I am researching the thermo-chemical structure, dynamics and evolution of the interiors of solid planets and moons, including Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Io and extrasolar super-Earths, focusing particularly on convection in the solid mantle and the associated dynamics of the lithosphere, which on Earth means plate tectonics. My main research tool is numerical simulation, using state-of-the-art numerical methods on high performance (massively-parallel) supercomputers to obtain more realistic, three-dimensional numerical models of dynamical processes than previously possible. In recent years, I have become increasingly interested in planetary formation, and in terrestrial planets around other stars, particularly rocky planets; so-called “super-Earths”. By considering the coupled evolution of the atmosphere, solid interior and liquid core, an integrated theory of planetary evolution can be obtained.

Awards and Achievements

  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union