The Team

The MIST expedition was proposed and organized by graduate students from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and their collaborators at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). The team would like to thank Dr. Dave Chadwell (SIO) for his expert guidance throughout the planning of this expedition. We also acknowledge all the help of Dr. Nugroho Hananto (LIPI) in coordinating the efforts of our Indonesian colleagues. Needless to say our ResTech Meghan Donohue and Computer Tech Mary Huey from SIO’s Shipboard Technical Group have been invaluable to our mission and we are very grateful for all their assistance.

Diego Melgar (Graduate Student, SIO)diego_melgar

Diego Melgar is a Ph.D. candidate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His interests lie in large earthquakes and innovative sensor technologies for seismology. He has studied large earthquakes using traditional seismic sensors but also with real-time high precision GPS as well as ocean-based sensors such as pressure gauges, buoys and tide gauges. He has applied his work to the field of natural hazards, particularly earthquake and tsunami early warning.

The Mentawai patch of the Indonesian subduction zones is particurlarly intriguing because in 2010 a very shallow earthquake there produced a large tsunami. Surveying it will provide clues as to how the shallowest part of the subduction front deforms and how it is responsible for tsunamigenesis. This will help Diego develop more realistic physical models that capture how earthquake rupture connects to tsunami generation.


Robert Petersen (Graduate Student, SIO)

Robert Petersen is a PhD candidate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His interests are in mantle convection and plate tectonics. These are the forces that reshape the surface of the earth over millions of years and cause earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Robert uses supercomputers and sophisticated computer models to investigate how and why the Earth looks like it does and what might happen on other planets.

Subduction zones like the Sunda trench, where the expedition will travel to, are especially interesting as these are the places where the Earth’s plates come together, exerting massive forces against each other. The data gathered here will help Robert to construct models that realistically represent the Earth’s behavior in such regions.


Samer Naif (Graduate Student, SIO)

Samer Naif is a Ph.D. candidate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He specializes in using marine magnetotelluric and controlled-source electromagnetic data to study subduction zone processes. Such data can be modeled to attain the conductivity structure of the crust and mantle, and are particularly sensitive to the presence of fluids and partial melts. His Ph.D. dataset was collected across the Middle America Trench offshore Nicaragua, where he has studied the mechanism behind the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary as well as mapping the presence of fluids along the megathrust plate interface.

Recent studies have suggested that water trapped in the megathrust is a critical parameter for understanding how earthquakes are able to rupture all the way to the trench axis and generate large tsunamis, such as in the 2004 Sumatra and 2010 Mentawai earthquakes. The MIST survey will provide high resolution bathymetry and possibly detect seafloor fluid seeps, which will help Samer to highlight specific areas that are suitable for a future electromagnetic survey to see if fluids are present at the megathrust and if some of those fluids escape and migrate to the seafloor.


Soli Garcia (Graduate Student, SIO)

Emmanuel “Soli” Garcia is a fourth year graduate student and his research mainly falls under marine geodesy. His interests overlap with the scientific objectives of the cruise with regards to studying the deformation of the seafloor.


riley_gannonRiley Gannon (Graduate Student, SIO)

Riley Gannon is a 5th year graduate student studying paleoclimatology; he investigates past climate through coral and ocean sediment in order to further understand our current and future climate. While on this cruise, we’ll be collecting ocean sediment samples to try and extract how Indian Ocean climate variability has changed throughout the last 25000



alan_foremanAlan Foreman (Graduate Student, SIO)

Alan Foreman is a 5th year graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research interests focus on understanding the role of the deep ocean driving in glacial/interglacial cycles. The main research aim that he has on the MIST Expedition is to sample the evolution of the interior of the Indian Ocean over the last Ice Age (using sediment cores collected on this cruise). His participation in MIST has been enabled by a generous fellowship from Carol and Stuart Smith and the Friends of the International Center.



Joyce Sim (Graduate Student, SIO)

Shi “Joyce” Sim is a third year PhD student working with Darcy Ogden. Her research interest lies in applying engineering knowledge of fluid dynamics to Earth Science, particularly modeling explosive volcanic eruptions and meltwater flows under ice sheets. Lab Website. Personal Website.


Sylvain Barbot

Sylvain Barbot (Assistant Professor, EOS)

Sylvain Barbot is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Earth Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a principal investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore. The goal of his research is to develop a physics-based model of the earthquake cycle to assess the full range of seismic behavior that can be expected across a plate boundary. He is an SIO alumnus and obtained his Ph.D. in 2009. Personal Website.

Deepa Mele Veedu (Research Associate, EOS)

Deepa Mele Veedu is a Research Associate at the Earth Observatory of Singapore working with Sylvain Barbot. Her research focuses on the mechanics of tsunami earthquakes and earthquake physics. She studies the 2010 Mw 7.8 Mentawai earthquake to address why ruptures can happen so close to the trench in a region most of the time depleted of seismic activity.

Marie Etchebes (Research Fellow, EOS)

Jensen Jacob (Research Fellow, EOS)


Agathe Schmid (Field Engineer, EOS)

As a member of the technical office at EOS (Earth Observatory of Singapore), Agathe Schmid involved in many different kinds of fieldwork bringing support to the researchers of the lab for field operations. She has been recently working on the installation of seismic stations in the Mentawai islands, active seismic studies in Nepal and on the geophysical monitoring of several Indonesian and Philippine volcanoes.


Sharadha Sathiakumar (Research Fellow, EOS)


Marta Wolak (Research Fellow, EOS)

Marta Wolak just took a quantum leap from atomic physics to earth science. She is interested in numerical models that capture the earth’s behavior and physics-based earthquake cycle simulations.



Meghan Donohue (Resident Marine Technician, SIO)

Mary Huey (Computer Technician, SIO)