Thorsten W. Becker
Shell Foundation Distinguished Chair in Geophysics

Institute for Geophysics & Department of Geological Sciences
Jackson School of Geosciences
Faculty Associate, Oden Institute for
Computational Engineering & Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin


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Thorsten Becker holds the Shell Foundation Distinguished Chair in Geophysics at the Jackson School of Geosciences and is a faculty associate of the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering & Sciences at UT Austin. His main research interests are in geodynamics and seismology, focusing on how planets' interior and surface systems have co-evolved. He has worked on more than 135 publications and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

His team integrates field, laboratory, analog, and numerical approaches into geodynamical models, focusing on the physics of plate tectonics, from grain-scale deformation to earthquakes and global mantle flow. They are always looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students to join their team, exploring how terrestrial planets work and evolve.

Becker's teaching interests include Natural Hazards, Geodynamics, Physics of the Deep Earth, and Numerical Modeling of Earth Systems. He currently chairs the Standing Committee on Solid Earth Geophysics, and is a member of the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources, at the National Academy of Sciences. His other service commitments include a near decade stint as Editor in Chief of AGU's Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and currently as an editor for AGU Advances.

Thorsten has a Diplom in Physics from Frankfurt University, a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Harvard, and was the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Post-doctoral Scholar at Scripps, UC San Diego.


Updated: September 17, 2021.