Goodbyes and new faces in the G&G group

In the past few months there have been some changes to the G&G staff. We would like to congratulate Marianne Karplus, Casey Nixon and Mark Vardy on their new positions and we hope to stay working closely with them in their new roles. We would also like to welcome three new postdocs to the G&G group, Caroline Eakin, Louise Watremez and Leigh Marsh.

Staff summaries:

In January 2015, I started a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I was sorry to leave many friends and colleagues at the University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre and will maintain collaborations with many of them, especially the Geology and Geophysics Group working on the Sumatra and Galicia seismic projects. At UTEP, I will be acquiring new seismic equipment, supervising master’s and Ph.D. students, and initiating new active- and passive-source seismology research projects investigating lithospheric structure and large-scale tectonic processes. My first projects will look at crustal and upper mantle structure in North Tibet and Sumatra, and my research group will collect new seismic data soon in the Western U.S. and beyond. Feel free to email me at if you are interested in saying hello, collaborating, or more info about available M.S., Ph.D., or postdoc positions!

I was recently awarded a Vista Scholarship for 3 years from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters to work at the University of Bergen on “Topology of Normal Fault Networks in Rift Basins”.  The project aims to investigate and characterise normal fault networks in rift basins using novel topological concepts, and to examine the geological factors that control the evolution and spatial variation in network topology.  The proposed research will greatly improve topological analyses and understanding of fault network growth, development and connectivity, hence, greatly improve our knowledge of brittle deformation in the Earth’s Crust. As part of the project I will continue collaboration with Jon Bull, Dave Sanderson and Justin Dix, in the Geology and Geophysics Group, at the University of Southampton utilising the recently developed state-of-the-art high resolution 3D CHIRP system to image small-scale normal fault networks.”

My current primary research goal is to develop a better understanding of the rock physical relationships for completely saturated soils and therefore permit quantitative characterisation of the top c. 100 m sediment from marine geophysical data. Such quantitative imaging of the shallow subsurface has potential applications across a broad range of scientific problems, including: a range of marine engineering topics, such as submarine geohazards, scouring, and bed mobility; quantifying shallow gas saturation and fluid flow pathways; detailed lithostratigraphic mapping; and marine archaeological site investigation. As well as complimenting and building on research strengths in the Marine Geoscience Group at the National Oceanography Centre, these areas also dovetail with active areas of research within Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton. It is hoped this overlap in interests will permit strengthened collaborations on topics such as Carbon Capture and Storage as well as scour and bed layer mobility.

  • Name: Leigh Marsh
  • Post: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Deep-sea Marine Scientist)
  • Location: Geology and Geophysics Group, University of Southampton

As a deep-sea ecologist, I am interested in the distribution and abundance of deep-sea organisms, and the relationship between these organisms and the environment. Having completed my PhD at the University of Southampton in January 2013, I joined the Geology and Geophysics Group last November as a joint OES-MG research fellow. My research is a multidisciplinary science that relies on the expertise of both geoscientists and biologists with the aim to investigate the mechanisms that underlie community structure, composition and ecological dynamics, and how they are altered by anthropogenic impacts (e.g. mining, trawling) and environmental change (e.g. climate, natural hazards). The overall aim of my postdoctoral research is to underpin the responsible management of deep-sea ecosystems over different scales, based on integrating specialist ecological knowledge together with social, political and economic values. To achieve my broad aim, I hope to be working closely with members from the Geology and Geophysics Group, Marine Biology and Ecosystems Research Group and the NERC Seafloor and Habitat Mapping subgroup at NOCS.

  • Name: Caroline Eakin
  • Post: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Seismologist)
  • Location: Geology and Geophysics Group, University of Southampton

I’m an observational seismologist who just joined at the start of January as a joint OES-MG research fellow. I’m coming from Yale University where during my PhD I was investigating the dynamics of the Peruvian flat-slab subduction zone. I have strong research interests in seismic anisotropy, particularly in what it can tell us about plate tectonics and processes within the Earth’s interior. Over the course of the next two years I plan to apply these interests to studying seismic anisotropy over both long and short length scales, from the evolution of oceanic plates, to the role of fluids in the shallow marine subsurface.

  • Name: Louise Watremez
  • Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Geophysicist)
  • Location: University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre

My research interests include the study of rifting processes through the imaging of crustal features across rifted structures, using forward and inverse modelling of wide-angle refraction data. During my PhD (University of Paris 6, France), I studied the deep-structure and the evolution of the rifted margin of North-Eastern Gulf of Aden using seismic refraction data and thermo-mechanical modelling. Then, I spent 3 years as a post-doctoral fellow in the department of Oceanography of Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) where I studied the deep-structure of Orphan Basin, a failed rift located offshore the East coast of Canada, using a dense OBS survey. I am currently a research fellow in Southampton University, where I study the deep-structure of Porcupine Basin and focussing on determining the nature of the Porcupine Median Ridge.