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Sarah Davey

“My #AstroPassion is understanding Venus’ tectonic regime and magmatic processes”
Sarah's Biography

After completing her B.Sc. in Geology in 2010 at the University of Ottawa, Sarah conducted her M.Sc. research at Carleton University mapping radiating graben-fissure systems and pit chains on Venus. Following graduation in 2012, Sarah spent two years in the mining industry working in Canada’s Arctic and later in Chile as an exploration and mine geologist. Sarah returned to academia in 2014 to pursue her Ph.D. in Earth Science at Carleton University.

PhD Candidate in Earth Science at Carleton University

I study Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) on Earth and Venus. My PhD thesis is working towards refining the Superia Supercraton reconstruction through spatial and temporal correlations of c. 2.7 – 2.0 Ga supracrustal assemblages and large igneous provinces in the formerly adjacent Superior (Canada) and Karelia-Kola (Finland and Russia) cratons. Although my PhD is Earth focused, I am continuing some of the Venus-based research I began as a Master’s student.

Carleton University contributes to the Canadian Space industry through research and development projects conducted in the faculties of Science and Engineering.

My favourite part of my job is the scientific process associated with research. I love being able to ask “why” or “how” and then follow through on those questions. I think the most exciting part is the fact that a single “why” can lead you on an incredible journey.

My Master’s project was a thrilling time for me. Venus is an understudied planet and there’s still so much that we don’t yet know about it. Because I was mapping the surface with Magellan Satellite data acquired in the early 1990’s I literally had the whole planet at my fingertips.

My present research could impact people in a variety of ways. Since I am looking at continental reconstructions, there is the possibility that it may provide valuable insight into economic mineral discoveries. These would provide jobs and wealth to Canada’s economy. However, my main curiosities are geared more towards the tectonic systems and magmatic processes operating on Venus and Earth. I hope that by understanding Earth’s dynamic history we may be able to better understand similar events in the future.

That a woman working in any STEM field will no longer be considered an oddity. If I am fortunate enough to continue on an academic career path, I hope to become a motivating and encouraging mentor to young women who helps them follow their academic aspirations.

Don’t underestimate or undervalue yourself. Always apply to applicable grants and awards. But most importantly, perseverance is key because rejection is a part of science.[/toggle]

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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