Nancy Ross, head of the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences, has been elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Fellowships are awarded in recognition of distinguished contributions to the geosciences.

Ross will be honored at a September annual meeting of the Geological Society of America to be held in Denver, Colorado. In its awarding the fellowship, the society cites Ross’ pioneering studies “of the atomic-level structures, physical properties, and stabilities of Earth materials under the extreme pressures and temperatures of Earth’s lower crust and mantle as well as of the thermodynamic properties of environmental nanoparticles and their interactions with water.”

Her research focuses on mineral physics and crystal chemistry. She also serves as co-director of the X-ray Crystallography Laboratory, located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center’s Integrated Life Sciences Building. She joined the Department of Geosciences, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, in 2000, and was named department head in 2012.

A Blacksburg native and Hokie alumnae, Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from Virginia Tech, a master’s of science in 1981 from the University of British Columbia, and a doctoral degree in 1985 from Arizona State University, all in geological sciences.

The Geological Society of America, according to its website, is a global professional society with more than 26,000 members from academic, government, business, and industry in 115 countries. “The Society unites thousands of earth scientists from every corner of the globe in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet, and beyond, and share scientific findings,” states the group’s mission statement.