Dr Andy Nowacki

Dr Andy Nowacki


I am a seismologist interested in global and local seismic phenomena which allow us to understand better how the Earth works, including how the interior of the Earth moves around, where and how molten material is created, and the history of our planet.

My experience includes the observation and modelling of the effects of seismic anisotropy—the variation of properties with direction—to infer deformation, encompassing mineral physics, seismic wave propagation and geodynamics. I am also interested in microseismicity in rift settings (Ethiopia and Iceland) and shallow reservoirs (geothermal and petroleum), and how earthquakes occur in the Earth's transition zone.

I am currently a Lecturer in Geophsics, and I am also an associate fellow in the ‘Volatile Legacy of the Earth’ consortium within the NERC ‘Deep Volatiles’ programme, and an associate within ‘COMET’.

Employment history

  • Lecturer, University of Leeds (2018–)
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2015–2018)
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Bristol (2012–2015)
  • PhD, University of Bristol (2008–2012)

Current projects

Postdoctoral researchers

I currently advise Corinna Roy on the project ‘REMIS’.

PhD projects

Future projects

I am currently interested in supervising PhD projects in the areas of:

  • Global seismic observations and modelling of mantle flow and deep mantle processes
  • Automated microseismic event detection and location
  • Transition zone observation and modelling
  • Volcanic, geothermal and petroleum reservoir imaging, especially using seismic anisotropy

Current PhD students

  • Jamie Ward – Seismic detection of hidden primordial regions in the Earth’s lowermost mantle (with Sebastian Rost and Mike Thorne, Utah)
  • Itahisa González Álvarez – Towards an understanding of Earth's structure: the development of adaptive optics approaches for seismology (co-supervising with Sebastian Rost)
  • Andrew Pretorius – Machine learning and fibre-optic sensing of seismic signals in glaciers (co-supervising with Adam Booth, Sjoerd de Ridder)


  • Head of Deep Earth Research Group
  • Secretary of the British Geophysical Association
<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>

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Deep Earth
  • Geodynamics and Tectonics
  • Volcanology
  • Applied Geophysics
  • 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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>