Thorsten W. Becker
Shell Foundation Distinguished Chair in Geophysics

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


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Thorsten 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 is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, member of the Academia Europaea, recipient of the Humboldt Foundation's F. W. Bessel Award, IUGG's Evgueni Burov Medal, and the European Geoscience Union's Augustus Love Medal.

With his team, he 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 collaborative efforts, exploring how terrestrial planets work and evolve.

Becker's teaching interests include Geophysics, Natural Hazards, Geodynamics, Tectonics, deep Earth dynamics, and Numerical Modeling. He currently chairs the Standing Committee on Solid Earth Geophysics, and is a member of the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources, both at the National Academy of Sciences. His other service commitments include a near decade stint as Editor in Chief of AGU's journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and he currently serves as an editor for AGU Advances, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Board of GFZ Potsdam.

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, before his first faculty appointment at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where he served as Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor before moving to UT.


Updated: July 16, 2024.