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Benjamin Hess

Benjamin Hess

PhD Candidate, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Yale University


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale University. My research advisor is Jay Ague, and together we study the coupling of stress and thermodynamics in metamorphic rocks. Applications of our work include better understanding of mountain building events, seismicity, and geochemical cycling.

I graduated with a BS in geology from Wheaton College, IL in 2019. During my time at Wheaton, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, I was able to conduct research of a glass created by a lightning strike, called a fulgurite. The resulting study helps us understand sources of phosphorus needed for life on early Earth.

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From This Author


Origin of Life: Lightning Strikes May Have Provided Missing Ingredient for Earth’s First Organisms

The origin of life on Earth is one of the most complex puzzles facing scientists. It involves not only identifying the numerous chemical reactions that must take place to create a replicating organism, but...

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