Thorsten Becker

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About Thorsten

Thorsten Becker is the Shell Distinguished Chair in Geophysics at the Institute for Geophysics and the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. His main research interests are in geodynamics and seismology with a focus on interactions between mantle convection and surface tectonics—studying the inner workings of terrestrial planets and how their mantle and surface systems have co-evolved over time. He combines field, laboratory, and numerical approaches into dynamical models, focusing on the physics of plate tectonics from grain-scale deformation to plate-scale flow. Recent research projects include work on seismic anisotropy, mantle heat transport and the mechanics of plate tectonics, subduction dynamics, and fault system mechanics. He has co-authored more than 120 publications and was named an AGU Fellow in 2015. Dr. Becker holds an M.Sc. in physics from J. W. Goethe University, a Ph.D. in geophysics from Harvard University, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.