Sophie Benaroya

3MT 2024 Finalist Sophie Benaroya

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Natural + Applied Sciences

Thesis: Making a Mars Cake

Introduce yourself:

I am a 2nd year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. I am originally from Argentina and have lived in nine countries in four continents. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy hiking, reading, and crocheting.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

My research is focused on understanding how different elements cycle inside planet Mars at different pressures, temperatures, and redox conditions. I hope that my research helps to connect how initial geochemical conditions affect the formation of the different rocks and minerals seen on Mars.

How does presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help you to explain your research to the public?

Most of the research in my field is full of jargon, and so presenting a 3MT has challenged me to be able to discuss my work in simple terms. It has also pushed me to think creatively about my research in order to come up with analogies that can make some of the technical aspects of my work more accessible to understand.

What inspires you to do research?

There is so much we do not know about our planet, let alone other planets in our solar system! I remember watching astronomy documentaries as a child and being curious and slightly frustrated about all the unanswered questions we had about the history of Mars – and I knew that I wanted to contribute to answering them.

What are three key words important to your 3MT?

Minerals, Magma, Mars.

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities?

My research helps inform the processes that occur inside planets to understand how magma moved from the interior to the surface – like by an eruption. How much degassing of water, carbon dioxide, and sulfur occurs before magma erupts is important information because these can act as pollutants or nutrients.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I would dedicate my research to my friends and family for their support throughout the years, and my parents, for sacrifices they made in leaving Argentina.

Sophie Benaroya – Making a Mars Cake

Watch Sophie's Three Minute Thesis