Tarje Nissen-Meyer

Tarje Nissen-Meyer

Associate Professor of Geophysics
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 282149

I am a geophysicist at the Department of Earth Sciences, and a Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. I also am an adjunct scientist at Lamont-Doherty Observatory, Columbia University, New York (brief bio below).

My research is concerned with deciphering Earth’s interior from sedimentary basins to the core by means of seismic waves. Specific topics of interest include wave propagation in complex multi-scale structures, deep-Earth structure and dynamics, seismic tomography, numerical methods for PDEs and high-performance computing, inverse theory and adjoint methods, Bayesian inference, noise interferometry, exploration geophysics, the nature of seismic sources, seismic hazard and risk assessment. I have developed the axisymmetric spectral-element method AxiSEM which is used by various groups around the world, and have worked on a number of other methodologies including instaseis and syngine. Our software codes run on laptops as well as large supercomputers in the UK, Switzerland, USA, and Germany. My research touches upon aspects of geophysics, applied mathematics, continuum mechanics, optics, signal processing, statistics, medical imaging, optimisation theory, civil engineering, high-performance computing, complexity theory, psychology, as well as exploration, re-insurance, and hardware industries. I enjoy many such trans-disciplinary collaborations around the world and engage with the wider public and community. I coordinated the Solid-Earth Dynamics network of the Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing in Switzerland, and I am currently affiliated with Oxford Solid Mechanics, the European ITN network WAVES, the EU Cost action TIDES, and the Deep Volatiles consortium.

I have been teaching Seismology of the spherical Earth at ETH from 2010-2013. At Oxford, I teach Mathematics for Materials and Earth Sciences, Vector Calculus, Seismology and Earth Structure, and a reading seminar on Plate Tectonics and Mantle Convection. I have also taught international workshops and tutorials on numerical methods in Denmark, Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia and Alaska.

I warmly welcome interest in collaborations or joining our group (M.Sc. and term projects are available). Interested students should possess a strong background in applied mathematics, physics, engineering, programming and/or computer science and enthusiasm to delve into quantitative Earth Sciences. Please note that we do not offer any internship program, and we do not have any financial support for internships. More information about our group and opportunities is available here.

Brief Bio (detailed curriculum vitae including publications here):


2013-……….. Associate Professor of Geophysics, Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK
2013-……….. Adjunct Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Observatory, Columbia University, USA
2010-2013… Senior research scientist, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2008-2010… Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University, USA
2007-2008… Postdoctoral Scholar in Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, USA


2007………… Ph.D., Princeton University, USA
2001………… M.Sc, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany
1999………… Visiting student, McGill University, Canada


We perch so thin and fragile here upon the land
And the earth that moves beneath us, we don’t understand