Matthew Izawa completed a BSc in the Department of Physics at the University of Western Ontario in 2006. He then moved on to an MSc degree in geology (completed in 2008) with Dr. Roberta Flemming and Dr. Penny King. He is currently working towards his PhD, supervised by Dr. Flemming and Dr. Neil Banerjee.
An important objective of Matthew’s PhD research is to better understand the shock and thermal metamorphic history of the enstatite chondrites (EC), an important class of primitive solar system material that may be analogous to the precursors of Earth. He aims to quantify shock metamorphic effects in EC minerals at scales ranging from a few unit cells to features visible in the optical microscope. Thus far, he has helped to develop an X-ray diffraction based technique to quantify the degree of misorientation within shocked mineral grains and has investigated a meteorite that may represent a partial melt residue of EC parentage. His ongoing efforts include mapping the distribution of lattice misorientation within individual mineral grains using electron backscatter diffraction and focused ion beam sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy. He has always had a fascination for the fundamental nature of stuff and he is happy to have found a niche in mineralogy where he can explore some of nature’s little puzzles.