I lead the group of Crustal Deformation and Fluid Flow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.My research interests focus on investigating the upper crust with geophysical and numerical methods.
I completed my PhD in 2010 at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, in Edinburgh, U.K., with a thesis on numerical simulations of fluid flow induced seismicity in sedimentary basins off-shore Iceland. Next, I moved to Bonn, Germany, where I combined seismic methods with borehole data to analyse the effects of passing seismic waves in the East Java basin, Indonesia. In 2012 I moved to ETH Zurich where I was awarded a ETH Fellows postdoctoral grant that allowed me to expand my knowledge on seismology. After an SNF Ambizione grant carried on at ETHZ (unitl 2018) where I studied the role of supra-hydrostatic fluid pressures in reactivating fault planes, I moved to the University of Geneva in July 2015 with a tenure-track Assistant Professor position to investigate geothermal systems. I now lead the Group of Crustal Deformation and Fluid Flow at the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Geneva.
Since July 2021 I am an Associate Professor and I use geophysical methods to investigate active and paleo geothermal systems and fluid flow in the upper crust. With our group we track fluids at depth and research about the interaction between fluid flow and geological structures. An increasing number of observations highlights the sporadic occurrence in the crust of fast (days to years) vertical fluid flow separated by periods dominated by slow fluid diffusion. We use passive seismic and electromagnetic methods to capture full 3D images of active and paleo geothermal systems that are ideal natural laboratories to investigate fluid-transport processes. The fast upwelling of deep fluids is accompanied by short-lived permeability enhancements associated with intense seismic and micro-seismic activity and (on the long term) with the formation of ore deposits.
Teaching and supervision
Over the last 4 years my teaching load at the University of Geneva increased gradually and I am now responsible for the MSc course Fluids in the crust (6 credits) and the BSc course Geophysics (7 Credits). Additionally, I teach in the framework of the MSc courses Geophysics across Scales for Geologists (3 credits) and the BSc course Renewable and Non-renewable Energies (2 credits). The courses Fluids in the crust and Geophysics include two field camps of 5 days each.
The students of the second year of Bachelor visited the geothermal drilling site GEo-02 in the framework of the course of Geophysics with Animuse. The well GEo-02 is drilled in the framework of the geothermie2020.ch program and has the objective of prospecting the Mesozoic units down to approximately 1500 m depth.