Kimberly Tait receives Dorothy Killam Fellowship for research that spans two planets

March 16, 2023 by Chris Sasaki - A&S News

Kimberly Tait, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Science’s Department of Earth Sciences,senior curator of mineralogy at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Teck Chair of Mineralogy, has been selected for the Dorothy Killam Fellowship.

The two-year fellowship — previously the Killam Research Fellowships — is bestowed by the National Killam Program Office and the Killam Trusts to mid-career researchers of exceptional ability. It will be delivered through the ROM and will allow Tait to focus on her research by relieving her of teaching and administrative duties during that period.

In a position she describes as “the best of both worlds,” Tait works with students at U of T and, at the ROM, is responsible for the mineralogy, meteorite, gem and rock collections and oversees research on those collections.

Tait is working with an international team of experts from NASA and the European Space Agency in preparation for the return, in the mid-2030s, of rocks from Mars. And she is studying Martian meteorites, using novel techniques to understand how they are put together at the atomic level.

"I'm incredibly honoured to receive the 2023 Dorothy Killam Fellowship,” says Tait.

“I am in a unique position being employed by the Royal Ontario Museum, with an incredible collection to study and the public galleries to interact with the public, and then cross appointed at the University of Toronto in the Department of Earth Sciences where I get to teach and supervise students. I look forward to being able to delve further into a few projects with this Fellowship.”

The National Killam Celebration of Excellence event for the 2023 Killam Fellowship recipients will be held on May 17th, 2023, at the Museum of History in Gatineau, QC.