Estella Atekwana is a Regents Professor, the Clyde Wheeler Sun Chair Professor of Hydrogeology and the Head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology. She is a geophysicist with interests in both near-surface geophysics and continental dynamics. She is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the development of Biogeophysics as a sub-discipline in the field of Geophysics. Her biogeophysics research has resulted in a major paradigm shift in the field of geophysics with the recognition that microorganisms play an important role in altering sub-surface physical properties. Biogeophysics research has important implications for the search for life in extreme environments and other planets. Biogeophysics can also be used to assess the activity of bacteria during microbial enhanced oil recovery (using bacteria to help recover heavy oil in reservoirs), assess the integrity of biofilm barriers used for cleaning up contaminated sites and for sealing reservoirs for CO2 sequestration. Her biogeophysics research has won several best paper awards at international conferences. In addition to the biogeophysics research, she is also recognized for her work on incipient continental rift systems with the end goal of understanding how continents break up forming new ocean basins. To this end, she, her students and collaborators have been investigating young rift basins within the East African Rift System in order to elucidate the geodynamic processes that control rift initiation. She has conducted international field based research in several countries including Turkey, Egypt, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. In 2011 she received the OSU Regents Distinguished Research Award and in 2009 the OSU’s International Education Faculty Excellence Award. Dr. Atekwana has advised 32 graduate students in addition to three postdoctoral research fellows.