Timothy Grove

Faculty Post-Tenure

Contact Info:

Office Phone






Wahida Abed 617.253.5935

Recognized for seminal contributions in experimental petrology, expanding our understanding of planetary formation and evolution.

Tim Grove is a geologist interested in the processes that have led to the chemical evolution of the Earth and other planets including the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and meteorite parent bodies.  His approach to understanding planetary differentiation is to combine field, petrologic, and geochemical studies of igneous rocks with high pressure, high temperature experimental petrology. On Earth his research focuses on mantle melting and subsequent crustal-level magma differentiation at both mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones. For mid-ocean ridges, he is interested in the influence of mantle convection and lithospheric cooling on melt generation and modification.  In subduction zone environments, he is interested in understanding the critical role of H2O on melting and differentiation processes.  On the Moon, his work focuses on understanding the chemical differentiation of the early lunar magma ocean and the subsequent remelting of its cumulates to create lunar mare basalts.  He applies his experimental approach to meteorites from the earliest formed planetesimals in our Solar System to understand the melting and chemical differentiation processes that occurred in these asteroidal bodies.

Grove is recognized for his contributions to understanding magma generation on Earth, other planets, and early-formed planetesimals. He is known particularly for his ability to combine exquisite and difficult petrologic experimentation with fieldwork; and, his creativity in driving thought on generation mechanisms of magmas in new directions. He is highly regarded for his work on the role of water in magma genesis. Grove was born in York, Pennsylvania and grew up in York and Hagerstown, Maryland. He graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado with a degree in Geology in 1971 and from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in Geology in 1976. He was a post-doctoral fellow in planetary sciences at Stony Brook University from 1976 to 1979. In 1979 he took up a faculty position at MIT.  He served as President of the American Geophysical Union from 2008 – 2010.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2018 • Harry H. Hess Medal, American Geophysical Union
  • 2014 • Asteroid (9276) Timgrove, International Astronomical Union
  • 2014 • Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2014 • V. M. Goldschmidt Award, Geochemical Society
  • 2008 • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences