About Pupa Gilbert
Pupa Gilbert is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and an amateur surrealist painter. She is a physicist with passionate loves for biology, geoscience, materials science and modern art.
Gilbert studied at the Sapienza University of Rome, and worked as a staff scientist at the Italian National Research Council and at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne until she joined the University of Wisconsin in 1999.
Her research focuses on biominerals, including coral skeletons, tooth enamel, nacre, and sea urchin spines. She studies them with spectromicroscopy methods at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, where she explores the complex structures of biominerals, and their formation mechanisms.
Gilbert has won several awards for research, teaching and writing, including the UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011, the Radcliffe Fellowship 2014-15, and the David A. Shirley Award in 2018. She lives in Madison and Berkeley with her husband Ben.