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Department of Earth Sciences

Global Seismology


  • Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK, 2020-now
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK, 2015-2020
  • Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK, 2013-2015
  • Drapers' Company Research Fellow, Pembroke College, Cambridge, UK 2013-2015
  • PhD, Global Seismology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, May 2013
  • MSc, Geophysics, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, Aug 2008


I am a global seismologist, studying the structure and dynamics of the deep Earth by using waves from strong earthquakes which are recorded across the globe. The interests of my research group include:

  • Constraining anomalous structures above the core-mantle boundary and their role in the history and dynamics of the Earth; currently funded by an ERC Starting Grant, ZoomDeep (2019-2024)
  • Mapping seismic discontinuities to infer temperature and heterogeineity in the mantle transition zone and understand the role of the mantle transition zone in global dynamics;
  • Studying seismic anisotropy caused by flow in the lowermost mantle;
  • Contributing to open source toolkits to combine the knowledge and constraints from different disciplines, see



Key publications: 

Recent publications can be found in the publications database here

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 
If you are interested in a PhD in global seismology, new NERC funded scholarships will be published online every October.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 

Professor in Global Seismology
Dr Sanne  Cottaar

Contact Details

Email address: 
Bullard Labs
Madingley Rise,
Madingley Road,
+44 (0) 1223 748938
Takes PhD students


Collaborator profiles: