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Departments & Programs



Jenny Suckale

Jenny Suckale , Assistant Professor

Geophysical multi-phase flows, volcanology, cryosphere, planetary evolution, natural disasters

Kali Allison

Kali is studying the conditions of a volcano's magma chamber prior to eruption using physics-based simulations.


Ifeoma Anyansi , Graduate Student

Ifeoma Anyansi is currently a graduate student within the Computational and Mathematical Engineering department at Stanford University. Her research is at the intersection of machine learning, policy, and climate change.  She is drawn to the capacity of data science to spur community resilience in the face of storm surges, tsunamis, and sea level rise. By focusing on vulnerable populations, her research goal is to model the differential impact that coastal hazards will have in the upcoming century. This work is done in collaboration with Stanford’s Natural Capital Project.
She received her B.S. at Duke University in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Before attending graduate school, she served as a policy intern within the Office of The Chief Federal Sustainability Officer where she contributed to the adoption of sustainable practices at the federal level. Her personal interests include playing the piano, youth outreach, and diversity and representation in academia.

Ian Avery Bick , Graduate Student

I’m a recent Stanford graduate with an M.S. in Environmental Engineering & Science at Stanford. Much of my recent work stems from involvement with the Sustainable Urban Systems program as an independent researcher and a teaching assistant where I applied geospatial data to study urban systems. I’m currently working within SIGMA to develop the open-source Stanford Urban Risk Framework in Python that addresses both direct economic damages and equity in sea level rise and coastal flood exposure.

Cansu Culha

Cansu Culha , Graduate Student

Cansu Culha completed BA degree in geophysics at University of California, Berkeley.
There she studied the active morphologies on Jupiter's moon, Europa's, surface. She
is stimulated by the creativity required to solve problems with minimal data.
In SIGMA, she is interested in studying volcanoes and crustal deformations
through the application of multiphase fluid dynamics. Her current work investigates
how crystals in magma chambers can govern what is observed on the surface. 


Cooper Elsworth , Graduate Student

Cooper is a PhD student in the Department of Geophysics studying streaming ice flow in Antarctica. He joined the group from Penn State University, where he completed BS and MS degrees in Engineering Mechanics, focusing on computational methods for fluid-structure interaction. His research interests include coupled systems, fluid dynamics, glaciology and computational mechanics. In SIGMA, Cooper studies the stability and dynamics of ice streams, specifically those on the Siple Coast of West Antarctica.


Indraneel Kasmalkar , Graduate Student


Neel is a PhD student at the Institute of Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME). He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Mathematics. At SIGMA, Neel uses computational models to study the processes happening at the bed of a glacier and how they affect ice flow. In particular, his focus is on understanding the multi-phase interactions between the ice, the subglacial water channels and the underlying sediment layer.


Tobias Keller , Post Doctoral Scholar


Tobias Keller research aims at furthering the understanding of the physics of magmatic and volcanic systems. He pursues that goal by expanding available models for multi-component multi-phase flow in geodynamics, and by developing the next generation of magma dynamics simulation software. His current research is focused on understanding how the three-phase interaction between crystals, melt and vapor in subvolcanic magma bodies controls volcanic activity as observed on the surface.
His personal research website:


Brent Lunghino

Brent Lunghino is a graduate student in the Computational Geosciences MS program. He holds a BS in Geological Sciences from Brown University. Brent joined Stanford after working as a research assistant at the US Geological Survey's Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center where he studied tsunami hazards through sedimentology. His research interests are centered on using numerical simulation to understand physical processes in coastal systems, including modeling 3D interactions between flows and obstacles. In SIGMA, Brent is working on numerical models of tsunami hydrodynamics and sediment transport to inform engineering of coastal protection in regions threatened by tsunamis. 


Sergio Maldonado

Sergio joined the group in January 2016 after completing his PhD in Environmental Fluid Mechanics at the University of Edinburgh (UK). His doctoral thesis explored the development of mathematical models to study sediment transport and bed morphological evolution in open channels. Sergio also holds a M.S. in Coastal Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM, Mexico). At Stanford, he works with The Natural Capital Project on the development and enhancement of numerical models aimed at quantifying the protective service provided by coastal ecosystems. His main goal is to investigate, through numerical and analytical means, the interaction between hydrodynamics, vegetation and sediment transport in the near-shore area.


Tracy Mandel

Tracy Mandel is a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, where she is a member of the Bob and Norma Street Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory.  Her research focuses on improving our physical understanding of how near-shore vegetation protects the coast from flooding and erosion.  She studies the hydrodynamics of fluid-vegetation interaction through careful laboratory experimentation as a collaborator with the computational SIGMA group.


Arnav Mariwala , Graduate Student

Arnav Mariwala is a coterminal masters student in Geophysics studying coastal risk. His research focuses on the applications of natural ecosystems, such as coral reefs, for mitigation of climate-driven coastal hazards. Arnav is passionate about using data science and fluid models to better understand how coastal communities can adapt to sea level rise and more frequent storms, and in doing so build a more sustainable and resilient future.

Arnav received his B.S. in Physics from Stanford University with a minor in History, and has interests in clean energy, policy, and entrepreneurship. He is currently one of the Co-Presidents of the Stanford Energy Club, Stanford’s largest energy and environment student group, and previously served as an editor at the Stanford Daily.

Simone Marras , Research Associate

Simone joined the Dept. of Geophysics at Stanford after 2 years as a National Research Council research associate  in the group of Prof. Francis Giraldo at the Dept. of Applied Mathematics of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Simone received his doctoral degree in environmental engineering and scientific computing (numerical weather prediction) from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain) supervised by Dr. Oriol Jorba and Dr. Mariano Vázquez at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

His thesis and post-doctoral work mainly focused on the analysis and definition of dynamic diffusion schemes 

for the stabilization of Finite Elements, Spectral Elements, and Discontinuous Galerkin methods on the one hand and large eddy simulation on the other.

At Stanford, Simone applies these methods to simulate tsunami-induced inundation and understand the role of coastal features in the mitigation of tsunami impacts.

He enjoy scientific writing, traveling and cooking with his wife, and spending time with their cat.

Alana Papula , Graduate Student

Alana Papula is a graduate student in the Applied Physics department. She works to develop basic theory tailored specifically to the systems studied in SIGMA, including ice sheets, permafrost, and volcanic systems.  Focuses include the behavior of ice sheets flowing or sliding on mixed till-rock beds, as well as determining the conditions that lead to different degassing mechanisms in saturated granular media. Alana received her BS in Physics from MIT, where her research focus was experimental particle physics and her study focus was statistical mechanics.

Zhipeng Qin

Zhipeng Qin , Post Doc Scholar

Before joining Stanford in June 2015, Zhipeng Qin held a
position as research assistant in Prof. Amir Riaz's CFD group at University of
Maryland, and received his doctoral degree in the department of Mechanical
Engineering. His doctoral dissertation investigated numerical simulation for
multiphase flow, and was mainly focused on the development of interface
advection schemes and jump condition capturing methods.


At SIGMA, the goal of Zhipeng's research is to advance
the basic understanding and predictive capabilities of complex multi-phase
flows in geyser and lava lake. He is pursuing this goal by applying
computational methods for the solver of Navier-Stokes equation with high
viscous difference.


Adrian Santiago , Graduate Student

Adrian Santiago is pursuing a Ph.D. in Geophysics and an M.S. in Environmental Fluid Mechanics in the Civil Engineering department. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, where he started using numerical models. Adrian grew up below sea level in the Netherlands, where he became inspired by the Dutch approach to coastal engineering. His research at Stanford will look at nature-based solutions to various coastal hazards, and will often be in collaboration with the Natural Capital Project. In the long-term, Adrian hopes to develop and implement sustainable solutions to sea level rise adaptation - inspired by work done in the Netherlands but adapted to American society.

Katy Serafin , Post Doc Scholar

Katy Serafin is a post-doctoral research scholar in the Department of Geophysics. She received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the U.S. Geological Survey’s St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center to evaluate storm-induced coastal change hazards. Her research focuses on understanding the frequency, drivers, and impacts of flooding events in the San Francisco Bay in order to assess the risk and resilience of coastal communities to present day and future hazards. Her research interests include compounding flood hazards, flood protection strategies in a changing climate, the impact of nuisance flooding events, and quantification of the indirect consequences of flooding, such as traffic disruption.

Zihan Wei , Graduate Student

Zihan is a PhD student in Geophysics. He completed BS degree in geology at Peking University, where he did research on simulating thermal interactions between oil reservoirs and intrusive magma. In SIGMA, Zihan studies multi-phase flow in volcano conduit. Specifically, his research interest is on understanding the stability of core-annular flow and the behaviors of bubbles and crystals by combining the results of geochemical studies and computational flow dynamics.