Participant Introductions

Attending the Community Meeting? Reply to this topic to introduce yourself.

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Hi there – I’m Wolfgang Bangerth.

16 or 17 years after the first one I attended (as a postdoc at the time), I’m still looking forward to these meetings. In the meantime, I’ve been one of the two founders and now one of several maintainers and principal developers of the ASPECT code (the Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth ConvecTion). We had intended this to be a code with which to experiment with numerical techniques for the simulation of mantle convection, but it’s since grown to be a code that has incorporated many other features such as tracking chemical compositions, grain sizes, and it has incorporated many advanced rheologies including those that are relevant for long-term tectonics simulation of crustal behavior.

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Hello. I’m Sarah Stamps, an assistant professor of geophysics at Virginia Tech ( My students and I are interested in several scientific processes that center on plate tectonic theory, and more recently, the influence of dynamic topography on vertical land motions. With respect to CIG, my group uses PyLith to study volcano-tectonic interactions (Josh Jones, PhD student attending) and ASPECT to study melt generation in the asthenosphere and upper mantle dynamics (Emmanuel Njinju, PhD student attending), and continental rifting in East Africa and Madagascar (Tahiry Rajaonarison, PhD student attending). We also have developed a new functionality in ASPECT to read remote data with a URL (see Neumiller et al. poster). In addition to modeling, we use GNSS/GPS to measure surface motions and non-CIG codes to investigate surface kinematics. Looking forward to the meeting!

Hello, I’m Tahiry Rajaonarison, a PhD candidate in Geophysics at Virginia Tech. I am interested in geodynamics of continental rifting in East Africa and Madagascar. My current research focus on using 3D thermo-mechanical modeling with ASPECT to elucidate the force balance driving the East African Rifting. I am looking forward to the meeting.

Hello. I’m Emmanuel Njinju, a PhD candidate in Geophysics under Sarah Stamps at Virginia Tech. My current research is focused on investigating sublithospheric melt generation and upper mantle dynamics beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province in East Africa. My future work will focus on investigating intracontinental magmatism by developing models of melt generation and migration in the lithosphere. I look forward to a great meeting.

Hi - I’m John Naliboff, an assistant professor of geophysics at New Mexico Tech. Prior to working at New Mexico Tech, I was project and research scientist at CIG for nearly 5 years. At CIG I primarily focused on development and application of ASPECT for tectonic problems, and was also involved in the Long-Term Tectonics working group and organization of multiple community meetings and training workshops. My research group currently works on a wide range of computational tectonics problems, with an emphasis toward 3D fault evolution and now two-phase fluid transport. I’m also interested and involved in community efforts towards new numerical benchmarks, visualization and data analysis techniques, and undergraduate research and curriculum. Generally, I’m excited about nearly all of CIG efforts towards open-source software and science, and am excited to hear the ideas being presented over the coming days!

I’m John Hernlund, a Vice Director and Professor of the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. I’ve been following CIG closely since its inception, when I was a grad student at UCLA (I attended an early planning meeting at a hotel near LAX, and also subsequent planning meetings). CIG generously helped to fund a workshop convened by Dave Stegman and I at Scripps about a decade ago, which we called GLADE (Geodynamics of the Lithosphere and Deep Earth). A few years ago my institute convened a computational school and we flew several CIG hackers to Tokyo to teach us about their excellent software tools. A former post-doc and current PhD student of mine work with CIG software.

Today I’ll give a talk, and I’m very much open to follow-up dialogue with others. 20 minutes is very short to cover a lot of ground, but I’ll do my best. Also, the workshop will begin at midnight for me, so I may not be able to follow throughout the day (I’ll try). In any case, I will check back here in this forum to continue the discussion, please ping me and I’ll respond. If you’d rather contact me directly, my e-mail is

Hello everyone, my name is Joshua Jones and I am a 5th year Ph.D student at Virginia Tech working in the Geodesy and Tectonophysics Lab. My research primarily focuses on investigating and modeling volcano tectonic interactions in active rift systems. In my current project, I am using the CIG software PyLith to model the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai in northern Tanzania. Excited to see other projects ongoing in the CIG community over the next few days.

Hi there,
My name is Laurent Montesi. I’m a professor in the department of Geology at the University of Maryland. I actually participated in some of the pre-CIG discussion and sat on the SSC of CIG-I from 2006 to 2009!

My interests are in tectonic and volcanic processes in planetary lithosphere, and yes, the Earth is a planet. I certainly spend a lot of time thinking about our planet’s lithosphere but also that of Mars, Venus, icy satellites, etc. I describe my work as theoretical. It can be numerical in nature, but the fun for me is in much simplified analyses and the comparison with observations. I work a lot on ductile shear zone formation, rock rheology, the migration of magma (which can be liquid water in icy satellites), and using tectonic and volcanic features to constrain planetary evolution. In my “free” time, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

In this meeting, I will be giving a keynote talk on long-term tectonics on Thursday and today you will hear an idea talk I prepared on creating “extroverted geodynamics!”

I look forward to interacting with all of you during this community workshop.


Hi Uncle John!

Hi! I’m Katie Cooper, assoc prof at WSU and a member of the CIG Executive Committee.

Hi Emmanuel! Welcome!

Hello - I am Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni

I am a professor in the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences department at UCLA, which I joined in 2018 after many years in the UK and Michigan. My interests range from the structure of the mantle and the thermodynamics to model it to the impact of dynamic topography on landscape evolution. I am very supportive of what CIG has achieved over the years for the community.

I’m Jonathan Perry-Houts, currently a postdoc with CIG working on stabilization of solvers for nonlinear multi-phase flows. I’m particularly interested in unconventional processes that drive epeirogeny, like dynamic topography, chemical density changes, crustal flow, delamination, etc.

I will be facilitating some minor parts of the community meeting, and I am happy to help with technical issues during the workshop. Feel free to contact me if you’re having trouble posting or responding on the forum.

I look forward to interacting with many of you over the next few days.

Hi all!

I am Joyce Sim. I started as a research scientist at Georgia Tech this fall. I work on melt transport in the ductile mantle using two phase numerical model (TerraFERMA), particularly at tectonic boundaries such as mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones. Excited to learn about what others in the CIG community are working on and for the future of CIG! Looking forward to meeting everyone!


Hi, I’m Clint Conrad,
I’m a professor at the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, at the University of Oslo.
I am interested in the dynamics of Earth’s mantle interior, and its interaction with the surface environment (e.g., landforms, volcanism, sea level, climate, etc.).
I was on the organizing committee for this workshop.

I am Cedric Thieulot, assistant professor in computational geodynamics at the Utrecht University. I became aware of and started using ASPECT in 2012. I have been involved in the Long-Term Tectonics working group of CIG.

Hi - I’m Philip Maechling
I am a scientific software developer currently working at the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) where I develop open-source scientific software used in ground motion simulation and modeling. On my recent projects, I am developing software that provides access to seismic velocity models and regional fault models. I have previous work experience in commercial software development, and I am interested in developing and applying good software development practices to our geoscientific software development projects. I believe software development, and software developers, are critical to advancing many geophysical research areas, and I am interested in establishing software development as a viable career path in the sciences for both PhD’s and non-PhD’s.

Here is the Deep Interior Zoom link:

Hi Katie!