Feb 28 2022

1.  Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within the Department of Earth Sciences?

I joined the Department and Royal Holloway after postdocs at various institutions. While I am currently a research fellow, I have also been teaching on several undergraduate modules this year, including the planetary geology and geophysics option, and I am a third year tutor. I am also looking forward to going into the field with our first years in about a month, looking at the geology of Pembrokeshire!

2.  What projects are you currently working on and what are your research interests?

I am interested in using seismic waves to study the world around us. A lot of my research focuses on deep Earth structure and dynamics, which I study using observations of Earth’s music, the standing waves that arise after large magnitude earthquakes. At the moment we are working on 3D maps of the deep Earth that also come with uncertainties. I also am interested in characterising seismicity in urban settings, where the noise of our daily activities may be overshadowing any natural signals and will soon start a new project looking at the seismic signals of London.

3.  What inspired you to pursue a role in Earth Sciences?

I was always interested in physics, maths and chemistry, but I was never convinced I wanted to study one of those. When I was 16, I looked through a friend’s text book in school for their geography class and I got hooked by the pages on plate tectonics and volcanology. I love the fact that within Earth Sciences we get to combine our knowledge of chemistry, physics and biology to study the Earth and its systems.

4.  March marks Women’s History Month, including International Women’s Day which is celebrated on 8 March. What does this year’s theme of ‘#BreakTheBias’ mean to you for your subject area of expertise?

Unfortunately the geosciences are not very diverse, with several minorities underrepresented. This is due to a number of factors, including accessibility during field trips and representation or role models. In a first step towards positive change, we need to acknowledge and discuss these problems, before taking active steps to make the geosciences more inclusive.

5.  Which women in STEM, past or present, inspire you?

There are a large number of amazing women in STEM. In seismology, Inge Lehmann serves as an great role model. She was a Danish seismologist who self-taught herself seismology in a male-dominated world. She made several important discoveries, and is most known for discovering the Earth’s inner core. She also lived to the grand age of 104.