Dr Zoe Mildon
Associate Professor in Earth Sciences
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
- Natural disasters
- Plate tectonics
- Women in science
Email email@example.com to enquire.
I have been at the University of Plymouth since 2018 as an academic member of staff teaching on the geology programmes. My research is focussed on understanding tectonics, active faulting and earthquakes, particularly focussing on earthquake dynamics and interaction.
Since February 2021, I am UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and my project is "Quake4D - building physics-based, geologically-rich models for investigating earthquake interaction and seismic hazard", which will run for the next 4 years. This project will combine high-quality geological data with start-of-the-art computer simulations to generate a new approach to simulating synthetic earthquakes and quantifying seismic hazard.
Roles on external bodies
Associate editor for Basin Research, 2021 - present.
Topical editor on Structural Geology and Tectonics for Solid Earth EGU journal, 2020 – present.
Early Career Representation for the Tectonics Studies Group (a Specialist Group of the Geological Society of London) 2020 - present.
Scientific Officer for Tectonics and Structural Geology division, European Geosciences Union, 2019 - present.
The Quake4D project is funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of their Future Leaders Fellowship funding
Earthquake slip on the Mt Vettore fault from the 2016 central Italian earthquake sequence
I teach on the following modules:
My PhD research focussed on the central Apennines of Italy, which is one of the most seismically active areas in Europe. I used a combination of structural geology, numerical modelling and geochemistry to investigate historical earthquakes, fault interaction and earthquake dynamics. During my PhD, I spent 4 months in Japan (as part of my JSPS fellowship), hosted by Proj Shinji Toda, developing a new approach to modelling Coulomb stress changes resulting from earthquakes.
My Future Leaders Fellowship builds on the research from my PhD and the understanding I have developing of the natural variability of faults and earthquakes. The motivation for my project is that seismic hazard assessment is currently reliant on present-day measurements of slip rate and historical records of past earthquakes. However, recurrence times of large earthquakes often exceed the available historical record, and slip rates vary through time, which makes the current approach to seismic hazard assessment flawed. To rectify this, as it is not possible to gain more historic observational data, we must instead make use of simulations of synthetic earthquakes. Quake4D will be a geologically-rich physics-based fault model and produce a synthetic catalogue of earthquakes by simulating every stage of the earthquake cycle over many millennia. This synthetic model will be validated against data from natural fault systems and used to extract information that is pertinent to probabilistic seismic hazard assessment. This will drive a step-change in our understanding of the variability of earthquakes over time.
I have also worked on earthquakes in the UK (Hicks et al., 2019), faults in California (Hughes et al., 2020) and earthquakes in Japan (Toda et al., 2016).
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
I currently supervise one PhD student:
Manuel Diercks (primary supervisor): Fault interaction and seismic hazard in Western Turkey
Grants & contracts
October 2020: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship 2021 – 2025. Project title “Quake4D - building physics-based, geologically-rich models for investigating earthquake interaction and seismic hazard”. Value £1.4million
May 2018: Geological Society (Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust and Mike Coward Fund) funding to conduct 1 week of fieldwork in the central Apennines of Italy, September 2018. Value £1,220.
August 2015: JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Short-Term Fellowship, February to June 2016. Four months at International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan, working with Prof.Shinji Toda (who co-wrote Coulomb 3.4, USGS program). Value £8,500.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Reports & invited lectures
March 2021: Halstead lecture "Earthquake chasing around the world", Geologists Association
December 2020: American Geophysical Union annual conference. "
October 2020: Geological Society of America Annual Conference. “Linking field data, stress modelling and cosmogenic analyses to understand fault interaction and historical earthquakes in the Italian Apennines”
January 2020: Imperial College seminar "Lessons learnt from past earthquakes in Italy on seismic hazard and continental deformation"
January 2020: Invited speaker for 2020 Hokudan International Symposium on Active Faulting, Awaji Island, Japan
September 2019: Participant for "Hydro-geological Hazards and Resilient Urban Growth" UK-China workshop (funded by the British Council/Newton Fund), one week in Xi'an, China
July 2019: Invited speaker at International Nathiagali Summer College Advances in Geophysics, Islamabad, Pakistan
January 2021: Tectonics Studies Group Annual Conference 2021 (virtual conference)
Other academic activities
Selected outreach/public engagement activities:
Interviewed for “Deadly Disasters – Earthquakes” program, produced by CIC media. To be released in 2020/2021.
Girls into Geoscience, organised workshops on "predicting" earthquakes, 2018 - 2020
Speaker for Geohazards day, organised by University of Plymouth and aimed at A-level students. 2019 and 2021.
Interviewed live on the BBC World News Channel about Fuego volcanic eruption in Guatemala, June 2018.
Exhibitor at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition with a stand entitled “Explosive Earth”, September 2016.
2020: Halstead Award for early career researchers, Geologists Association, cash prize £500.
2016: JpGU Student Outstanding Presentation Award, May 2016. Title “How variable normal fault geometry affects fault interaction and stress transfer, using examples from the Italian Apennines”.
2013: BGA Postgraduate Talk, 2nd prize. September 2013. Talk title “Non-double-couple earthquakes in Krafla volcano, Iceland”
2012: Paleontological Association Prize: Awarded to the highest palaeontology mark amongst third year undergraduates, University of Cambridge.