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Thorsten Becker

Professor of Earth Sciences

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-8365
Office: ZHS 269

Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website


Ph.D. Geophysics, Harvard University, 2002
M.S. Physics, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, 1997

Postdoctoral Training

Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Post-doctoral scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, 2002-2004  

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 2012-  
Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 2009-2012  
Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 2004-2009  

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Visiting Professor, Universita di Roma TRE, 2012  
Visiting Associate Professor, University of Tokyo, Fall 2010   
Visiting Fellow, Princeton University, Spring 2008   

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

As a geophysicist, my main research interests are in geodynamics and seismology with focus on the interactions between mantle convection, surface geology, and Earth evolution. My group integrates a broad range of geological, geophysical, and geochemical data into quantitative models 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.

Honors and Awards

Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, American Geophysical Union, 2015-  
Astor Visiting Lectureship, Oxford University, Spring 2014   
Alexander von Humbolt Fellowship Recipient, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Fall 2013   
NIH/NSF Career Development Award, NSF Geophysics, 2007-2012  
Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2007-2009  
Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Tectonics, 2007-2008   
C. F. Gauss lecturer, German Geophysical Society, European Geosciences Meeting, 2007-2008   
Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Scholarship, 2002-2004  
Certificate of Excellence in Teaching, Derek Bok Center, Harvard University, 2001  
Haereus prize for Physics students in the state of Hesse, 1997-1998   
Siedler Award, Best M.Sc. Thesis in Physics, Frankfurt University, 1997  

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Senior editor, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2009-  
Editor, Geophysical Journal International, 2004-2009  
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