Team Leader and Associate Professor
How did you become a Deep Earth Explorer?
As a child in the Netherlands, I thought being a seismologist might be boring as I thought you would mostly sit around waiting for earthquakes to happen... I went to do a degree in geology as I liked sciences, but wanted to do something applied and observational. The course required many weeks of camping each year, which was a big plus. In my second year I learnt that Earthquakes are happing all the time and got introduced to all the interesting things that could be observed with earthquake waves – this inspired me to start doing research in seismology!
What are you working on right now?
In my research I am looking at the source of the volcanism that created the Galapagos Islands 3000 km down inside the Earth! I also supervise a number of research students, teach courses, communicate our science, and write research proposals to do new scientific projects in the future.
What's the favourite thing about what you do?
The Earth only gives us limited clues as to what is stored and happening inside it. Sometimes it feels like the Earth has set up a treasure hunt for us! I like that my work feels like piecing together the different parts to the puzzle, and I get to do so with a great team.
Best fact about our planet?
The inner core is growing out of the outer core adding millions of kilograms of solid iron a second, which sounds shocking, but this only amounts to about a millimetre of growth in size each year.