Available projects

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Long-term evolution of the Earth from the base of the mantle to the top of the atmosphere: Understanding the mechanisms leading to ‘greenhouse’ and ‘icehouse’ regimes
Earth's climate has undergone many changes during the last billion years, including periods when it was completely covered in ice ('icehouse') and periods when it was so hot that there was no ice ('greenhouse'). These changes are driven by changes in the configuration of continents and oceans due to plate tectonics and by changes in the atmospheric CO2 content due to carbon exchange between Earth's interior and exterior: the long-term carbon cycle, which is again related to plate tectonics. In order to understand these changes, we will model the coupled Earth system from the base of the rocky mantle to the top of the atmosphere over the last 888 million years. Central to this modelling is the PANALESIS plate reconstruction model, as plate tectonics provides the link between Earth's interior and exterior. The first goal of the project is to constrain mantle dynamics over this long timescale based on global mantle convection model STAGYY coupled to the 888 Ma PANALESIS plate reconstruction model, including tracking CO2 ingassing and outgassing. The second goal is to better understand and quantify the evolution of the climate over geological time scales by using palæo elevation maps combined with global climate simulations. The third goal is to constrain the palæogeographies of the Earth by integrating the feedbacks of mantle models and climate models. The fourth goal is to quantify the interactions, the coupling, of the different shells of the Earth from the base of the mantle to the top of the atmosphere. Such a coupled approach to the functioning of the whole Earth throughout such long timescales has never been attempted; this project creates a leading group on the topic in Switzerland, whose work will serve as a reference in many disciplines worldwide.
Available positions

Past projects

Machine Learning for Paleoclimate predictions
Using Julia in geophysical fluid dynamics for visco-elasto-plastic materials
Climate Effects on Biodiversity: Numerical Modelling (BSc)
Topography Reconstructions of the Phanerozoic Based on Tectonic Data (BSc)