Many thanks to the Mineralogical Society of America for rewarding me with the Dana medal.

First, this is the moment to express gratitude. I thank Volkmar Trommsdorff, Alan Thompson, and John Holloway for their guidance during my Ph.D. In my experience, the school of thought imprinted during Master and Ph.D. theses remains highly influential in later years and I hope that my own way of supervising reflects the inspiration and generosity I have experienced. Next, I want to thank my 20 year long collaborators and friends, Stefano Poli and Daniel Vielzeuf, with whom I enjoyed co-authoring many papers, some of...

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