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Mathematics and Statistics

Photo of Prof Tarje Nissen-Meyer

Prof Tarje Nissen-Meyer

Professor in Environmental Intelligence


Trained as a (geo-)physicist, my research interests span a wide range of wave phenomena, as related to earthquakes and other vibrational sources, planetary interiors, numerical methods and supercomputing, machine learning, inverse theory, data science, wildlife monitoring, complex ecosystems, soils and sustainable agriculture, the cryosphere, and solar system science. Much of my current work can be summarised as developping geophysical techniques to better understand complex ecosystems, geohazards and finding solutions to preserve our fragile, threatened environment. I collaborate with PhD students, early-career researchers and colleagues in academia, industry, and charities beyond any geographical, cultural, political borders. I'm keen to share the passion for our science and learning with an ever broader audience and (potential) students. Especially as a global geophysicist and human being, I warmly welcome interest from any background and place on this pristine planet that we strive to understand, with a focus on rebalancing the anthropogenic stresses we exert on the many essential and interconnected ecosystems.

Want to join/collaborate/communicate ? Please read on before getting in touch.

I warmly welcome interest in collaborations or joining our group. Funding for positions unfortunately does not exist by default unless announced below, but various routes for finding financial support can be discussed. Please note that we do not offer any (un)funded summer internships. Researchers in our research disciplines gain a strong and diverse background in quantitative wave physics, applied mathematics, numerical methods, supercomputing, machine learning, signal processing of noisy data, inverse theory, and multidisciplinary reasoning in the face of uncertainties. I am particularly keen on diversifying the sciences, and especially welcome interest from colleagues from underrepresented groups and locations around the planet. Academic research might well seem like scary, detached… but as we’re all made of the same molecules, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


PhD position to start October 2024. Research topics can range from physics-informed machine learning to causal inference in large datasets from wildlife monitoring, and studying near-surface phenomena related to complex ecosystems using vibrational techniques.

Postdoc positions in seismology to start in January 2024 can be discussed, in the field of seismology and machine learning related to near-surface vibrational phenomena, inverse methods, data science and inference.

Communication & outreach

Communicating science, uncertainties and evidence-based factual reasoning to public and decision-making bodies are of utmost importance for resolving societies’ most complex and urgent problems, ever more so in times of divisive populism. In this vein and aware of the privilege and luck of being an academic with secure job prospects, I very much enjoy interactions with non-specialists (without claiming much skill in communication), including primary/secondary schools (especially in deprived areas), public lectures (such as our TEDWomen talk), and media interviews. Please do get in touch if you believe I can provide any useful insight based on my experiences as described on these pages. For media publications, I insist on having sufficient time (e.g. a few days) to give a response, and to have a glance at the final version before publication due to negative experiences with quotes being taken out of context or wrongly attributed.

Media coverage (not always correctly representing my words, nor necessarily reflecting my view!): BBC, BBC Newsbeat, New York Times, BBC Swahili, Science Friday, Reuters, National Geographic, NatGeo Romania, Le Monde, CBC (Quirks and Quarks), RTE (Mooney goes wild), Physics World,, AAAS / EurekAlert!, EOS, Kopalnia Wiedzy, Česká Televize (Věda 24), Tekniikan Maailma, Financial Express (Bangladesh), Kenya Elephant Forum, ZME Science, EuropaPress (Espanol), Swara East Africa, Daily Express, and more recently in BBC's Secrets of the Jurassic, and Washington Post.

Brief bio:

  • Professor in Environmental Intelligence, Dept of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Exeter (2023-   )
  • Associate/Full Professor of Geophysics, Dept of Earth Sciences & Governing-body Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford University (2013-2023)
  • Turing Fellow, Alan Turing Institute (2021-)
  • Cox Visiting Professor, Stanford University (2020)
  • Science team member, NASA InSight mission to Mars, (2018-)
  • Senior research scientist (Oberassistent), Inst of Geophysics, ETH Zurich (2010-2013)
  • Postdoctoral research associate, Dept of Geosciences, Princeton University (2008-2010)
  • Postdoctoral scholar, Seismolab, Caltech (2007-2008)
  • PhD student, Princeton University (2002-2007)
  • Diplom (M.Sc.) Geophysics, University of Munich (2001)
  • visiting student, Physics & Geophysics, McGill University (1999)

Publications: see Google scholar

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