, careful laboratory experiments, statistical modelling and numerical simulation, I try to understand the fundamental properties and behaviour of Earth’s liquid outer core. 

As part of the DEEP group, I develop statistical paleomagnetic field models as part of a multidisciplinary team of geophysicists, geologists and dynamo modelers. These statistical models are used to characterize and test hypotheses related to long term geomagnetic field evolution, and aid comparisons between observational data to numerical dynamo simulations using Earth-like configurations. 

Field Work, Arctic, 2012. Credit :
Prior research focused on using single crystal palaeomagnetism and electron microscopy to investigate questions about how terrestrial planetary interiors evolved over time, the impact of this evolution on planetary surfaces, potential implications for the evolution of life and habitability, and fundamental capabilities of single crystals as magnetic recorders. This work resulted in some of the oldest magnetic records sampling the Hadean using zircons from the Jack Hills in Australia, the weakest magnetic records sampling the Ediacaran, as well as extra-terrestrial materials from pallasites and lunar samples. 

My work has involved a wide range of disciplines, with collaborators from geochronology, mantle modelling, plate reconstructions, mineral physics, electron microscopy, and numerical modelling communities. The broad implications of the research are as follows: the habitability of a planetary body is largely understood to be determined by its ability to retain liquid water on its surface. To maintain the physical conditions required to preserve liquid water on the surface, the planet must host an atmosphere, which is vulnerable to solar erosion over geologic timescales. Preserving the atmosphere from cosmic radiation requires a planetary magnetic field which shields the atmosphere, allowing liquid water to remain present on the surface. Therefore, understanding the conditions required to generate and maintain a dynamo in planetary bodies is crucial to gaining insight in the dual evolutions of Earth’s life and dynamo.


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