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Larry_TaylorLarry Taylor, known for his research on planetary rocks from the Moon, Mars, and asteroids, as well as terrestrial rocks and diamonds from deep within the Earth, has been elected an honorary fellow of the Russian Mineralogical Society and Russian Academy of Sciences.

He is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and director of the UT Planetary Geosciences Institute.

Russian colleagues, during a recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, honored Taylor in recognition of his scientific contributions to joint research with Russian mineralogists. The scientists hail from a number of Russian academy institutions in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Mirny—the home of ALROSA, the Russian Diamond Company.

Taylor studies meteorites and other space rocks. The return of the first Apollo samples from the moon played a major role in his research interests and funding. He was present at the Johnson Space Center in December 1972 for the Apollo 17 mission and advised astronauts during their moon walks—geologic fieldtrips.

Taylor is an expert in the nature and origin of natural diamonds, particularly those from northern Siberia. He researches diamonds formed hundreds of miles deep within the Earth’s mantle and their encapsulated mineral inclusions in an effort to address the origin of such rocks and extract secrets they hold about the deepest portions of the Earth.

In 2010, Taylor and Nikolai P. Pokhilenko, who directs diamond exploration in Russia, formed a collaborative agreement between the Russia Academy of Sciences, the Planetary Geosciences Institute and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The partnership, which involves the National Science Foundation, established an exchange program of young scientists between the Russian Academy of Sciences and UT.