Stephen’s main research interests are focused on unravelling what happens when two titanic tectonic plates collide at a subduction zone. These plate boundaries have helped to give us life, but they have the power to take it away during damaging earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Stephen uses recordings of seismic waves from earthquakes to probe the complex 3-D subsurface in subduction zones and to understand the mechanics of large megathrust ruptures.
Prior to starting at Southampton, Stephen had a commercial role as a Global Client Relationship Manager at Güralp Systems Ltd, where his main role is to work with clients on large, complex projects such as ocean bottom seismometer observatories. He also led the launch of new state-of-the-art seismic hardware and worked to develop systems for earthquake early warning.
Stephen completed his PhD in Earthquake Seismology at the University of Liverpool, UK. His PhD thesis revealed how the ancient geological structure beneath the South America can still drive the rupture characteristics of modern-day large earthquakes. With co-authors, he also showed how possible ‘doublet’ earthquakes may be hidden from global monitoring networks. This finding may help to optimise tsunami warning systems in the future. From his PhD thesis, he published four papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, including one article in Nature Geoscience.
In 2009, Stephen spent a summer working at United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC). He also has experience in seismometer deployments and fieldwork across the globe.