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GIA Welcomes Its First Postdoctoral Associate to New York Lab

Feb 5, 2014 2:39 PM   By GIA
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Press Release: Continuing its decades-long history of advanced gemological research and education, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has selected its first associate in the Richard T. Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research program. Participants in the program will examine fundamental issues related to diamonds, colored stones, pearls and instrument development; each position will be tailored to focus on the associate’s expertise and interest. The prestigious research position is named in honor of Richard T. Liddicoat, GIA’s former president widely considered the “Father of Modern Gemology.” The Institute’s first postdoctoral associate – Dr. Karen Smit – began her tenure at the New York laboratory on February 3.

“The postdoctoral program enhances GIA’s research initiatives by pairing the Institute’s experienced researchers and gemologists with highly motivated academic researchers who have obtained their Ph.D. in a scientific field,” said Dr. Wuyi Wang, GIA’s director of research and development. “This program will afford the research associates access to GIA’s fully-equipped laboratories for their studies. Dr. Smit’s research will help advance our understanding of the science of gems and gem formation, expanding our ability to serve both the global public and the international gem and jewelry industry.” 

Smit obtained her Ph.D. in the diamond research group at the University of Alberta in Canada and gained experience using geochemical and isotopic techniques to research the origin of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle and its diamonds. In addition to three peer-reviewed publications, she has experience working in field mapping in Greenland and as a geologist in Tanzania. Smit also holds degrees from the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch, both in South Africa.

Research associate appointments continue for one full calendar year and may be extended upon request. The positions are fully funded; GIA will also facilitate access to outside research facilities. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in a related scientific field, preferably obtained within the past three years. For more information and for additional applicant requirements, visit

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Tags: Gemological Institute of America, GIA, laboratory, new york
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