Post-Doctoral Fellows


Benjamin Chauvin

Post-Doctoral Fellow

I work on mechanics-based structural restoration. Restoration consists in recovering paleo-geometries of geological structures through time. Restoration has many applications: knowledge of the paleo-structures, strain/stress quantification, determination of fracture areas, validation of structural interpretations, etc. Several methods have been being developed since the beginning of the previous century, first based on geometrical and kinematic assumptions, and more recently on geomechanical rules.

My work consists in developing a restoration software based on geomechanics and in applying it on geological case studies. The tool I am developing is RINGMecha ( The final aims are to determine the validity of this restoration method for geomechanical analysis, and to compare it to other restoration methods.


Gong Cheng

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Dr. Gong Cheng is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Juan Pérez-Mercader at Rowland Institute at Harvard, Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science. After graduation, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Pennsylvania State University. He moved to Harvard in Dec. 2017. His research interests focus on the design of innovative materials and technology for application in biomedicine and synthetic biology. Currently, his research topic in EPS at Harvard is to explore the origin of life from the chemical and materials perspective. More specifically, construction of an artificial cell or cell-like compartment to explain the formation of protocell and decode the origin of life.


Brent Delbridge

Post-Doctoral Fellow

My research focuses on developing new tools and constraints to evaluate mathematical models of physical processes and Earth structures. I am currently working to develop new theoretical and observational frameworks to utilize the information about earthquake source processes and Earth structure contained within long-period recordings of seismic energy. 

Geo Museum 202a
Felix Elling

Felix Elling

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Felix is a microbial biogeochemist studying the lipid "fingerprints" of archaea and bacteria ‒ microorganisms that control the cycling of elements such as carbon and nitrogen on our planet. His research focuses on reconciling microbiological lab experiments with geochemical observations from the modern ocean to improve the application of microbial lipids for the reconstruction of past environments.... Read more about Felix Elling


Jordon Hemingway

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Johnston Group

I’m interested in connections between the geologic and biospheric carbon cycles. Specifically, my work aims to understand how processes occurring in river basins transfer carbon between these two cycles in order to regulate atmospheric CO2 concentrations over geologic timescales. To do so, I combine a suite of isotope geochemistry techniques (including compound-specific isotope measurements and novel reaction monitoring methods) with inverse models, satellite products, and geospatial analysis. My current projects include analysis of multi-year time-series samples from the Ganges-Brahmaputra and Congo Rivers, high-frequency samples from mountainous rivers in Taiwan, isotope analysis of bacteriohopanepolyols in continental shelf sediments, and development of the Ramped PyrOx radiocarbon instrument. I'm additionally working on reconstructing the mechanisms that control Cenozoic CO2 variability using inverse modeling methods.


Mark Hoggard

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Mitrovica Group

I am interested in understanding the impacts of mantle convection on geological processes at the Earth’s surface. Hot, upwelling plumes and cold, sinking slabs deflect both the gravity field and surface topography. This transient vertical motion is known as dynamic topography, which has typical amplitudes of ±1 km, varies laterally on 1,000 km lengthscales, and evolves over million year timescales.

Dynamic topography is therefore highly relevant to a diverse field of geologists. Ongoing research has so far explored important links to the formation of mountains and seaways, the morphology of river networks and sedimentary depocentres, and the generation and maturation of hydrocarbon and mineral deposits. These transient vertical motions also impact the pattern of oceanic circulation, the stability of ice sheets and evolution of the Earth’s climate.

Geological Museum 203C
Yuandu Hu

Yuandu Hu

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Yuandu Hu studied in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan China and earned his PhD in June 2013, majoring in Polymer Chemistry and Physics. He focused mainly on the fabrication of functional soft materials (e.g. shape controllable microgels and stimulus-responsive photonic crystal microparticles) by combining microfluidic techniques and self-assembly of colloidal particles together.  Prior to joining the Perez-Mercader group in September 2014, he spent one year in the University of Notre Dame in Indiana as a postdoctoral research associate. His work at Notre Dame dealt mainly with the fabrication of Janus microgel particles and self-propelling materials to mimic mircoorganisms' motion behavior. 


Chengxin Jiang

Post-Doctoral Associate
Denolle Group

My research focuses on advancing our understanding of Earth structure through seismic imaging using both ambient noise and earthquake data. With high-accuracy tomography models at both continental and local scales, my research is motivated by questions about tectonic processes at various tectonic settings, including sedimentary basins, fault zones, magmatic systems, and orogens. My other research interest includes using seismic interferometry to monitor subtle changes in basin aquifers and volcanos on societally relevant time scales. 

Geo Museum 210
Jenan Kharbush

Jenan Kharbush

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Pearson Group

Jenan is a microbial biogeochemist and oceanographer interested in the important connections between microbial ecology and marine biogeochemical cycling.

Originally from Wisconsin, Jenan obtained a B.A. in biology and chemistry from Ripon College in Ripon, WI. Subsequently she earned her PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, studying chemical oceanography in the lab of Dr. Lihini Aluwihare. Her thesis research focused on the use of molecular signatures to investigate microbial metabolic diversity and function in marine environments, and specifically targeted two important classes of microbial lipid biomarkers: bacterial hopanoids and intact polar diacylglycerols.... Read more about Jenan Kharbush


Mathieu Lapotre

John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow

Dr. Lapotre aims at unraveling the physics of sedimentary processes that shape the surfaces of terrestrial planets, including Earth, and ultimately, what their landforms and rocks tell us about past hydrology, climate, and habitability. Although he has broad interests across planetary bodies of our solar system and beyond, his work on planetary surface processes largely focuses on Earth and Mars. Three main goals of his research are to: (1) Further our mechanistic understanding of sedimentary and erosional processes on Earth, (2) explore how planetary conditions affect surface processes and their record in sedimentary rocks, and (3) constrain the paleohydrology, paleoclimate, and habitability of planets from physics-based interpretations of their sedimentary records.

Geological Museum Room 364
Photo of Harriet Lau

Harriet Lau

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows
Mitrovica Group

I am interested in understanding the large-scale properties of Earth, but in particular, the anelastic/viscous and buoyancy structure of the mantle. My work involves studying processes across different timescales, from solid earth tides (~ hours) to post-glacial rebound (~ 10,000 years), making sure that our theoretical understanding of these dissipative processes is consistent across this broad spectrum. With such a framework, observations may then be used to infer various material properties of the Earth, from the long-wavelength buoyancy structure of the deep mantle to the transient nature of Earth's rheology.

... Read more about Harriet Lau

Hoffman 106

Chiranjit Maiti

Post-Doctoral Fellow

I have a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry from Vidyasagar University, India and a Ph.D. degree in Polymer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) done under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Dibakar Dhara. After my Ph. D., I joined Prof. Perez-Mercader group at Harvard University in October 2018 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. My current research involves synthesis of self-replicating information-carrying polymers to implement various chemical information features necessary in the construction of fully artificial protocells.... Read more about Chiranjit Maiti

Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute
Drew Muscente

Drew Muscente

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Knoll Group

Before joining the Knoll Group, Drew received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from Virginia Tech. As a paleontologist and geobiologist, his work focuses on fossils of complex eukaryotes in the late Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic interval (~1000-450 Ma) of the geologic record. By studying the paleobiology and paleoenvironments of these fossils, his work aims to understand the rise of animal life and its impact on the Earth system.

... Read more about Drew Muscente