Dr Chris Davies

Dr Chris Davies


Positions held:

  • 04/2018–Present Associate Professor in Theoretical Geophysics, University of Leeds, UK
  • 01/2015–Present NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
  • 04/2014–12/2014 Green Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography San Diego, USA
  • 04/2011–03/2014 NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
  • 01/2010–03/2011 Green Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography San Diego, USA
  • 06/2009–12/2009 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leeds, UK


  • 2014: Winton Capital Award (G) of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) of the United Kingdom
  • 2016: Doornbos Memorial Prize of the Committee on Studies of the Earth’s Deep Interior (SEDI)

Research interests

My research is focused on understanding the dynamics and evolution of Earth’s deep interior. I am particularly interested in the generation of Earth’s magnetic field by fluid motion in its electrically conducting outer core and the manner in which this process is controlled by the overlying mantle and the solid inner core. To this end, I design theoretical and numerical models that describe the thermodynamic evolution of the core-mantle system and the fluid dynamics of magnetic field generation.

I have applied these models to analyse fluid dynamic processes that arise from couplings between the fluid and solid cores and the mantle, constrain properties of the deep Earth that are not directly observable (such as the core-mantle boundary heat flow and the age of the inner core) and to interpret geophysical data.

Topics associated with these research themes are:

  1. Geodynamo theory
  2. Convection
  3. Thermal history of the Earth
  4. Core-mantle interactions
  5. Numerical methods
  6. High-performance computing

I am currently offering the following PhD student projects: 

  • Iron snow in planetary cores: http://www.nercdtp.leeds.ac.uk/projects/index.php?id=831 
  • Predicting the next global geomagnetic reversal using machine learning: http://www.nercdtp.leeds.ac.uk/projects/index.php?id=836
  • How hot is the bottom of Earth's mantle: http://www.nercdtp.leeds.ac.uk/projects/index.php?id=832

I currently advise the following PhD students:

  • Jenny Wong (with Chris Jones in the School of Mathematics)
  • Sam Greenwood (with Jon Mound in School of Earth and Environment)
  • Rob Long (with Jon Mound in School of Earth and Environment and Steve Tobias in the School of Mathematics)
  • Andrew Clarke (with Daniel Ruprecht in the School of Mechanical Engineering and Steve Tobias in the School of Mathematics)
  • Maeve Murphy Quinlan (with Andrew Walker, Jason Harvey, Jon Mound and Thomas Mueller)
<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 Leeds
  • MSc, Computational Fluid Dynamics, University of Leeds
  • BSc, Computer Science, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

Student education

I contribute to the Global Geophysics module. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Deep Earth
  • Geodynamics and Tectonics
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Planetary Exploration

Current postgraduate research students

<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://environment.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>