WELCOME TO THE GEOEVOLUTION LAB
My name is Vlada Stamenkovic and I am a postdoctoral Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life fellow at Caltech and JPL. I am a global geophysicist and theoretical physicist who explores the fundamental principles of geophysics and the co-evolution of planets and life on Earth and beyond – from their origins to modern time.
Download CV here
GEODYNAMICS AND ITS CONNECTIONS TO LIFE AND CLIMATE
The evolution of a planet’s interior and the tectonic mode strongly impact the redox gradients within surface environments. The evolution of a planet’s interior and tectonics, therefore, impact the evolution of life and climate. On the other hand, life and climate impact planet interiors and plate tectonics through the water cycle and rheological modifications of the crust. My major goal is to unite geodynamics with biogeochemistry on land and in oceans in order to fully understand life and climate as a planetary phenomenon here on Earth and beyond. Click here to explore the connections between deep interiors, plate tectonics, and life & climate – from the early Earth to modern climate change, and towards the search for life in our solar system and beyond.
SOLID EARTH & PLANET INTERIORS
Right below our feet is a large ball of energy slowly cooling into outer space. This cooling of our planet significantly impacts our climate, plate tectonics, and magnetic field generation in the core. But what determines the evolution of the Earth & planetary interiors? What are the properties of mantle and core minerals and alloys? And do all planet interiors evolve similarly? I use first principles to model and understand the evolution of the Earth and planet interiors. Click here to explore the evolving world below our feet and within other planets in our solar system & beyond.
TECTONICS & PLANET SURFACES
The lithosphere is barrier and connector between the deep interior of a rocky planet and its surface environment. On Earth, plate tectonics is responsible for recycling the lithosphere back into the mantle and for significantly driving volcanism and planetary cooling. However, other planets like Mars or Venus show no signs of plate tectonics. How does plate tectonics operate? How did it evolve on the Earth and on what kind of planets in the Galaxy can we expect plate tectonics? I use thermodynamics to understand the evolution of plate tectonics. Click here to explore plate tectonics on Earth and beyond.
SOMETHING OLD & SOMETHING FUTURISTIC: LIFE IN SPACE & LIFE ON MARS
This section bases on my previous life as the PI for two space experiments, flown on the International Space Station and on the Russian Space Satellite Foton M1, and how the manned exploration of space ultimately links to the understanding of planet evolution and modern global climate change. Click here to explore how cells react to microgravity, to see a failed rocket launch above my head, pictures of the cosmodromes Baikonur and Plesetsk, and to explore some thoughts about the future of mankind in space and on Earth.