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Frederik J. Simons - About Me


Frederik Simons at the Dziewonski Symposium

Frederik J. Simons joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Geosciences in 2006 and was promoted in 2013 to Associate Professor, with continuing tenure. Between 2010 and 2013 he was the Dusenbury University Preceptor of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. Currently he is also an Associated Faculty member in the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics.

Previously, he was a Lecturer at University College London, a Princeton Council of Science & Technology Beck Fellow and a Department of Geosciences Hess Post-doctoral Fellow. His Ph.D. in Geophysics is from M.I.T. and his M.Sc. in Geology from the KU Leuven in Belgium, of which he is a native.


More About Frederik

His research encompasses various aspects of solid-earth geophysics. More specifically, he studies the physical properties of the terrestrial lithosphere, focusing in particular on the elastic and thermo-mechanical properties of the continents, by seismic tomography and the spectral analysis of gravity and topography. With his colleagues, Frederik has developed mathematical methods for the analysis of processes on the sphere, for geodesy, geomagnetism, and cosmology, designed wavelet-based signal processing methods for seismology, and developed oceanic instrumentation to close the seismic coverage gap over the Earth's oceans.

Read more about projects Mermaid here and Son-O-Mermaid here, in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, in The Economist, in NERC's magazine Planet Earth, and in Nature Magazine.

Find out more about some of his work on Slepian functions and spherical wavelets in the video from a lecture given at Northwestern University, on "promoting sparsity and localization in geophysical inverse problems." See also the video material from a lecture given at Harvard University and a lecture at the University of Oxford.

With post-doc Chris Harig, Frederik wrote a widely publicized article in PNAS that presented the temporal and geographic distribution of the evolving ice mass covering Greenland recorded by time-variable satellite gravity. Read more about this work on the Princeton Web News homepage and in many other international publications in print and on the web. A dedicated website has been set up to further disseminate these latest research results.

With post-doc Bob Kopp, Princeton colleagues Adam Maloof and Michael Oppenheimer and Harvard's Jerry Mitrovica, Frederik wrote a widely publicized article in Nature reconstructing the history of sea level fluctuations during the Last Interglacial (about 125 thousand years ago, and thought to be a good analogue for Earth's immediate future), using a probabilistic approach informed by geologic indicators and by the geophysics of sea level change. Read more about this work here, on the Princeton Web News homepage, in The Guardian, The Independent, NewsweekTime Magazine, U.S.News & World Report, or in many other international publications in print and on the web.

At Princeton, Frederik has taught Global and Introductory Geophysics (GEO320 & GEO371/PHY371), Data, Models & Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences (GEO422), and co-taught Fundamentals of the Geosciences I and II (GEO505, GEO506), Origin and Evolution of the Continental Lithosphere (GEO556) with Blair Schoene, and the Freshman Seminars Earth's Changing Surface & Climate (FRS149 & FRS145) and Earth's Environments & Ancient Civilizations, the latter two with Adam Maloof.

Even More About Frederik

A more comprehensive vita can be found here.