Seismology and Geodynamics. My group studies the structure of the earth’s interior, from crust to core. We want to understand its heat and material flows, which move slowly on a human timescale, but vigorously on geological time scales. These flows drive the motions of tectonic plates, formation of oceans, volcanism, and continental tectonics -- surface observables that we link to 3-D images of mantle structure at depth.
Our primary tool is seismic tomography, an imaging technique that computes three-dimensional models of the earth’s interior. Essentially, it maps out the anomalously hot, cold, or dense regions that drive convection in the mantle. We specialize in cutting-edge methods for waveform inversion. PhD projects would typically advance the techniques of seismic tomography, and/or apply these tools to new, rapidly growing data sets. We also do field experiments that contribute to global data acquisition networks of the seismological community, including novel recordings on the ocean bottom.
Linking our findings to neighbouring fields (plate reconstructions, field geology, geodynamic modelling) is the ultimate challenge and a source of great intellectual excitement. Whether you are mathematically and computationally minded, or attracted by the range of connections that seismology makes across the solid-earth disciplines -- do get in touch if you'd like to learn more.
Follow this link to current DPhil topics in Earth Sciences
Experience & Qualifications
PhD in Geosciences, Princeton University, 2008.
12 years as an assistant/associate/full professor, University of Oxford & University of Munich