Medal for Research Excellence 2001

Stefano Poli

Stefano Poli was born in 1960 in Bergamo (Italy). In 1985 he was a graduate fellow at Centre Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay (France) and Centre des Faibles Radioactivités Gif-sur-Yvette – Paris (France) working on processes of magma differentiation, transport and emplacement in the upper crust, with emphasis on the role of magma mixing in shallow magma chambers.

In 1989 he obtained his Ph.D. in Earth Science at the University of Milan defending a thesis on phase relationships in eclogite facies rocks from the Central Alps, focusing on the development of the theory of “reaction spaces” for high-pressure assemblages, a theory originally introduced by Jim Thompson.

As a Post-doctoral Fellow in 1989-1990 at Institut für Mineralogie und Petrographie (IMP), ETH-Zurich (Switzerland), he was introduced to the world of experimental petrology. In the laboratories of ETH he performed a systematic study of phase transformations in mafic eclogites at high-pressure unravelling major reactions controlling the transition from amphibolite to eclogite facies.

Back to Milano, he developed a Laboratory of Experimental Petrology now equipped with a multianvil apparatus, two piston cylinders and a high temperature gas-mixing furnace.

Most of his recent scientific production deals with the experimental determination of the stability of hydrous phases (amphibole, lawsonite, epidote, etc.) and carbonates at high to ultra-high pressure and with the thermodynamic analysis of phase equilibria in mafic and ultramafic systems at conditions characteristic of subduction zones.

Such (an extensive) experimental work has led to an attempt of modelling the fluid budget at convergent plate boundaries, where the fluid storage and release is substantially controlled by the stability fields of hydrates and/or carbonates at high-pressure.

Profiting of sound knowledge of fundamentals of phase equilibria and of experimental techniques he is currently extending applications of methods and procedures used in earth sciences to material science, with specific attention to refractories and inertization of toxic industrial wastes.

He is full professor in Petrology at the Università degli Studi di Milano in Italy.

Stefano Poli was Chairman of the “Eighth International Symposium on Experimental Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry” held in Italy in 2000 and he is Associate Editor of the European Journal of Mineralogy.