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Dr. Jay Melosh (1947-2020)

University Distinguished Professor Dr. Jay Melosh (1947-2020)
Curriculum Vitae


  • Caltech 1969-1972, Ph.D. (physics and geology)
  • Princeton University, 1965-1969, A.B. (physics) magna cum laude

Research Interests
Ramifications of impact cratering, planetary tectonics, and the physics of earthquakes and landslides

Awards and Honors

  • Leon Blitzer Teaching Award, January 2009
  • Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union, 2008
  • Humboldt Prize Fellowship, August 2005-2006
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, Elected 29 April 2003
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 2001
  • Gilbert Award of the Geological Society of America, 2001
  • Asteroid 8216 name “Melosh” Approved by the IAU, 2000
  • Barringer Medal of the Meteoritical Society, 1999
  • Paul Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1996-1997
  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (January 1993)
  • AGU Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Tectonics (July, 1989)
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of America (November, 1988)
  • Fellow of the Meteoritical Society (July, 1988)
  • Best Scientific Secretary Prize, Int'l Summer School of Theoretical Physics, Erice, Sicily, 1972

Academic Experience

  • Regents Professor of Planetary Science, Univ. of Arizona, January, 2004.
  • Halbouty Distinguished Visiting Chair, Texas A&M University, October, 2000
  • Professor of Planetary Science, Univ. of Arizona, 1985-present
  • Associate Professor of Planetary Science, Univ. of Arizona, 1982-1985
  • Associate Professor of Geophysics, SUNY, Stony Brook, 1979-1982
  • Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, Caltech, 1976-1978
  • Instructor in Geophysics and Planetary Science, Caltech, 1973-1975
  • Research Associate, University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi Institute, 1972-1973
  • Visiting Scientist, CERN (Geneva, Switzerland), 1971-1972
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Caltech, 1969-1971

Selected Publications

  • IVANOV, B. A., MELOSH, H. J., PIERAZZO, E. (2009) Basin-forming impacts:  Reconnaissance modeling, in Large Meteorite Impacts, GSA Special Paper XXX, in press.
  • VALTONEN, M., NURMI, P., ZHENG, J-Q., CUCINOTTA, F. A., WILSON, J. W., HORNECK, G., LINDGREN, L., MELOSH, J., RICKMAN, H.MILEIKOWSKY, C., (2009),  Natural Transfer of Viable microbes in space from planets in Extra-Solar Systems to a Planet on our Solar System and Vice Versa, Astrophys. J. 690, 210-215.
  • BELTON, M. J. S. and MELOSH, H. J. (2009) Fluidization and multiphase transport of particulate cometary material as an explanation of the smooth terrains and repetitive outbursts on 9P/Tempel 1, Icarus, 200, 280-291.
  • MELOSH, H. J. (2008) Did an impact blast away half of Mars’ crust?  Nature Geosciences 1, 412-414.
  • FAJARDO-CAVAZOS, P., LANGENHORST, F., MELOSH, H. J., NICHOLSON, W. L. (2009) Bacterial spores in granite survive hypervelocity launch by spallation:  Implications for lithopanspermia, Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences, submitted.
  • KENKMANN, T., COLLINS, G. S., WITTMANN, A. WÜNNEMANN, K., REIMOLD, W. U., MELOSH, H. J. (2008) A model for the formation of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater as revealed by drilling and numerical simulation.  Geological Society of America Special Paper, in press.
  • MELOSH, H. J.  (2008) Message from Mercury, Nature 452, 820-821.
  • JACKSON, L. E., BROWN, P., MELOSH, J., HILL, D. (2008) Meteorite strikes Peru, Geotimes, July 2008, 6-11.
  • McDONALD, M., MELOSH, H. J., GULICK, S. (2008) Oblique impacts and peak ring position:  Comparing Venusian craters to Chicxulub, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L07203, doi:10.1029/2008GL033346.
  • RUBIE, D. C., F. NIMMO and H. J. MELOSH (2007) Formation of the Earth’s Core, Chapter 9 of Stevenson, D. J. (Ed), Treatise on Geophysics:  The Core.  Elsevier.
  • RICHARDSON, J. E., MELOSH, H. J., LISSE, C. M., CARCICH, B. (2007) A ballistics analysis of the Deep Impact ejecta plume:  Determining comet Tempel 1’s gravity, mass and density.  Icarus 190, 357-390.
  • BART, G. D., and H. J. MELOSH (2007), Using lunar boulders to distinguish primary from distant secondary impact craters, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L07203, doi:10.1029/2007GL029306.
  • MELOSH, H. J. (2007) A Hydrocode Equation of State for SiO2, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 42, 2079-2098.
  • MORGAN, J., CHRISTESON, G, GULICK, S., GRIEVE, R. URRUTIA, J., BARTON, P., ROBOLLEDO, M., MELOSH, J. (2007) Joint IODP/ICDP Scientific Drilling of the Chicxulub Impact Crater, Scientific Drilling, 4, 42-44.
  • MELOSH, H. J. (2007) Physical effects of comet and asteroid impacts: Beyond the crater rim.  in Bobrowsky, P. T. and Rickman, H. (Eds.) Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society:  An Interdisciplinary Approach, pp. 211-224
  • GOLDIN, T. J., WÜNNEMANN, K., MELOSH, H. J., COLLINS, G. S. (2006) Hydrocode modeling of the Sierra Madera impact structure, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 41, 1947-1958.
  • WÜNNEMANN, K., COLLINS, G. S., and MELOSH, H. J. (2006) A strain-based porosity model for use in hydrocode simulations of impacts and implications for transient-crater growth in porous targets, Icarus 180, 514-527.
  • Sunshine, J. M., M. F. A'Hearn, O. Groussin, J.-y. Li. , M. J. S. Belton, W. A. Delamere, J. Kissel, K. P. Klassen, L. A. McFadden, K. J. Meech, H. J. Melosh, P. H. Schultz, P. C. Thomas, J. Veverka, D. K. Yeomans, I. C. Busko, M. Desnoyer, T. L. Farnham, L. Fega, D. L. HamPton, D. J. Lindler, C. M. Lisse, and D. D. Wellnitz, (2006) Exposed water ice deposits on the surface of comet 9P/Tempel 1: Science, 311, 1453-1455.

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