Professor Phil Livermore

Professor Phil Livermore


I joined the University in 2009 as a NERC advanced fellow, and during 2018-2022 served as the director of the institute of Geophysics and Tectonics. I am broadly interested in inverse theory and modelling techniques applied to geophysical problems. My main area of scientific expertise is geomagnetism and the dynamics of Earth's core.

Previous to my current position at Leeds, I obtained my PhD from the then School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds in 2004, and then undertook postdoctoral research positions at the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, at the University of California, San Diego and at ETH, Zurich.


  • LIDA environment theme lead

Research interests

Earth's magnetic field is a fundamental characteristic of our planet - important both for navigation and in protecting the surface from harmful radiation. Occasionally it undergoes global reverses; an article I co-wrote for The Conversation can be found here.   It is generated within the liquid core of our planet, by a process termed the 'geodynamo'. Observations of both how the surface magnetic field is structured and how these structures change over time help constrain the geodynamo mechanism which is hidden from view. My interests include

  • Numerical and theoretical models of the geodynamo
  • Waves and the fluid dynamics of Earth’s fluid core
  • Predicting the Earth's internal magnetic field and its impact on space weather.
  • Analysing change in the ancient magnetic field.

More broadly, I am interested in numerical modelling, machine learning and inverse theory.

I am a member of the deep-Earth research group and the Scientific machine learning group.


A compendium of Galerkin polynomials can be found here.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Astonomical Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union

Student education

I teach undergraduate Mathematics and masters level Computational Inverse theory.

Research groups and institutes

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

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>