Graduate and Postdocs

  • Join our Group: [New! August 15, 2017] I will move to the University of Rochester next year, July 2018, to start up a Seismology and Computational Geophysics group in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. I am actively recruiting highly motivated Ph.D. students to join our team. Interested students need not have any prior programming experience. A keen interest in the team‘s research and a solid quantitative (mathematical and physical sciences) or computing background is highly valued. For more information on the Ph.D. program consult the University of Rochester’s graduate student handbookgraduate studies calendar, and other resources.
  • Diversity Philosophy: Our group believes that incorporating diversity into all aspects of education leads to a richer, more valuable experience for all our members. In partnership with the David T. Kearns Center at the University of Rochester, we will provide support to incoming students who are from under-represented populations. Our commitment as a group is to provide all members with the necessary academic mentoring, and an inclusive environment in the lab that will ensure they can navigate unique educational backgrounds, experiences, and cultural influences, as they adjust to the learning journey that is the Ph.D. education. See recommended resources and content in the library below.
  • Who we recruit: Interested Ph.D. students or Postdocs should contact me to discuss their interests further. Our group welcomes Masters students from the University of Rochester’s data science program who are looking for unique application areas in seismological data or image analysis (preferred concentration area: computational and statistical methods). There are exciting projects in applying parallel computing and Bayesian methods to extracting information from large quantities of seismological data (consult a list of projects in observational seismology,  journals in electronic seismologist, Seismological research letters, or IRIS products for a quick sampling of project ideas). Download the lab guide for students in our group (recommended courses, professional development and additional ethics for research success).
  • Things to consider: Before you apply, please make use of the resources at the end of this page to navigate the transition from undergraduate education: short-term goals, tight structure and guided problem-solving of course-work to the unfamiliar, loosely structured,  open-ended world of problem-solving in research and dissertation writing. In reaching out to me, I want to know the following:
    • What is your educational background? Why are you interested in pursuing a research career in the Earth Sciences? What problems do you like to solve? Which of the research questions would you like to explore? Is there any publication (on this website or elsewhere) that interests you? Why does it stand out? I am open to discussing joint advising opportunities on inter-disciplinary projects (e.g., see research by Professor Mauricio Ibanez-Mejia). I will consider applications for the academic year starting in Fall of 2018: see graduate studies calendar.


SAM_0107The ideal student should be looking to work on projects that provide exposure to methods and tools used by seismologists and computational geoscientists within the context of a larger scientific investigation. Students with strong quantitative and computational backgrounds1  would be the most productive at the start. A highly motivated student can also be trained pretty quickly on the relevant tools. Nothing can replace motivation and passion, which leads to productivity. This kind of student would quickly move onto working on a larger project with greater independence. This project would form the backbone of a senior thesis, conference presentation or scientific publication [lab alumni: Liam Shaughnessy, alumni: Julie Schnurr].

IRIS has paid internships (9-12 weeks) that can fund your research with the UMD seismology group (deadline for this year is Feb 1, 2016, a link for application details).


Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.
The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide To Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job
The Practice of Programming
An Introduction to Our Dynamic Planet
Data Analysis: A Bayesian Tutorial
Introduction to Seismology
Topics in Mathematical Modeling
Environmental Data Analysis with MATLAB
Geophysical Data Analysis: Discrete Inverse Theory
Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers
The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations & Books
How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing
The Elements of Style
A Student's Guide to Geophysical Equations
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
The Origin of Continents and Oceans
Origins: The Evolution of Continents, Oceans, and Life
The Excitement Of Science
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
  • How to be a successful Ph.D. student [1] [2][3][4*][5]
  • Lab Ethics and Research Success [1]
  • Grants and Financial Aid [1][2][3][4][5]
  • Ph.D. Diversity Scholarships [0][1][2]
  • Earth Science Big Ideas [1]
  • Hear from a geoscientist/seismologist [1][2][3][4]
  • Why science is fun by Feynman [1]
  • USArray: Geoscientists’  “Earth Telescope” [1] [2]
  • Resources on How to Use EarthScope USArray Data [1][2][3]
  • Internships and Post-Baccalaureates [1]
  • Career resources [1][2]

* Personalize for University of Rochester


  1. Keers, H., S. Rondenay, Y. Harlap, and I. Nordmo (2014), Resources for Computational Geophysics Courses, Eos, Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 95(37), 335–336, doi:10.1002/2014EO370006.
  2. IRIS USArray Data Processing and Analysis Short Course (2016), North Western University, Evanston, Illinois 
  3. Resources for Mentors: Hosting an IRIS Intern
  4. Scientifically Speaking: Tips for preparing and delivering scientific talks and visual aids [link]