Thorsten W. Becker

Jackson School of Geosciences
The University of Texas at Austin

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Some recent events:

  • First Joint International Earthquake Science Symposium at UTIG (02/2024)

  • Presentation on the role of subduction and deep mantle dynamics on surface deformation across the scales at CSDMS (05/2023)

    Becker, T.W., Behr, W.M., Brizzi, S., and Faccenna, C.: Subduction dynamics and surface-deep mantle interactions. Keynote presentation at the CSMDS meeting, Boulder CO, 2023.
  • Erin Heilman and Simone Puel graduation (05/2023)


  • Becker awarded EGU Love medal (04/2023)

    Truly honored to receive the Augustus Love Medal of EGU, and very thankful for all the help, support, mentoring, and collaboration over the years. Great to see at least a few of the team, colleagues, and mentors in person at EGU in Vienna!
  • Three most recent publications (see all publications)

    155 Straume, E. O., Steinberger, B., Becker, T. W., and Faccenna, C.: Impact of mantle convection and dynamic topography on the Cenozoic paleogeography of Central Eurasia and the West Siberian Seaway. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 630, 118615, 2024. PDF
    2023 154 Becker, T. W. and Fuchs, L.: Generation of evolving plate boundaries and toroidal flow from visco-plastic damage-rheology mantle convection and continents. G-Cubed, 24, e2023GC011179, doi:10.1029/2023GC011179, 2023. PDF
    153 Puel, S., Becker, T. W., Villa, U., Ghattas, O., and Liu, D.: An adjoint-based optimization method for jointly inverting heterogeneous material properties and fault slip from earthquake surface deformation data. Geophys. J. Int., doi:10.1093/gji/ggad442, 2023. PDF
  • Undergrad and graduate (Ph.D.) student research opportunities

    The University of Texas at Austin hosts an exciting and diverse community of researchers at the Jackson School of Geoscience, which includes the The Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS), and across the road, the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering & Sciences, all three units I am affiliated with. At UTIG, we are also colocated and collaborate with the Texas Advanced Computing Center, for example.

    We are always looking for motivated students with a keen interest in how the solid Earth works. Background are typically from the Earth sciences, physics, engineering, or computer science. Please take a look at some of our recent publications and projects such as the Megathrust Modeling Framework to give you an idea of current projects, but I like to try to support students who work independently and challenge and extend my expertise and interests.

    Please consider applying for our program should you be interested in pursuing a PhD in my research group, and see the JSG pages for admission procedures. A few comments:

    • There are two deadlines. For full consideration for Fellowships, the relevant deadline is the earlier one, December 1 each year.
    • The application form will ask about what support you want to be considered for. Select all. If admitted, we will cover tuition and a salary for five years. The latter will come from a mix of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and possibly fellowships.
    If you think this could be a match, please do reach out by email so that we can explore further, ideally a few months before the deadline.

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Updated: April 19, 2024. (c) Thorsten Becker, 1997-2024.