Research Team


Our research team benefits from the exchange of ideas and information from collaborators around the world. Graduate and Undergraduate students use analytical and numerical models to solve problems of earthquake rupture and comparisons with time-averaged deformation, fault-magma interaction, magma and volatile generation and migration, plate rheology, and their implications to society. Applied research links to geothermal energy exploration and exploitation and geohazards. Below is a list of current and past research students, and their destinations.  Photos above include Carolina Hurtado-Pulido, Martin Musila, recent grads Sam Hilburn and Sophie Aber, and colleague Kevin Reece, Eddie Arzabala packing solar panels; Garrett Sullivan and Martin cleaning gear; Cirus Kalugana, Emily Kraus, and Garrett in Kigali; Recent grad Sarah Jaye Oliva (COVID delayed graduation); collaborator Dr Lydia Olaka (Tech Univ Kenya) and recent graduate from SE Kenya Univ Mercy Lodeya; collaborator Tite Niyitegeka and Cirus in Rwanda; Cindy, Jean Paul Hagumimana and collaborator Aline Uwasempabuka.    

Postgraduate Students (1990- 2022)

Jean Paul Hagumimana, MSc candidate EAIFR and Tulane grad student. 

Cirus Kalugana, PhD candidate. Completing MSc in geophysics at East Africa Institute for Fundamental Research.

Eduardo Arzabala, PhD candidate.  Geomechanics and machine learning/AI in seafloor imaging. 

Garrett Sullivan, MSc candidate.  Analyses of fault kinematics and linkage between three en echelon rift sectors in the Turkana Depression. 

Martin Musila, PhD candidate, working on thermal-mechanical properties of lithosphere and their influence on strain patterns in the Turkana Depression; geothermal prospects in the EAR. AGU Tectonophysics best poster presentation, AGU 2020. 

Carolina Pulido Hurtado, PhD candidate. Co-advised by Reda Amer.  Analyses of coastal and anthropogenic subsidence using differential lidar and InSAR, with well data. 

Sarah Jaye Oliva, PhD 2020. ICTP Diploma 2015.  ** GeoPRISMS Poster Presentation Honorable Mention, AGU 2016.  Vokes Fellowship, Tulane University.  Now at University of Victoria, BC. 

Gabrielle Tepp, PhD 2016. Volcano-seismology.  Mendenhall Research Fellow, Alaska Volcano Observatory. Now at Southern California Earthquake Center. 

Luis Navarrete, MSc, 2015  Crustal structure of NE N America from constrained models of gravity and magnetic data. Geotechnical industry. 

Hubert Zal, MSc, 2014.  Kinematics and Dynamics of the Kivu Rift System from Seismic Anisotropy, Seismicity, and Structural Analyses.  U. Wellington (New Zealand) PhD program.

Manahloh Belachew,  PhD, April, 2012.  U of Rochester commended thesis, Science Faculty Prize; AGU Seismology section, best student presentation, 2012. Lecturer, Oklahoma State University  

Dustin Coté, MSc, 2011, Volcano-seismicity patterns in Afar and Galapagos.

Derek Keir, PhD, Royal Holloway 2006, Seismicity in a rift at the transition from continental to oceanic rifting, 2006.  Lecturer, University of Southampton; Jason Morgan Early Career Award (AGU), Bullerwell Lecturer.

        Ian Bastow, PhD, Leeds University 2005 (co-advisor).  Senior Lecturer at Imperial University. 

        Philip Ball, PhD, Royal Holloway, 2005.  Exploration geologist.  

Wolfenden, Ellen, Evolution of the southern Red Sea rift:  Birth of a magmatic margin, PhD thesis, U of London, August, 2003.  Head of science and mathematics, Bristol school system.

El Sheikh, Amr – Extensional fault array development in the southern North Sea and the East African rift system in northern Tanzania, MPhil, Royal Holloway, U of London, 2003. Consulting engineering geologist.

deMiranda, Jefferson V., Structure and evolution of the Takutu basin, Brazil, PhD thesis, University of     Leeds, December, 1998.  Chief Geologist,  Anglo American, Brazil.

King, Trevor, Mechanisms of isostatic compensation in areas of lithospheric extension: Examples from Greece, PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 1998. Exxon-Mobil Upstream Lab.

Vidotti, Roberta, Structure and evolution of the Parana and Paranaiba basins, Brazil, PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 1997.  Professor, University of Brasilia.

Foster, Adrian, The seismicity and tectonics of Africa, PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1997. Project manager at Exxon-Mobil, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK.

Tadesse, Ketsela, Reflection seismic data processing and interpretation from the Ogaden basin, Ethiopia, MPhil thesis, University of Leeds, 1996.  Director, Petroleum Unit, Ethiopia.

Hayward, Nick, A quantitative comparison of oceanic and continental rift segmentation, PhD thesis,       University of Leeds, 1996.  Data Scientist, Total International.

Ranganai, Rubeni, Geophysical investigations of the granite-greenstone terrain, south-central    Zimbabwe Archaean craton, PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 1995. Lecturer, U of Botswana.

Sahil, Ahmed, Integration of gravity and seismic data from the Murzuk basin, Libya, MPhil thesis,            U of Leeds, 1995. Senior Geophysicist, Libyan Petroleum Development and Research.

Mugisha, Frank, Processing and interpretation of seismic and gravity data from the Kerio and northern Malawi rifts, Africa, MSc by Res., U of Leeds, 1994. Senior Geophysicist, Uganda Geology Survey.

Upcott, Nigel, Structural segmentation of continental rifts as seen from ship and land gravity data:          Examples from E. Africa, PhD thesis, U of Leeds, 1994.  Science teacher.

Ibrahim, A. E., Interpretation of gravity and magnetic data from the Central African Rift System, Sudan, PhD thesis, U of Leeds, 1993. 

Mukasa, Rogers, Estimates of basin depth beneath rift basins in western Uganda and eastern Zaire,        MSc Res. thesis, U of Leeds, 1993.  Working in private industry.

Young, Carolyn, Tectonic evolution of the southern African passive margin, PhD, U of Leeds, 1992.

Nnange, Joseph, Crustal structure of the Cameroon volcanic line and Foumban shear zone based on       gravity and aeromagnetic data, PhD thesis, U of Leeds, 1991.  Senior Geophysicist, IRGM, Cameroon.

Mbede, Evelyne,  Evolution of the Rukwa-Malawi rift, Tanzania, TU Berlin (co-advisor).  Director of Science and Technology, Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Tanzania; Professor and Department Chair, Geology, University of Dar-es-Salaam.

New Orleans Science and Technology High School Interns

  • Jeysi Guillen – 2019
  • Makiyah Cormick – 2018
  • Chaz Clark  -2017
  • Sidney Pierre – 2017

Undergraduate Research Students and Research Assistants

Zach Hom – Tulane.  Seismicity patterns in the Kivu rift. 

Sophie Aber – Tulane.  Research assistant. Episodes of dike-assisted rifting in 2019 within the northern Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

Hayden Holcomb –  Senior thesis, Tulane.  Eastern Levant region synthetic aperture sonar image analyses for AI. 

Emily Kraus – Tulane.  Seismicity patterns in East Africa and NW Louisiana

Owen Williamson – Tulane. Stress inversion of earthquake source mechanisms

Josie James-Le – Tulane.  Statistical analyses of earthquakes from Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. 

        Samantha Hilburn – Tulane.  Senior Honors thesis, 2021.  SKS-splitting patterns along the Gulf of Mexico            passive margin, and implications for lithospheric evolution. 

Samia Sabir – Tulane.  Waveform cross-correlation and precise relocation 

Mario Z Ruiz –  Universidad de La Plata, Argentina – David Simpson international REU award.  Time-varying ambient noise tomography, nefore, during, and after Sierra Negra volcanic eruption

Derrick Murekezi – (U of Rochester) Kinematics of rifting in northern Taupo volcanic line REU 2018

Carrie Leibensperger – Tulane. Earthquakes in the Whakatane graben, New Zealand

Connor Drooff – Senior thesis;  Kinematics of rifting, Lake Tanganyika

Amy Eisenstadt – Senior thesis; Salt run-off to Genesee River

Alexander Weinstein, Senior thesis; Kinematics of rifting in Tanzania

        Ulrik Soderstrom,  Plate flexure beneath African volcanoes

        Roy Hadfield (College of Wooster) Double-difference earthquake  locations REU 2016

James Bourke (SUNY Binghamton), Crustal velocity models REU 2016

Korin Carpenter, Inverse models of potential field data

Michael Aman, Independent study in earthquake seismology; PhD student, UTIG

Shelby Corning, earthquake studies

Connor Drooff, earthquake focal mechanisms studies + Tanzania fieldwork

Katherine Peterson, Senior thesis;  Malawi rift earthquake location studies; Now MSc student U. Iowa

Dan Diaz-Etchevehere, GIS and potential field studies

Julie Dib, independent study in GIS

Avery Palardy, international REU – Tanzania seismicity project; Boston Univ MSc

Catherine Lambert, Senior thesis, high honors;  NSF PhD Fellow 2015 Cornell PhD program

Luis Navarrete, Senior thesis, high honors

Carrie Gulvin, Independent study; MSc student at U Wyoming

Hannah Lyons, Independent study

Alanna Scheinerman, Senior thesis, honors

Brian Castro, Senior thesis, honors; Geophysicist at Geometrics

Hubert Zal, Senior thesis, high honors

Lindsey Davidge, SCEC REU, Senior thesis, highest honors

Eli Witkin, REU, Fluids during early rifting

Jewell Case – Senior thesis, high honors, MSc student, U. Montana

Megan O’Connor – REU, Galapagos research, Senior thesis, high honors; MSc ESF Syracuse

Maura Rapkin – research, Senior thesis, honors

Dan Shorrock – Senior thesis, honors

Dayna Jacob, research 

Nate Lindsey – REU, Galapagos field expedition, Fulbright Fellowship, NSF PhD Fellowship 2015 for studies at UC Berkeley

Carolyn van Alstyne, Senior thesis, high honors, co-author on research paper in press in Geol. Soc. London

Caitlin Smigelski, research, participated in Galapagos field expedition

Clyde Brown, research  

Alex Aronovitz,  Senior thesis, high honors; 

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