Paterno "Pat" Castillo, professor of geology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has recently been named a 2008 Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA). A member since 1988, Castillo has more than 20 years of professional experience in geosciences and is an international leader in petrology and geochemistry.
Castillo was elected a Fellow of the GSA for his fundamental contributions in petrology, geochemistry, and mantle chemical geodynamics. His research focuses on using volcanic rocks and magma to understand the interaction between tectonic plates. He recently investigated volcanic rocks from the Marquesas Islands in the south-central Pacific Ocean to trace the source of these rocks from the earth's mantle.
Castillo also recently studied volcanic lava samples from dredged seamounts in the western Ross Sea off Antarctica to understand the origins of one of the largest volcanic provinces on Earth, which was active since the start of the Cenozoic era, approximately 65 million years ago. As a member of the Scripps faculty, Castillo is an advisor, mentor, and professor to earth sciences undergraduate and graduate students.
"His research has inspired the international community on a number of fundamental geodynamic problems of global significance," said Yaoling Niu, a GSA Fellow. "He has excelled in science as a researcher and in education as a teacher and mentor."
Fellowship is an honor that is bestowed once per year at the GSA Spring Council meeting. GSA members are elected to Fellowship in recognition of distinguished contributions to the geosciences. Castillo is a current member of GSA's Cordilleran Section and GSA Planetary Geology Division.
Established in 1888, the Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry.