I am passionate about public engagement, driven by a desire to share my research and spark an interest in STEM subjects in children. I use 3D printing to develop inclusive outreach materials (Koelemeijer & Winterbourne (2021)), I participate in university open days and outreach events (e.g. Royal Society Summer Exhibition Discovery Hub 2019) and write for The Conversation. I have also been interviewed for newspapers and radio (e.g. NY Times, El Pais, Wired, BBC Radio 4) about my own research and to comment on research by others, as detailed below.
- 2023: I helped to develop and narrated an animation about the Earth's Interior for BBC Ideas in partnership with the Royal Society
- 2022: Following the detection of surface waves on Mars, I was asked to comment on the Science article for the Dutch newspaper NRC
- 2022: I was interviewed for an article in the New Scientist about the two blobs in the deep mantle
- 2022: I was asked to comment on an article regarding deep learning for earthquake characterisation (MIT technology & review) and the Insight mission on Mars (Science news)
- 2021: Following the publication of our Perspective in Science about the interior of Mars, I was interviewed for articles in the New York Times, NRC (NL) and Trouw (NL). We also contributed an image to this BBC article.
- 2021: I was featured in a SSA At Work column of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) that showcases the careers of its members.
- 2020: Upon publication of our Science article on the global reduction of seismic noise due to COVID-19 governmental lockdown measures, I was interviewed by Temblor, Wired, EOS and MIT technology & review, with many other media across the world reporting on our study.
- 2020: The BBC reported on our new large grant project, awarded by NERC, which aims to constrain mantle circulation and upwellings in time and space.
- 2020: I participated in a virtual press conference (fragment from 21:45) during EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online, talking about my work on the landscape of the core-mantle boundary.
- 2020: I spoke to Callam & Jim for a Pint Of Science podcast about a range of seismological topics: from global seismology to anthropogenic seismic noise, from Marsquakes to Messiquakes and more!
- 2020: I was interviewed for the BBC Radio 4 Today programme (21/04/20) and appeared on the BBC World service Newsday programme (07/04/20), speaking about the reduction in seismic anthropogenic noise due to the COVID-19 governmental lockdowns. A short video explaining this graphically can be found online as well.
- 2020: I spoke to several journalists for articles in The Atlantic, the New York Times, Positive News and El Pais amongst others about the reduction in seismic anthropogenic noise due to the COVID-19 governmental lockdowns. Other media that featured some of my work include CNN, the Independent, Michigan News and Metro News.
- 2019: As part of the AGU 100 series on unresolved problems in Earth Sciences I was interviewed for an article on the blobs in the deep mantle.
- 2018: Several media including the Express, New York Times and CBC Radio reported on the Current Biology article discussing seismic vibrations of elephants, which I was a co-author on. The main authors also appeared on TEDWomen.
- 2017: Various media reported on my Nature Communications article on the density structure of the lowermost mantle, including The Daily Mail, The Independent and The Express.
Recording global and local seismic signals using a Raspberry Shake at home.
Written outreach articles
- 2020: Lockdown causes worldwide drop in seismic noise. RHUL Earth Sciences news.
- 2020: Coronavirus lockdown reduced seismic activity around the world. The Conversation.
- 2020: Coronavirus lockdowns are changing the vibrations of the Earth. RHUL Earth Sciences news.
- 2019: 3D printing the world. UCL Earth Sciences news.
- 2018: Curious kids: what would happen if the Earth's core went cold. The Conversation.
- 2017: Challenging core beliefs. University College Oxford, The Martlet, Autumn 2017.
- 2017: A giant lava lamp inside the Earth might be flipping the planet's magnetic field. The Conversation.
- 2017: Seismology in the deep mantle: a new structural interpretation. Oxford Earth Sciences news.
- 2013: Robert Stoneley and core-mantle boundary Stoneley modes. Pembroke College Cambridge Society, Annual Gazette, September 2013.
Futurum educational resources
I worked with Futurum to develop educational resources for schools about my research into the deep Earth. Besides producing an article discussing the landscapes in the deep Earth and general seismology, there is also an activity sheet for school teachers to use in lessons, and an animation will soon be added as well.
Besides discussing what my research involves, the article also offers guidance to young people who may be interested in exploring careers in Earth Sciences. The article was produced by Futurum Careers, a free online resource and magazine aimed at encouraging 14-19-year-olds worldwide to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEM). For more information, teaching resources, and course and career guides, see their website.
3D printing the world
Measurements and models of global geophysical parameters such as potential fields, seismic velocity models and dynamic / residual topography are well represented as traditional contoured and / or coloured maps. However, as teaching aids and for outreach, they offer little impact. Modern 3D printing techniques help to visualize these and other concepts that are difficult to grasp, such as the intangible structures in the deep Earth. Handling models of this type provokes new questions and draws attention to different features compared with 2D maps. These objects also make outreach and education more inclusive to the visually impaired and for students with learning difficulties.
We have developed a simple method for portraying scalar fields by 3D printing modified globes of surface topography, representing the parameter of interest as additional, exaggerated topography. This is particularly effective for long-wavelength (>500 km) fields. The workflow uses only open source and free-to-use software, and the resulting models print easily and effectively on a cheap desktop 3D-printer.Overview of a selection of 3D printed globes related to topics in the Earth Sciences.
Some of our most effective models are simply exaggerated planetary topography in 3D, including Earth, Mars and the Moon. The resulting globes provide a powerful way to explain the importance of plate tectonics in shaping a planet and linking surface features to deeper dynamic processes. In addition, we have applied our workflow to models of crustal thickness, dynamic topography, the geoid and seismic tomography. By analogy to Russian nesting dolls, the resulting “seismic matryoshkas” have multiple layers that can be removed by the audience to explore the structures present deep within our planet and learn about ongoing dynamic processes.
We have presented our 3D printed globes at the AGU Fall meeting 2018 (Winterbourne & Koelemeijer (2018)) and in an invited presentation at the AGU Fall meeting 2019 (Koelemeijer et al. (2019)). Our methodology is detailed in a Technology and Code contribution to a Special Research Topic on 3D printing in Frontiers in Earth Science (Koelemeijer & Winterbourne (2021)).
3D print designs are freely available and can be downloaded here.
I'm a Scientist, Stay at Home! 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I participated in the Physics Zone of I'm a Scientist, Stay at Home, chatting with school pupils about geology, seismology and general science.
Royal Holloway Science Festival 2020
For the Royal Holloway Science Festival, I designed and planned activities around seismology and the deep Earth, again featuring our 3D printed globes to explain plate tectonics, seismic tomography and the structure of the Earth. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Royal Society Lates Science Fiction 2020
Our 3D printed globes featured again during the Royal Society Lates opening on Science Fiction, and were used to talk about seismology and deep Earth structure. We also discussed what is science and what is fiction in works such as "Journey to the centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne, "The Core" and "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift".
Summer Science Exhibition Lates 2019
During the Summer Science Exhibition Lates Discovery Hub at the Royal Society, we explained the evolution of the Earth, seismic tomography, the importance of plate tectonics and other aspects of Earth Sciences using our 3D printed globes. Besides 3D printed globes, paper cutouts of Earth, Mars, Moon and the seismic landscapes were available to take away.Impression of activities during the Summer Science Exhibition Discovery Hub at the Royal Society.