UCR Professor Selected as Sloan Research Fellow

Sandra Kirtland Turner among 126 outstanding early-career researchers honored across eight fields

A headshot of Sandra Kirtland Turner

Sandra Kirtland Turner, an assistant professor of earth sciences at UCR.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Sandra Kirtland Turner, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for her work to reconstruct past climate changes along with their causes and consequences.

Sloan Research Fellowships honor early career scientists and scholars whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today. The fellowships, which are awarded to 126 researchers annually, are given by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a nonprofit based in New York City.

Kirtland Turner’s research combines geochemical records from deep ocean sediment cores with Earth system modeling to investigate the drivers and consequences of carbon cycling during the early Cenozoic era — the period spanning from 66 million years ago to the present day.

“Later this year, I will be sailing on a two-month oceanographic expedition in the South Pacific Ocean as part of a scientific team drilling deep sea sediments from the past 56 million years of Earth history,” Kirtland Turner said. “I operate a stable isotope laboratory along with two other professors in my department, and the support from the Sloan Foundation will help me continue to operate the lab and analyze samples like those I will obtain on my upcoming expedition.”

Kirtland Turner holds a doctorate and master’s degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and a bachelor’s from Georgetown University.

The fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. Winners receive a two-year $65,000 fellowship to further their research.

Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars based on their independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in their field.

Thirteen UC Riverside faculty members have received Sloan Research Fellowships since the foundation started awarding them in 1955. Ming Lee Tang, an assistant professor of chemistry, was the most recent recipient after being selected in 2017.

A press release and full list of the 2018 fellows is available at the Sloan Foundation website.

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