Alexis Berg

Research Associate
McColl Group


Alexis Berg ( is a Research Associate in Prof. Kaighin McColl's group. He is an Earth System scientist whose research interests focus on land-climate interactions, land surface hydrology and global ecosystems. His research relies primarily on the analysis of climate model simulations and global observational datasets. On-going research focuses on understanding the coupled responses of the continental water cycle, land ecosystems and climate to greenhouse warming.

Alexis Berg obtained his PhD in 2011 from Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris, France), working at the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL).


Hao Cao

Research Associate
Bloxham Group
The overarching goal of my research is to understand the interior structure, dynamics, and evolution of planetary bodies. My research recognizes and emphasizes that understanding planetary magnetic fields is essential for understanding the host planets.  My research experience encompasses space magnetometer data analysis, analytical and numerical magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) modeling of planetary dynamos, and theoretical calculation of planetary gravity fields. I am a Cassini Participating Scientist, a member of the Cassini magnetometer (MAG) team, a member of the Juno Interior Working Group, and a Co-Investigator of the JUICE MAG team. Currently I am deriving the interior structures and dynamics of Saturn and Jupiter employing magnetic fields measurements from the Cassini Grand Finale and Juno.

Shiliu Chen

Research Fellow
McColl Group
Shiliu Chen is a Ph.D candidate in Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Tsinghua University (where he obtained his undergraduate degree) and now a visiting student in McColl group. His research interests focus on the land-atmosphere interactions in the context of climate change. He aims to address the following questions: How terrestrial vegetation responses to climate change? And how these changes affect land surface hydrology? His research is primarily based on satellite products, ground observations and process-based models. Currently, he is working with Kaighin on evapotranspiration modeling and estimating.  

Gong Cheng

Research Associate
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.

Daniel W,E. Green

Daniel W. E. Green

Daniel Green is Director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and he is involved in research of small bodies of the solar system — particularly comets and meteors, but also minor planets.  He collects and archives/publishes data on comets from observers around the world, and these data are published in the International Comet Quarterly (the world’s largest journal devoted solely to comets, which he edits) and posted at the Cometary Science Archive on its computers at EPS.  He also directs the acquisition of CCD images of comets on a nightly basis using telescopes in Tibet, and those images are analyzed, measured, and archived; searching for new comets and near-earth asteroids.  He is a member of the International Astronomical Union’s 13-member Committee on Small Body Nomenclature, which approves names for comets and minor planets (including trans-Neptunian objects) and their satellites.  He is a member of Harvard’s Origins program, with an interest in how observational data of comets can help in the study of their origins and in the origins of the solar system.  Green obtained his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Durham (U.K.), his thesis focusing on analysis of old astronomical data in the historical literature using modern techniques, to extend our archive of useful data by centuries.

Sai Krishna Katla

Research Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute
Sai Krishna Katla earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), India in 2011. After graduating, he pursued postdoctoral research in Nanofabrication and Nanomaterials group at the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), a Synchrotron Light Source at the Louisiana State University (LSU). His research at LSU was part of the Center for Atomic-Level Catalyst Design, a DOE sponsored Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). During this period, his research focused on (i) Application of atomically precise gold nanoclusters in catalysis and magnetism, (ii) Application of millifluidics-based lab-on-a-chip devices for synthesis and in situ time-resolved characterization of nanomaterials. Later, he worked on electrocatalytic applications of nanomaterials as a Research Scientist from 2014 to 2015 in the 3D-Nanostructuring group at Institute of Physics & Institute of Micro- and Nanotechnologies (IMN), Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany. Further, he worked on photothermal application of atomically precise gold nanoclusters as a Research Scientist - Associate and later as a Lecturer at The University of Texas at El Paso from 2015 to 2018. He is currently working on chemical computing and other problems associated with the creation of chemical artificial life as a Research Associate in Pérez-Mercader group.

Konstantin Latychev

Research Associate

Since receiving my PhD from the University of Toronto in 2000. I joined Prof. Jerry Mitrovica's group in Canada. After he left for Harvard, the collaboration continued and I became his Harvard group member in October 2017. The focus of my research is on development and application of numerical tools to examine problems related to the ice age geodynamics: visco-elastic deformation, sea level change, tidal response, Earth rotation, stress and gravity field calculation. Generally, we are trying to understand how Earth (or similarly structured planets) would respond to surface and/or potential forcing, given a loading history and an assumed visco-elastic structure, particularly three-dimensional, heterogeneous viscosity, as may be inferred from e.g. seismic tomography. Other important 3-D effects which we include in the models are variations in the lithospheric thickness, plate boundaries, slabs, low viscosity wedges, etc. This list is open-ended. The results are ultimately compared to observables, such as sea level markers or present-day deformation rates, available from satellite measuremets. We can, for example, provide a correction for the glacial isostatic adjustment contribution or assess the impact of a 3-D structure on such predictions, since conventional, radially stratified models are handled in a much more efficient way. The 3-D models require an excessive computer power, even for the forward problem. Currently, the simulations are performed on the Odyssey cluster (Harvard) with a finite volume MPI code, developed in Toronto in the early 2000-s. The latter is an ongoing project, including coding, maintenance, consulting and working with interested researchers on improvements. As a side product, this development has stimulated a strong interest in interpolation techniques and adaprive grid generation.

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Brad Lipovsky

Brad Lipovsky

Research Associate and Principal Investigator

Brad Lipovsky is an Earth Scientist who primarily studies glaciology, tectonics, and volcanology using geophysical observations, mathematical physics, and numerical simulations. On-going research focuses on the physics of the glacier-atmosphere, glacier-bed, and glacier-ocean interfaces.


Zhitu Ma

Research Associate
Denolle Group

I am a computational and observational seismologist. My primary research interests include: 1) measuring both the elastic and an-elastic property of the Earth’s lithosphere/asthenosphere system 2) understanding the thermal evolution of the oceanic lithosphere and 3) modeling ground motions from potentially damaging earthquakes by using ambient seismic wave fields

Juan Perez-Mercader

Juan Perez-Mercader

Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator

Juan Pérez-Mercader earned his Ph.D. from the City College of New York. He is an Elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 in Association with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, he founded Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) of which he was its first Director. He is the architect of Spain's current participation with infrastructure and instrumentation on board Mars Science Laboratory that arrived on Mars in August 2012. He is Profesor de Investigación in Spain's National Research Council (CSIC) and an External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. In 2010, he joined Harvard as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the university's Origins of Life Initiative, where he leads a project on the "Top-down Synthesis of an Ex-novo Chemical Artificial Living System".

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Fatemeh Sedaghatpour

Fatemeh Sedaghatpour

Research Associate/Scientist
Jacobsen Group

Fatemeh Sedaghatpour has received her PhD in Space and Planetary Sciences from Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas in 2013. She has joined Professor Stein Jacobsen’s group as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2013 and promoted to Research Associate in June 2016. Her research involves stable isotope cosmochemistry to study the early solar system, origin and evolution of planetary bodies. Her current research is focused on Mg and Ca stable isotope systems in lunar samples and meteorites samples using high precision isotopic analyses to have a better understanding of the Moon’s origin and evolution, and investigate the planetary formation processes.