skip to content

Department of Earth Sciences



Marie-Curie Independent Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2019-present

NERC Industrial Innovation Independent Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2018-2019

Post-doc, The Petroleum Institute (Abu Dhabi), 2014-2017 

Ph.D.,  Australian National University (RSES), 2010-2014                                                       

MSc, University of Pisa, 2009

BSc, University of Cagliari, 2006


Key publications: 


Pilia S., Davies D.R., Hall R., Bacon C., Gilligan A., Greenfield T., Tongkul F., Kramer S.C., Wilson C.R., Cornwell D. G., Colli L., Rawlinson N. Effects of post-subduction processes on continental lithosphere. Nature (under consideration). 10.21203/

D. Núñez, J. A. Acosta-Hernández, F. J. Escalon- Alcázar, Pilia S., Francisco J. Núñez-Cornú, D. Córdoba (2021) The extended continental crust west of Islas Marías (Mexico). Frontiers in Earth Sciences.

Pilia S., Kaviani A., Searle M., Arroucau P., Ali M. Y. and Watts A. B. (2021) Crustal and mantle deformation inherited from obduction of the Semail ophiolite (Oman) and continental collision (Zagros). Tectonics.

Pilia S., Ali M. Y., Searle M., Watts A. B., Lü C. and Thompson D. (2021) Crustal structure of the UAE-Oman mountain range and Arabian rifted passive margin: new constraints from active and passive seismic methods. Journal of Geophysical Research

Volk O., White R. S., Pilia S., Green R. G., Maclennan J., Rawlinson N. (2021) Oceanic crustal flow in Iceland observed using seismic anisotropy. Nature Geoscience.

Kaviani A., Mahmoodabadi M., Rümpker G., Pilia S., Tatar M., Nilfouroushan F., Yamini-Fard F., Moradi A., Ali M.(2021) Mantle-flow diversion beneath the Iranian plateau induced by Zagros lithospheric keel. Scientific Reports - Nature

Pilia S., Hu H., Ali M. and Rawlinson N. (2020) Upper mantle structure of the northeastern Arabian Platform from teleseismic body wave tomography. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors.

Ali M. Y., Watts A. B., Searle M. P., Keats B. S., Pilia S. and Ambrose T., (2020) Geophysical imaging of ophiolite structure in the United Arab Emirates. Nature Communications.

Kaviani A., Paul A., Moradi A., Mai M., Pilia S., Boschi L., Rumpker G., Lu Y., Tang Z., Sandvol E. (2020). Crustal and uppermost mantle shear-wave velocity structure beneath the Middle East from surface-wave tomography. Geophysical Journal International.

Pilia S., Jackson J., Hawkins R., Kaviani A., Ali M. (2020). The southern Zagros collisional orogen: new insights from transdimensional-trees inversion of seismic noise. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1029/2019GL086258

Pilia S., Rawlinson N., Gilligan A., Tongkul F. (2019) Deciphering the fate of plunging tectonics plates in Borneo, Eos100,

Crowder E., Rawlinson N., Pilia S., Cornwell D., (2019) Transdimensional ambient noise tomography of Bass Strait reveals the sedimentary basin and deep crustal structure beneath a failed continental rift, Geophysical Journal International.

Rawlinson N., Davies R., Pilia S., (2017) The mechanisms underpinning Cenozoic intraplate volcanism in eastern Australia: insights from seismic tomography and geodynamic modelling, Geophysical Research Letters. doi/10.1002/2017GL074911
Pilia S., Arroucau P., Rawlinson N., Reading A. (2016) Inherited crustal deformation along the East Gondwana margin revealed by seismic anisotropy tomography, Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1002/2016GL071201
Rawlinson N., Pilia S., Young M., Salmon M. and Yang Y. (2016) Crust and upper mantle structure beneath southeast Australia from ambient noise and teleseismic tomography, Tectonophysics. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2015.11.034
Pilia S., Ali M. Y., Watts A. B. and Searle M. P. (2015) UAE-Oman mountains give clues to oceanic crust and mantle rocks, Eos, 96. doi:10.1029/2015EO040937
Balfour N., Cummins P., Pilia S., Love D. (2015) Localization of Intraplate Deformation through Fluid-assisted Faulting in the Lower-Crust: The Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Tectonophysicsdoi:10.1016/j.tecto.2015.05.014
Pilia S., Rawlinson N., Cayley R. A., Bodin T., Musgrave R., Reading A. M., Direen N. G., and Young M. K., (2015) Evidence of micro-continent entrainment during crustal accretion, Scientific Reports - Nature. doi:10.1038/srep08218
Pilia S., Rawlinson N., Direen N., Reading A., Cayley R., Pryer L., Arroucau P., Duffett M. (2014) Linking mainland Australia and Tasmania using ambient noise tomography: implications for the tectonic evolution of the eastern Gondwana margin, Gondwana Research. doi:10.1016/

Pilia S., Rawlinson N., Direen N., Cummins P. and Balfour N. (2013) Structural controls on localized intraplate deformation and seismicity in southern Australia: insights from local earthquake tomography of the Flinders Ranges, Journal of Geophysical Research. doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50168

Marie-Curie Independent Fellow

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Earth Sciences
Bullard Laboratories
Madingley Rise
+44 (0) 1223 748943


Person keywords: