Assistant Professor of Seismology
Earth and Environmental Sciences
215 Heroy Geology Laboratory
Ph.D. Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, 2021
M.Phil. Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, 2019
M.A. Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, 2017
B.S. Physics (minor: Mathematics), University of Missouri – Columbia, 2015
EAR 105 – Earth Science
Joshua Russell is an Assistant Professor of seismology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. His research utilizes measurements of ground vibrations from seismic waves to image Earth’s interior, illuminating its structure, composition, and dynamics. This involves collecting new datasets from unexplored reaches of the globe as well as developing leading-edge computational and analytical tools for imaging Earth’s properties. He teaches courses in Earth Science, earthquake seismology, and geophysical imaging and is a member of Syracuse University’s Energy and Environment Research Cluster.
My research involves using seismic waves to image the crust and mantle to investigate Earth’s tectonic processes. My work targets fundamental questions regarding:
- structure and evolution of tectonic plates
- dynamics of extensional environments (mid-ocean ridges, continental rifts)
- scale/vigor of mantle convection and its impact on the lithosphere
- abundance of melt and volatiles in Earth’s mantle and their role in tectonic processes
To address these questions, my group collects new datasets from unexplored regions of the world to map temperature, composition, and flow in the mantle beneath. Much of this work takes place in the oceans, which cover most of our planet and span the entire plate lifecycle but are only sparsely instrumented. My group develops open-source tools for imaging seismic wavespeed, attenuation, and anisotropy that incorporate information from disciplines such as mineral physics and petrology to quantify the state of the mantle and its dynamics. State-of-the-art high performance computing facilities at SU support this work, and students in my group develop computational and analytical skills that are highly valued by industry.
In addition to broadband seismology, I also have interest in collecting seismic data from fiber-optic cables and high-density nodal arrays and using those observations in innovative ways to investigate the interactions between the hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and solid earth.
Geophysics, seismic imaging, tectonics, ocean-bottom seismology, inverse theory
National Science Foundation EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021–2022
AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award, 2019
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2015–2018