Current Group Members

  • Sarah Stewart, Professor
  • Dylan Spaulding, Project Scientist
  • Jill Eymann, Junior Specialist
  • Simon Lock, Graduate Student (Harvard)
  • Erik Davies, Graduate Student
  • Gigja Hollyday, Graduate Student

Our group regularly interacts with Sujoy Mukhopadhyay’s group and Qing-zhu Yin’s group at UC Davis and collaborates with scientists at the LLNL Center for High Energy Density Science and Sandia’s Z Machine.

Former Group Members

  • Markos Hankin, Shock Compression Laboratory Manager, Harvard. Now He recovery engineer at Harvard.
  • Lee Wizda, Lab Technician, Harvard. Now in industry.
  • Gal Sarid, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard. Now a research associate at the Florida Space Institute.
  • Richard Kraus, 2013 Ph.D., EPS. A Lawrence Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Now a staff scientist at LLNL.
  • Matthew Newman, Undergraduate, Engineering (B.A. 2013). Currently a grad student in engineering at Caltech.
  • Will Steinhardt, Graduate Student, EPS.
  • Matija Ćuk, Daly-Clay Postdoctoral Fellow in EPS and Astronomy (2008-2012). Urey Prize winner. Now a research scientist at SETI.
  • Zoe Leinhardt, Postdoc in EPS (2005-2007). Now a Lecturer at U. of Bristol
  • Karin Louzada, Graduate student, EPS (Ph.D. 2009). Now an editor at Springer.
  • Laurel Senft, Graduate student, EPS (Ph.D. 2009), now a faculty member in the Physical Sciences department, Westchester Community College
  • Rachel Zucker, Graduate Student, EPS (2010), now a graduate student at MIT
  • Wade Henning, Graduate Student, EPS (Ph.D. 2011), Now a postdoc at NASA Goddard
  • Robert Marcus, Graduate Student, Astrophysics (Ph.D. 2011). Now at Northrop Grumman.
  • Gregory Kennedy, Shock Compression Laboratory Manager (2006), now staff at Georgia Tech’s Impact Facility
  • Lee Farina, Shock Compression Laboratory Manager (2010), now lives in Wisconsin
  • Benjamin Black, Undergraduate Student, EPS (2005), former Fulbright Fellow. Now a postdoc at Berkeley.
  • Gregory Valiant, Undergraduate Student, Math (2007). Now an assistant professor at Stanford.
  • Kate Scheider, Research Assistant in EPS
  • Andrea Peterson, Undergraduate, Chemistry and Physics
  • Firth McEachern, Undergraduate, Earth and Planetary Sciences and Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), now working in the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, San Fernando, Philippines
  • Peter Hedman, Undergraduate, Earth and Planetary Sciences (2010), now a research and teaching assistant at Harvard
  • Sonya Mollinger, Undergraduate, Physics (2011), now a graduate student at Stanford in Applied Physics

Research Opportunites

  • Individuals interested in research opportunities should contact Sarah for more information.

Dylan Spaulding, Project Scientist

Markos Hankin, Lab manager


Karin Louzada, Sarah’s first graduate student

Sarah’s Biography

Sarah T. Stewart is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at U. California, Davis. She joined the faculty at Davis in 2014 after 11 years as a Professor at Harvard University.

Sarah is a planetary scientist who specializes in the study of collisions in the solar system. Her research encompasses the formation and destruction of planets, planetary geology, and materials science. She is best known for the experimental study of planetary minerals under shock compression and calculating the mass of melt and vapor produced during planetary impact events. Sarah directs the Shock Compression Laboratory, which uses a light gas gun to study shock waves in planetary materials, and also conducts shock experiments on laser and pulsed power platforms.

Sarah received her AB in Astrophysics and Physics from Harvard in 1995 and her PhD in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology in 2002. She has won awards and honors for her scholarship, including the Urey Prize for best young planetary scientist from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Sarah is currently the President of the Planetary Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. Sarah is dedicated to public outreach in planetary sciences and is featured as one of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 of 2010 and Astronomy Magazine’s Rising Stars of 2013.

More about Sarah

Learn more about Sarah Stewart and check out all of our one-of-a-kind stories at

Group Contact Information

Mailing address:
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of California Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Main office 530.752.0350

Sarah Stewart 530.754.6021 sts at ucdavis dot edu
Dylan Spaulding 530.754.7014 dkspaulding at ucdavis dot edu
Jill Eymann 530.754.7014 jmeymann at ucdavis dot edu
Simon Lock slock at fas dot harvard dot edu
Erik Davies ejdavies at ucdavis dot edu
Gigja Hollyday gohollyday at ucdavis dot edu
UC Davis Interactive Campus Map

Looking for something on Sarah’s old web site? It is temporarily available here.