Pupa Gilbert

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Pupa Gilbert
PupaGilbert (2).jpg
Born (1964-09-29) September 29, 1964 (age 57)
Alma materSapienza University of Rome
Known forbiomineralization, synchrotron spectromicroscopy
Awards2001 Knighthood of Italy, 2010 Fellow, American Physical Society,1997 "TOYP" Award (The Outstanding Young Persons of the world),2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (2015)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison

Pupa Gilbert is an American biophysicist and geobiologist. She has been pioneering synchrotron spectromicroscopy methods since 1989,[1][2][3] and she continues to use and develop them today. Since 2004 she has focused on biomineralization in sea urchins,[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] mollusk shells,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] and tunicates.[18] She and her group are frequent users of the Berkeley-Advanced Light Source.


She was born and raised in Rome, Italy; her previous name was Gelsomina De Stasio. She was a staff scientist at the Italian National Research Council (Istituto di Struttura della Materia) and at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. In 1999 she moved to the University of Wisconsin at Madison as a full professor in the Department of Physics. She has honorary appointments in the departments of Chemistry and Materials Science.

She is a Knight of her native Italy (2001), a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS-DCMP, 2010),[19] and a Radcliffe Fellow (2014-2015).[20] She was chair of the APS Division of Biological Physics (DBIO, 2010-2014), won many national and international awards including: Romnes 2002, Vilas 2006, Hamel 2008, and Chancellor Distinguished Teaching Award 2011[21] at UW-Madison; The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP-JCI, 1997), the American Competitiveness and Innovation Award (ACI-NSF, 2008); the Best University Research Award (DOE-BES-Geosciences, 2011), the Science-NSF Visualizations Challenge] (2012).[22][23]

She teaches Physics in the Arts, for which she wrote a textbook,[24] co-authored by Willy Haeberli and published by Academic Press-Elsevier (2008, 2011) and translated into Chinese (2011).


  • Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship, UW-Madison, 2018.
  • David A. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, Advanced Light Source, 2018.
  • Radcliffe Fellowship 2014-2015, Harvard University.
  • Winner of the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.
  • Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, UW-Madison (6 awards/year, selected among ~2000 professors at UW), January 2011, Award ceremony April 27th, 2011.
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Condensed Matter Physics (DCMP), November 2010.
  • Elected Chair of the Division of Biological Physics, American Physical Society (APS-DBIO), 2010-2014.
  • American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) fellowship 2008-2010, nominated (without Gilbert knowing about it) by the NSF program officer David Brant, and awarded by the NSF-Division of Materials Research.
  • George and Pamela Hamel Faculty Fellow, UW-Madison, 2008-2012.
  • Vilas Associate Award, UW-Madison, 2006-2007.
  • H. I. Romnes Award, UW-Madison, 2002.
  • Cavaliere della Repubblica (Knight of the Italian Republic), appointed by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 2000.
  • Gert Rempfer "New Millennium Guiding Light Award" 2000.
  • "TOYP" Award (The Outstanding Young Persons of the world) of the Junior Chamber International, Award for Scientific and Technological Development, selected among the winning candidates of 116 countries worldwide, 1997.
  • "TOYP Italia" (The Outstanding Young Persons of the world) of the Junior Chamber Italiana, Award for Scientific Development, 1997.


  1. ^ Gilbert, PUPA; Young, A; Coppersmith, SN (July 12, 2011). "Measurements of C-axis angular orientation in calcite(CaCO3)nanocrystals using x-ray absorption spectroscopy". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 108 (28): 11350–11355. Bibcode:2011PNAS..10811350G. doi:10.1073/pnas.1107917108. PMC 3136314. PMID 21693647.
  2. ^ Gilbert, PUPA (2012). "Polarization-dependent Imaging Contrast (PIC) mapping reveals nanocrystal orientation patterns in carbonate biominerals". Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena. 185 (10): 395–405. doi:10.1016/j.elspec.2012.06.001.
  3. ^ Gilbert, PUPA (2014). "Photoemission spectromicroscopy for the biomineralogist". Biomineralization Sourcebook. CRC netBase. CRC Press. p. 135. doi:10.1201/b16621-12. ISBN 978-1-4665-1835-3.
  4. ^ Politi, Y; Mezler, RA; Abrecht, M; Gilbert, B; Wilt, FH; Sagi, I; Addadi, L; Weiner, S; Gilbert, PUPA (2008). "Transformation mechanism of amorphous calcium carbonate into calcite in the sea urchin larval spicule". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105 (45): 17362–17366. Bibcode:2008PNAS..10517362P. doi:10.1073/pnas.0806604105. PMC 2582271. PMID 18987314.
  5. ^ Killian, CE; Metzler, RA; Gong, YT; Olson, IC; Aizenberg, J; Politi, Y; Wilt, FH; Scholl, A; Young, A; Doran, A; Kunz, M; Tamura, N; Coppersmith, SN; Gilbert, PUPA (2009). "The mechanism of calcite co-orientation in the sea urchin tooth". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 131 (51): 18404–18409. doi:10.1021/ja907063z. PMID 19954232.
  6. ^ MA, YR; Aichmayer, B; Paris, O; Fratzl, P; Meibom, A; Metzler, RA; Politi, Y; Addadi, L; Gilbert, PUPA; Weiner, S (2010). "The grinding tip of the sea urchin tooth exhibits exquisite control over calcite crystal orientation and Mg distribution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (15): 6048–6053. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.6048M. doi:10.1073/pnas.0810300106. PMC 2662956. PMID 19332795.
  7. ^ Radha, AV; Forbes, TZ; Killian, CE; Gilbert, PUPA; Navrotsky, A (2010). "Transformation and crystallization energetics of synthetic and biogenic amorphous calcium carbonate". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107 (38): 16438–16443. Bibcode:2010PNAS..10716438R. doi:10.1073/pnas.1009959107. PMC 2944757. PMID 20810918.
  8. ^ Killian, CE; Metzler, RA; Gong, YUT; Churchill, TH; Olson, IC; Trubetskov, V; Christensen, MB; Fournelle, JH; De Carlo, F; Cohen, S; Mahamid, J; Wilt, FH; Scholl, A; Young, A; Doran, A; Coppersmith, SN; Gilbert, PUPA (2011). "Self-sharpening mechanism of the sea urchin tooth". Advanced Functional Materials. 21 (4): 682–690. doi:10.1002/adfm.201001546.
  9. ^ Yang, L; Killian, CE; Kunz, M; Tamura, N; Gilbert, PUPA (2011). "Biomineral nanoparticles are space-filling". Nanoscale. 3 (2): 603–609. Bibcode:2011Nanos...3..603Y. doi:10.1039/c0nr00697a. PMID 21082124.
  10. ^ Gong, YUT; Killian, CE; Olson, IC; Appathurai, NP; Amasino, AL; Martin, MC; Holt, LJ; Wilt, FH; Gilbert, PUPA (2011). "Phase transitions in biogenic amorphous calcium carbonate". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (16): 6088–6093. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.6088G. doi:10.1073/pnas.1118085109. PMC 3341025. PMID 22492931.
  11. ^ Metzler, RA; Abrecht, M; Olabisi, RM; Ariosa, D; Johnson, CJ; Frazer, BH; Coppersmith, SN; Gilbert, PUPA (June 2007). "Architecture of columnar nacre, and implications for its formation mechanism". Physical Review Letters. 98 (26): 268102. Bibcode:2007PhRvL..98z8102M. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.268102. PMID 17678131. S2CID 6432287.
  12. ^ Gilbert, PUPA; Metzler, RA; Zhou, D; Scholl, A; Doran, A; Young, A; Kunz, M; Tamura, N; Coppersmith, SN (2008). "Gradual Ordering in Red Abalone Nacre". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130 (51): 17519–17527. doi:10.1021/ja8065495. PMID 19049281.
  13. ^ Metzler, RA; Zhou, D; Abrecht, M; Chiou, J-W; Guo, J; Ariosa, D; Coppersmith, SN; Gilbert, PUPA (2008). "Polarization-dependent imaging contrast in abalone shells". Physical Review B. 77 (6): 064110. Bibcode:2008PhRvB..77f4110M. doi:10.1103/physrevb.77.064110.
  14. ^ Metzler, RA; Evans, JS; Killian, CE; Zhou, D; Churchill, TH; Appathurai, NP; Coppersmith, SN; Gilbert, PUPA (2010). "Nacre protein fragment templates lamellar aragonite growth". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 132 (18): 6329–6334. doi:10.1021/ja909735y. PMID 20397648.
  15. ^ Olson, IC; Kozdon, R; Valley, JW; Gilbert, PUPA (2012). "Mollusk shell nacre ultrastructure correlates with environmental temperature and pressure". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 134 (17): 7351–7358. doi:10.1021/ja210808s. PMID 22313180.
  16. ^ Olson, IC; Metzler, RA; Tamura, N; Kunz, M; Killian, CE; Gilbert, PUPA (2013). "Crystal lattice tilting in prismatic calcite". Journal of Structural Biology. 183 (2): 180–190. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2013.06.006. PMID 23806677.
  17. ^ Olson, IC; Blonsky, AZ; Tamura, N; Kunz, M; Gilbert, PUPA (2013). "Crystal nucleation and near-epitaxial growth in nacre". Journal of Structural Biology. 184 (3): 454–463. arXiv:1301.6273. Bibcode:2013arXiv1301.6273O. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2013.10.002. PMID 24121160. S2CID 32128430.
  18. ^ Kabalah-Amitai, L; Mayzel, B; Kauffmann, Y; Fitch, AN; Bloch, L; Gilbert, PUPA; Pokroy, B (2013). "Vaterite crystals contain two interspersed crystal structures". Science. 340 (6131): 454–457. Bibcode:2013Sci...340..454K. doi:10.1126/science.1232139. PMID 23620047. S2CID 206546317.
  19. ^ "APS Fellowship".
  20. ^ "Fellows".
  21. ^ "Distinguished Teaching Awards - University of Wisconsin-Madison - Past Recipients". www.secfac.wisc.edu. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29.
  22. ^ "nsf.gov - Special Report - International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge". www.nsf.gov. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03.
  23. ^ Gilbert, PUPA; Killian, CE (2013). "Biomineral Single Crystals". Science. no.339: 510.
  24. ^ Gilbert, PUPA; Haeberli, W (2011). Physics in the Arts. Academic Press-Elsevier. ISBN 9780123918789.