Dr Tim Craig

Dr Tim Craig


I completed my PhD at the Bullard Laboratories in University of Cambridge in 2013, on the topic of Constraining Lithosphere Rheology using Earthquake Seismology. This work focused on the separate projects: the seismicity and lithospheric structure of Africa (particularly along the East African Rift System), rare deep earthquakes beneath the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau and their relationship to the thermal evolution of India as it underthrusts Tibet, and the seismicity and deformation associated with the flexure of oceanic plates just prior to subduction, in outer rises.

Following this, I spent two years working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratoire de Geologie at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris on a number of topics related to continental deformation. These years were funded by a fellowship from ENS (Year 1) and through the French Investment Program SINAPS project (Year 2), supported by the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique and the Institute de Radioprotection et Sûreté Nucléaire. My time in Paris was spent investigating the cases of rare intraplate earthquakes in North America and Europe, the factors controlling their distribution in space and time, how these earthquakes relate to the concept of a 'seismic cycle' in plate interiors, and how they may reflect the interplay between tectonic and Earth-surface processes.

In 2015, I joined the University of Leeds, working as an Independent Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, within the Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics. My work during this fellowship focused on multidisciplinary studies of earthquakes and tectonics, principally in intraplate settings. In November 2018, I became a Royal Society University Research Fellow, remaining at the University of Leeds.  This fellowship is focused on looking at the time-variable behaviour of fault systems, and the the seismicity associated with then, particularly as a result of shorter term (ie., human-observable) external processes, both those related to other tectonic processes, and those from non-tectonic sources. 

Currently, my work ranges from investigating the seismicity associated with deformation in shallow subducting slabs, to the interaction between tectonic and non-tectonic processes, and how this may impact on seismicity.

Research interests

I work on a range of problems relating to intraplate earthquakes and tectonics, using a combination of earthquake seismology, tectonic geodesy, and geodynamic modelling.

Awards and Fellowships:

  • EGU Geodynamics Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award (2022).
  • Bullerwell Lectureship from the British Geophysical Association (2022).
  • Winton Award (Geophysics) for Early Career Progression from the Royal Astronomical Society (2019).
  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2018 - onwards).
  • Independent Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (2015 - 2018).
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship from the École normale supérieure (2013 - 2014).
  • Girdler Doctoral Scholarship from the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (2009 - 2013).
  • Harkness Prize for excellence in Earth Sciences from the University of Cambridge (MSci, 2009).


  • 2023: “The seismicity of subducting slabs and their seismic potential”, Fellowship Renewal from the Royal Society.
  • 2022: “Mapping the coupling properties of the subduction megathrust using seismic data”, Research Grant from the Leverhulme Trust.
  • 2018: "Temporal evolution of intraslab seismicity", Fellows' Enhancement Award funding from the Royal Society.
  • 2018: “Time-varying behaviour of fault systems and seismicity”, five years Fellowship funding from the Royal Society.
  • 2015: “Investigating deformation in shallow subducting slabs”, three years Fellowship funding from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
  • 2014: ”Influence of climatic unloading/loading of the lithosphere on the seismicity of the French metropolitan territory”, one year postdoctoral funding by the French Investment Program SINAPS.

Available Opportunities:

  • I will be recruiting a both PhD student and a PDRA to work on intraslab seismicity in 2024/2025, funded by the Royal Society.
  • Prospective graduate students are always welcome to contact me.  For potential applications, most of my projects are advertised through the Panorama DTP website.  
  • Postdoctoral researchers thinking of applying for Fellowship funding to work at Leeds in seismology, geodynamics, or tectonics are also welcome to contact me.
  • I often supervise summer research internships for undergraduate students interested in geophysics research.  If you’re interested, contact me for details of any upcoming opportunities.

Research Group:

  • Postdoctoral Researchers:
    • Dr. Francesco Rappisi (2023 – present).
    • Dr. Sam Wimpenny (2022 – 2023).  Now a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Crustal Processes at the University of Bristol, UK.
    • Dr. Ben Fernando (2022).  Now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, USA.
    • Dr. Iris van Zelst (2020 – 2021).  Now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
  • Graduate Students:
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Geophysics, University of Cambridge
  • MSci, Geological Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • BA (Hons), Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Professional memberships

  • Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes and Tectonics (COMET Scientist, 2019 - present; Associate Member, 2015 - 2019).
  • European Geosciences Union (2014 - present).
  • American Geophysical Union (2012 - present).

Student education

I currently teach on modules in tectonophysics and current research on the Geophysics undergraduate programme, as well as supervising research projects for the Geophysics undergraduate programme, and the Exploration Geophysics and Structural Geology with Geophysics MSc courses.

Research groups and institutes

  • Geodynamics and Tectonics
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>