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Yan Liang

Geological Sciences
Phone: +1 401 863 9477

I am an experimental geochemist with a strong interest in mantle petrology and mantle dynamics. My current research focuses on four related areas: (1) models, experiments, and geological field observations of partial melting, melt migration, and melt-rock reaction in a heterogeneous mantle, (2) trace element partitioning in major rock-forming minerals, (3) diffusion in silicate crystals and melts, and (4) lunar petrology and geochemistry.


I received my B.Sc. in Geology from Peking University in 1984 and my M.Sc. in Geosciences from the University of Houston in 1989. I then moved to Chicago and received my Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from The University of Chicago in 1994. After a postdoc at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I joined the faculty at Brown University in 1998.


American Geophysical Union
The Geochemical Society
Mineralogical Society of America


GEOL 1410: Mineralogy
GEOL 2410: Kinetics of Geochemical Processes
GEOL 2910: Introduction to Geochemical Modeling
GEOL 2910: Convection in the Oceanic Upper Mantle
GEOL 2920: Phase Equilibria Part II
GEOL 2920: Physics of Melt Migration
GEOL 2920: Evolution of the Moon I & II

Current Graduate Students:
Conroy Baltzell (co-advising with Prof. Marc Parmentier)
Nicholas Dygert (co-advising with Prof. Greg Hirth)
Boda Liu
Chenguang Sun
Lijing Yao
Ran Yin (co-advising with Profs. Hirth and Parmentier

Former Graduate Students:
Zachary Morgan, Ph.D. 2006
Mauro Lo Cascio, Ph.D. 2008
Carla Thacker, Sc.M. 2008
Qinglan Peng, Sc.M. 2009

Funded Research

NSF, Developing a REE-in-two-pyroxene thermometer for pyroxene-bearing mafic and ultramafic rocks.

NSF, High-order accurate numerical models for magma migration beneath mid-ocean ridges: Geochemical consequences and geophysical implications.

NASA, Continuing studies of melting, melt transport, and melt-rock reaction in a heterogeneous lunar mantle.

NASA, The Moon as cornerstone to the terrestrial planets: The formative years (Co-PI, Brown-MIT jointed proposal).

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Yan Liang's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format