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Kanani K.M. Lee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Physics Department of Science
Dr. Kanani K.M. Lee Dr. Lee studies the physical and chemical properties of planetary materials including, but not limited to, the crystal structures and phase diagrams at high-pressure and -temperature conditions. The knowledge of materials at deep interior conditions is key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Earth and planets in general. This, in turn, gives us insight in to how a planet’s habitability, or lack thereof, evolves. Techniques used include laser-heated diamond-anvil cells, electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Rietveld analysis, focused ion beam, electron discharge machining, optical and infrared spectroscopies.

Dr. Lee is actively involved in international scientific societies such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and American Physical Society (APS). She is currently the president of the Study of Earth’s Deep Interior (SEDI) section at AGU.


  • BS, Physics, 1999, University of San Francisco
  • PhD, Geophysics, 2003, University of California, Berkeley

Professional Appointments

  • Adjunct Associate Professor, 2020-present, Department of Earth & Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • Research Physicist, 2019-2022, Physics Division, Physical & Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Associate or Assistant Professor, 2008-2019, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University
  • Assistant Professor, 2006-2008, Department of Physics, New Mexico State University

Contact Information

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