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.

Kierstin Daviau

Kierstin Daviau

Post-doctoral Fellow
Fischer Group

My research is focused on understanding volatiles in planetary interiors, with a current focus on nitrogen and nitrogen-bearing phases. I use high-pressure and high-temperature experimental methods to recreate planetary interior conditions so as to study volatile-containing phases in-situ using a variety of analysis techniques. My work aims to better understand how volatiles are incorporated into planetary mantles (both in the Earth and in other planets), as well as how planetary interiors are connected to the surface atmosphere composition through outgassing processes.


Brent Delbridge

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Ishii Group

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
Tom Draper

Thomas Draper

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Thomas Draper completed both his BSc and MSc in Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK, focusing on catalysis and air-sensitive inorganic synthesis, with Professor Robin Bedford. He earned his PhD jointly under Dr John Turner and Dr Qiao Chen, at the University of Sussex, UK in 2016. His PhD, situated at the inorganic/physical border, involved air-sensitive organometallic synthesis, small molecule activation, heterogeneous photocatalysis, and nanotechnology. Afterwards he worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate under Professor Andrew Adamatzky at UWE Bristol, UK for 2.5 years, studying the creation, optimisation, and use in unconventional computing, of liquid marbles. He joined Dr Juan Pérez-Mercader’s group as a Post-doctoral Fellow in November 2019 on the “Top-down Synthesis of an Ex-novo Chemical Artificial Living System” project.


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

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

Ding Ma

Post-doctoral Fellow
Kuang Group


Ding Ma received his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. Advised by Prof.ZhimingKuang, his dissertation research investigated three dominant patterns of large-scale atmospheric variability, namely the South Asian monsoon, Madden-Julian Oscillation and the annular mode.Beforemoving back to Harvard, he was an Earth Institute Fellow at Columbia University, where he was working with Prof. Adam Sobel to explore extreme weather associated with large-scale variability. His work emphasizes a combination of observational analysis andnumerical modeling. Guided by observations, numerical experiments are designed and conducted to pursue a better theoretical understanding of the large-scale atmospheric variability in the past, present and future. The main goal of his work is to identify essentialphysical mechanisms governing the large-scale circulation variability.... Read more about Ding Ma

Geo Museum 404
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


Kurama Okubo

Post-Doctoral Fellow
My research interests include earthquake source mechanisms, energy budget of earthquakes and ground motion caused by dynamic earthquake ruptures.
Seismological observations bring a lot of information on the earthquake source and the structure of the Earth by comparing them to theoretical models, derived from solid mechanics. However, sometimes there are still discrepancies between the observations and theoretical models (e.g. high-frequency radiation in near-field), implying additional factors which conflict with the assumptions made in the models. My goal is to identify and quantify the factors using the state-of-the-art techniques (e.g. continuous observation of seismic wave velocity structure, physics-based dynamic earthquake rupture modeling), which enable us to better understand the source mechanisms, the overall energy budget and the consequent ground motion.
Samuel Pearce

Samuel Pearce

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Dr. Samuel Pearce is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Perez-Mercader group. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Bristol, UK in February 2019 under the supervision of Professor Ian Manners. His graduate studies focused on the synthesis of uniform 1D and 2D block copolymer nanostructures using solution-based self-assembly protocols. He then moved to Harvard University in November 2019. Samuel’s research interests broadly encompass innovative synthetic approaches involving materials chemistry and self-assembly, with a view for their application in fields such as nanoscience and origins of life research. His current research focuses on the development of adaptive polymerization-induced self-assembly systems, with the aim to construct artificial cell-like structures capable of responding spontaneously to changes in their environment.


Eszter Poros-Tacali

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute


Eszter Poros-Tarcali completed her PhD in the field of Nonlinear Chemical Dynamics under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Krisztina Kurin-Csorgei and Prof. Miklos Orban at Semmelweis University, Hungary, entitled: Design and Study of Novel Oscillatory Chemical Systems. Prior to joining Prof. Pérez-Mercader's group in November 2017 she worked as a postdoc research fellow at Eötvös University, Hungary. Her research topic includes application of oscillatory chemical reactions for investigating the origin of life.... Read more about Eszter Poros-Tacali