Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Margaret S. Avery

Address:       Earth & Planetary Science
                            University of California, Berkeley
                            307 McCone Hall
                            Berkeley, CA 94720-4767


Ph.D.       2017        Earth Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
                    Dissertation: Long-term geomagnetic variations: Linking paleomagnetic observations,
                      statistical analyses, and numerical geodynamo simulations
                    Advisors: Catherine Constable, Jeffrey Gee, and David Gubbins

M.S.         2014        Earth Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD                         

B.A.          2009        Physics, State University of New York at Geneseo
                   Dual Major: Geophysics, Minor: Mathematics

Professional Experience

2018, 2020      Co-Creator and Instructor, EPS 88 PyEarth: A Python Introduction of Earth Science, UC Berkeley

2020 Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

2017-2019      NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley

2015                 Teaching Assistant, SIO 1 The Planets, SIO, UCSD

2014                 Teaching Assistant, SIO 113 Introduction to Computational Earth Science, SIO, UCSD

2011-2017      Graduate Student Researcher, SIO, UCSD

2009-2011     Abstractor, Crossroads Abstract, Warsaw, New York, Searched the public records to craft a concise history of all documents affecting a particular real-estate property

2007-2009   Laboratory Instructor, ASTR 101 Introductory Astronomy Lab, SUNY Geneseo

Research Interests

Paleomagnetism and geomagnetism, and study of Earth’s deep interior

  • The history of the geomagnetic field and the origin of the geodynamo
  • Factors that impact the quality of the data that make up the paleomagnetic record
  • Dynamical processes in the outer core, and core/mantle interactions, which generate the observed behavior of the geomagnetic field at Earth’s surface

Research Experience

Postdoctoral Research
NSF Earth Section Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 2017-2019
Advisors: Bruce Buffett and Nicholas Swanson-Hysell

  • NSF EAR-PF, Mesozoic Geomagnetic Field Behavior: Exploring Mesozoic core dynamics by tuning numerical geodynamo simulations to paleomagnetic observations. Use an interdisciplinary approach combining paleomagnetic observations and geodynamo numerical simulations to study the geodynamo and Earth’s magnetic field during the Mesozoic. The geomagnetic field transitioned from the Mesozoic Dipole Low with low intensity and rapid polarity reversals to the Cretaceous Normal Superchron during which the field did not reverse polarity for ~40 million years.

Graduate Student Research
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, CA, 2011-2017 
Advisors: Catherine Constable, Jeffrey Gee, and David Gubbins

  • Tuning the Geodynamo- Run simulations of the Earth’s liquid outer core. Analyze the statistical properties of the magnetic field generated and the energy of the fluid flow. By comparing these properties to observations of the geomagnetic field we can make geodynamo simulations that are more Earth-like, with the goal of learning more about the geomagnetic field and about the dynamics of the outer core.
  • Paleointensity of Ignimbrites- [Two weeks of field work in Bishop, CA August 2011] Collected cores and hand samples from the Bishop Tuff. Paleomagnetic and rock-magnetic properties of these samples, along with samples from Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Katmai, were measured. The goal of the project is to determine if ignimbrites are able to accurately record the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field.
  • Asymmetry in Growth and Decay of the Geomagnetic Dipole Revealed in Seafloor Magnetization- Stacked and inverted near-bottom marine magnetic anomaly data from three surveys: a 0 to 780 kyr record from the East Pacific Rise at 19°S, a 0 to 5.2 Ma record from the Pacific Antarctic Ridge at 51°S, and a chron C4Ar-C5r (9.3-11.2 Ma) record from the NE Pacific. The goal of this project is to test if seafloor magnetization carries a record of the asymmetry between growth and decay rates first found in PADM2M and if it was present during other time periods.


9. Chi-Durán, R., M.S. Avery, N. Knezek, and B.A. Buffett, 2020. Decomposition of geomagnetic secular acceleration into traveling waves using complex empirical orthogonal function. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(17). doi:10.1029/2020GL087940

8. Buffett, B., W. Davis, and M.S. Avery, 2019. Variability of millennial-scale trends in the geomagnetic1axial dipole. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(24), 14450-14458. doi:10.1029/2019GL085909

7. Buffett, B. and M.S. Avery, 2019. How does temporal resolution influence geomagnetic reversal statistics? Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (10), 5146-5152. doi:10.1029/2019GL082976

6. Avery, M.S., C.G. Constable, C. Davies, D. Gubbins, 2018. Spectral methods for analyzing energy balances in geodynamo simulations. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 286, 127-137. doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2018.10.002

5. Avery, M.S., J.S. Gee, J.A., Bowles, M.J. Jackson, 2018. Paleointensity estimates from ignimbrites: The Bishop Tuff Revisited. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 19 (10), 3811-3831. doi: 10.1029/2018GC007665

4. Avery, M.S., C.G. Constable, and J.S. Gee, 2017. Asymmetry in Growth and Decay of the Geomagnetic Dipole Revealed in Seafloor Magnetization. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 467 (1), 79-88. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.03.020

3. Chourasia, A., M. Avery, A. Willis, S. Greenwood, C. Davies, C. Constable, and D. Gubbins, 2016. Visualization of Geodynamo Simulations. In Proceedings of the XSEDE16 Conference on Diversity, Big Data, and Science at Scale (XSEDE16). 58:1-58:3. doi:10.1145/2949550.2952772

2. Matsui, H., et al., 2016. Performance benchmarks for a next generation numerical dynamo model. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 17(5), 1586-1607. doi: 10.1002/2015GC006159

1.Bowles, J.A., J.S. Gee, M.J. Jackson, and M.S. Avery, 2015. Geomagnetic paleointensity in historical pyroclastic density currents: Testing the effects of emplacement temperature and postemplacement alteration. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 16(10), 3607-3625. doi: 10.1002/2015GC005910

Invited Talks

10/5/2018       Center for the Origin, Dynamics and Evolution of Planets Seminar, UC Santa Cruz 

2/13/2018       Berkeley Seismology Lab Seminar, UC Berkeley       


2019            Session Co-convener, AGU Fall 2019

                    Planetary Magnetism and Core Processes: Earth and Beyond

2019-2020  Post-doc Coordinator and Mentor UC Berkeley Society of Women in the Physical Sciences

2018            Mentor UC Berkeley Society of Women in the Physical Sciences (SWPS)

2015-2016  AGU Honors Award Committee, Edward A. Flinn III Award

2016            Splash at UCSD, developed and taught a 1 hour course for high school students, Planet Earth: The Giant Magnet

2014-2015  SIO peer mentors program, mentor to a first year student in the geo. curricular group

2013-2014 Earth Section Seminar Coordinator, SIO

2012-2014  Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Geophysics Graduate Student Representative, SIO

Workshop Participation

June 2019   Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty, UC Berkeley, CA

July 2018     CIDER 2018 Summer Program, UC Santa Barbara, CA

Jan. 2017    MagIC Science & Database Workshop, SIO, La Jolla, CA

Sept. 2015 Inspiring Research: Creative Strategies for Communication, UCSD, La Jolla, CA

Feb. 2015    Geodynamo Benchmarking Workshop, Computational Infrastructure for

                    Geodynamics, Boulder CO

Feb. 2015    National Association of Geoscience Teachers Workshop, SIO, La Jolla, CA

May 2013   MagIC Science & Database Workshop, SIO, La Jolla, CA

June 2013   Summer School for Rock Magnetism, Institute for Rock Magnetism, University of Minnesota

June 2012   Ninth Santa Fe Conference on Rock Magnetism, Institute for Rock Magnetism,

                    Santa Fe, NM

Sept. 2011  MagIC Science & Database Workshop, SIO, La Jolla, CA


American Geophysical Union

Select Conference Abstracts

Avery, M.S., B. Buffett, 2019. Quantifying changes in dipole polarity reversal frequency using a combination of geodynamo simulations and stochastic models. (Invited) Abstract GP33A-07 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 December 2019.

Avery, M.S., B. Buffett, 2019. Singular Spectral Analysis Decomposition of Geomagnetic and Stochastic Axial Dipole Moment Models Reveal Long-Period Oscillations. Abstract GP33A-07 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 December 2019.

Chi-Duran, R., M.S. Avery, B.A. Buffett, 2019. Complex wave decomposition of geomagnetic secular acceleration in the equatorial region of Earth’s core. Abstract GP43B-0803 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 December 2019.

Zhang, Y., N. Swanson-Hysell, M.S. Avery, 2019. A 1.1 billion-year-old anisotropy experiment: a study of anorthosite xenoliths within the Beaver River diabase. Abstract GP23B-0805 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 December 2019.

Lv, M., M.S. Avery, B.A. Buffett, X. Chen, B. Chidester, J. Deng, S. Dorfman, B.J. Farcy, D.A. Frost, Z. Li, L. Liu, J.F. Martin, 2018. A multidisciplinary assessment of heat flux at the core mantle boundary. Abstract DI21B-0016 presented at the 2018 Fall Meeting, AGU, Washington, D.C. 10-14 December 2018.

Avery, M.S., C. Constable, and J. Gee, 2015. Further Evaluation of Geomagnetic Asymmetry in Growth and Decay. Abstract GP21A-07 presented at the 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 14-18 December 2015.

Avery, M.S., C. Constable, C. Davies, and D. Gubbins, 2014. Robust observations of asymmetry in growth and decay rates of the axial dipole in both geomagnetic field and geodynamo models. Abstract 605 presented at the 14th Symposium of the Earth’s Deep Interior, Shonan, Japan, 3-8 August 2014.

Gubbins, D., Willis, A., Davies, C., Jones, C.A., and M.S. Avery, 2013. Scalability of the Leeds Dynamo Code for Geodynamo Simulations. Abstract GP51A-1068 presented at the 2013 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 December 2013.

Avery, M.S., J.S. Gee, J.A. Bowles, and M.J. Jackson, 2012. Magnetic property variation with vapor-phase alteration in the Bishop Tuff, and implications for paleointensity studies. Abstract GP21A-1146 presented at the 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 December 2012.

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