Research Interests

I have worked my entire career to further our understanding of the internal dynamics of planets and stars by developing and using computer models that numerically simulate the heat transfer, fluid flow and magnetic field generation in these bodies. My original research focused on stars, and in particular the solar dynamo and its magnetic cycle. I then became interested in studying the dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere and then its mantle. Later I focused deeper within the Earth and produced the first 3D self-consistent simulations of the convection and magnetic field generation in the Earth's liquid iron core, i.e., the geodynamo, with spontaneous magnetic dipole reversals. This led to our prediction of the super-rotation of the Earth's solid inner core, which was later inferred via seismic observations. More recently I have investigated, again by computer simulation, fluid flows and magnetic fields in giant gas planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, and in their icy satellites, Europa and Titan. I am now coming full circle by improving our original models of the solar dynamo. My main frustration, however, is that there never seems to be enough time to work on many of the interesting problems I would love to tackle.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 16: Geophysics

Secondary Section

Section 12: Astronomy