Dave Stegman is an associate professor of geophysics in the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Stegman uses high-performance computing and advanced four-dimensional visualization systems to explore the intricate details of how planets evolve and why plate tectonics are unique to Earth.

His current research investigates global scale dynamics by reconstructing the history of where tectonic plates have been recycled into the earth’s mantle over the past 300 million years. This research aims to address many of the most important geodynamic events over the past 200 million years, including a 35 million year phase during the Cretaceous period when the magnetic field stopped reversing, increased production of volcanic greenhouse gases led to a warmer climate and several planetary reorientations of the entire solid Earth, known as true polar wander, occurred.

Prior to joining Scripps, he was the Centenary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and previous to that was at Monash University where he was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow.  During his time in Australia, he pioneered 3-D numerical models of free subduction, which address questions of why tectonic plates move, how plate boundaries evolve, and how features in the Earth’s deep interior develop. This effort aims towards simulating regional tectonic evolution and providing a nucleus for integrating geological and geophysical data sets.

Stegman received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, where he developed one of the first three-dimensional spherical models of thermo-chemical convection to investigate the thermal evolution of Earth, the Moon, and Mars with an emphasis on the important role of chemically distinct materials.  Renewed interest in this area of planetary geodynamics led to a new model for explaining many of the enigmatic features on Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn.

Dave collaborates widely with several groups across Australia, as well as America, Europe, and Japan and has published in on diverse topics, including on global and regional geodynamics, an enigmatic icy moon of Saturn, known as Enceladus, and high performance computing.

Last updated July 2013