Postdoc Profile: Rachel Walters


Geological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hometown:  I grew up in Skegness (Lincolnshire, UK): a small seaside town on the east coast of England.

Degrees:  BSc(hons) Geology, University of Edinburgh, UK; Ph. D. Geology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

My Ph. D. research studied the evolution of Icelandic volcanoes with geochemistry and numerical modeling. At the end of my Ph. D. I spent more than a few months post-doc hunting and working as a climbing instructor in Edinburgh. Eventually I was fortunate enough to be offered a Post-Doc position at UF in the Department of Geological Sciences. I arrived in Gainesville in November 2010 and have been here ever since. My research at UF has been applying the methods from my Ph. D. to different submarine volcanic locations in the Pacific Ocean. I recently got funded by NSF for a further two years to develop a new model for submarine volcanism and the Earth's mantle's behavior through time.

I spent time last semester working with graduate students, running a weekly seminar just for students. The seminar gave them a chance to give informal talks in a judgement-free environment and talk about career options/advice. I am currently working on a public outreach project using augmented reality and I am really interested in applying virtual reality to teaching complex 3D concepts in Earth sciences. I also help organize a Women in Geosciences group that meets once a semester or more to drink tea, eat cake and talk about careers topics. My hobbies include: running, cycling, baking, doing arty things and playing the piano. If I had an alternative career it would probably involve sport and/or cooking.

Career goal:  I'm open to suggestions. Sometimes a professor, sometimes not.