Imperial College London

Tom Merry

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Postgraduate







2.49CRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





I am a PhD student in seismology, part of the NERC Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP). I use seismology to study tectonic processes and mantle dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean.

The eastern Mediterranean is in a very complex tectonic environment, with significant seismic hazard from a variety of sources; it includes the full gamut of subduction, collision, strike-slip and extensional faulting. I am particularly interested in the area around Cyprus, where subduction is believed to be in its terminal stages, with evidence for break-off of the African slab (Kounoudis et al., 2020). Complex crustal structure in Cyprus (including the spectacular and enigmatic Troodos ophiolite) has historically made investigation of local earthquakes challenging.

I am using a range of seismological methods to investigate the tectonics and mantle dynamics in the region, including shear-wave splitting analysis for identifying seismic anisotropy in the mantle, and local earthquake analysis that will help us to understand the plate dynamics around Cyprus and inform our understanding of the seismic hazard. From 2017-2019 we deployed a number of SEIS-UK seismometers in Cyprus to allow us to do high-resolution studies of crustal structure and earthquakes around the island.

I have also been involved as a field assistant on seismometer deployments for the NZ3D FWI project in New Zealand, imaging the Hikurangi subduction zone, and the TRAILS project in Ethiopia, investigating the structure of the East African Rift around the Turkana depression.

Supervisors - Dr Ian Bastow & Dr Rebecca Bell

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Teaching ASsistant

  • ESE96001b 3rd Year Independent Project (Geophysics)
  • ESE96002 Continental Tectonics (Geology/Geophysics)
  • ESE95006 Field Geophysics (Cyprus field trip)
  • ESE95018 Seismology and Numerical Methods (Geophysics)
  • ESE95004 Pure and Applied Geophysics (Geology/Geophysics)


2018Present PhD student, Imperial College London

201718 — Visiting Researcher, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton

201317 — MSci Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences), Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge