I am interested in the evolution of the planets and satellites of the solar system. I use both analytical and numerical approaches to understand convecting bodies.
Over the last years, I have been working a lot on melting and crust production in planetary mantles. Melting and crust production may not be the most important process at present in the solar system, I believe (or let's say simulations show that) it might have been a first order process in the early solar system.
There are some evidences that the mantle of the Earth has been cooling by few hundreds of Kelvin over the last 4 billion years. It is reasonable to think that a lot more crust must have been created in a warmer mantle, especially since magma is generated today on Earth due to decompression melting which does not necessarily requires the presence of plumes. Another thing is that the core of the Earth must have been cooling as well, meaning that the plumes coming up 4 billion years ago much have been quite a lot warmer than present day plumes. In order to solve a lot of open questions related to magmatism, we develop the convection code StagYY in ETH Zurich.
I am also an amateur painter (see my gallery online). I do think that drawing helps me designing new science as it forces me to visualise what I think should happen. The image below shows what a first order idea of a giant impact could look like:
And the sketch below summarizes a simple view on the Earth's history based on our numerical simulations and various type of data:blog post on this.