US Antarctic Interview Series
W. Berry Lyons
Professor & University Scholar
School of Earth Sciences
For our first interview of the series, I enjoyed talking with Dr. Berry Lyons, Professor of Earth Sciences at the Ohio State University. We spoke about his career in geochemistry and the serendipitous path that brought a born-and-raised Floridian to countless visits to the Dry Valleys of Antarctica – I say countless because when I asked Berry how many seasons he’s spent on the continent and he replied with a guess of “over 15”. In the interview, I asked Berry about his involvement in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Program, his recent studies of proglacial streams in Taylor Valley and subglacial lakes at Mercer Ice Stream, and his pivotal role in understanding geochemical weathering rates of polar environments. We also discussed his participation with SCAR over the years, his love of SCAR's Open Science Conference, and his advice to students interested in finding their own path into the world of Antarctic research.
Following my chat with Dr. Berry Lyons I was put in contact with Dr. Melisa Diaz, his former PhD student at the Ohio State University who just started her postdoc at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Like her former advisor, she spoke a lot about serendipity and described the circuitous journey that brought her into the field of geochemistry and onward to Antarctica. We talked in detail about her paper that just came out on her work near Shackleton Glacier, a region she describes as “the most beautiful place in the world”. We also discussed the projects she’s working on at WHOI which spanned topics in Antarctica, Greenland, and even Mars.