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Department of Earth Sciences

Seismic tomography
Earth dynamics and evolution


  • PhD, Princeton University, 2000
  • Postdoctoral Associate,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000–2003
  • Junior Universitair Docent (research staff), Utrecht University, 2003–2008    
  • Assistant Professor - Professor, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2008–2021
  • Professor of Geophysics, University of Cambridge, 2021—


  • Main field: Seismology
  • Development and application of methods for seismic imaging
  • Structure and evolution of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle
  • Structure, evolution, seismicity of Britain, Ireland and their offshore areas
  • Integrated seismic, petrological and geodynamic numerical modelling and inversion
  • Natural resource assessment and exploration using passive seismic methods (geothermal, minerals, etc.)


Key publications: 
  • Xu, Y., S. Lebedev, T. Meier, R. Bonadio, C.J. Bean. Optimized workflows for high-frequency seismic interferometry using dense arrays, Geophys. J. Int., 227, 875-897,, 2021.
  • Celli, N.L., S. Lebedev, A.J. Schaeffer, C. Gaina. The tilted Iceland Plume and its effect on the North Atlantic evolution and magmatism, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 569, 117048,, 2021.
  • Lebedev, S., R. Bonadio, M. Tsekhmistrenko, J.I. de Laat, C.J. Bean. Seafloor seismometers look for clues to North Atlantic volcanism, EOS, 102,, 2021.
  • Bonadio, R., S. Lebedev, T. Meier, P. Arroucau, A.J. Schaeffer, A. Licciardi, M.R. Agius, C. Horan, L. Collins, B.M. O'Reilly, P. Readman and the Ireland Array Working Group. Optimal resolution tomography with error tracking and the structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath Ireland and Britain. Geophys. J. Int., 226, 2158-2188,, 2021.
  • Fullea, J., S. Lebedev, Z. Martinec, N. L. Celli. WINTERC-G: mapping the upper mantle thermochemical heterogeneity from coupled geophysical-petrological inversion of seismic waveforms, heat flow, surface elevation and gravity satellite data. Geophys. J. Int., 226, 146-191,, 2021.
  • Celli, N.L., S. Lebedev, A.J. Schaeffer, C. Gaina. African cratonic lithosphere carved by mantle plumes. Nature Communications, 11, 92, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13871-2, 2020.
  • Steinberger, B., E. Bredow, S. Lebedev, A. Schaeffer, T. H. Torsvik. Widespread volcanism in the Greenland-North Atlantic region explained by the Iceland plume. Nature Geoscience, 12, 61–68, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0251-0, 2019.
  • Lebedev, S., A. J. Schaeffer, J. Fullea, V. Pease, Seismic tomography of the Arctic region: Inferences for the thermal structure and evolution of the lithosphere. In Pease, V. & Coakley, B. (eds.) Circum-Arctic Lithosphere Evolution. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 460, 419-440,, 2018.
  • Schaeffer, A. J., S. Lebedev. Global shear-speed structure of the upper mantle and transition zone. Geophys. J. Int., 194, 417–449, 2013.
  • Lebedev, S., J. M.-C. Adam, T. Meier. Mapping the Moho with seismic surface waves: A review, resolution analysis, and recommended inversion strategies. Invited Review, Tectonophysics, "Moho" special issue, 609, 377–394, 2013.
  • Endrun, B., S. Lebedev, T. Meier, C. Tirel, W. Friederich. Complex layered deformation within the Aegean crust and mantle revealed by seismic anisotropy, Nature Geoscience, 4, 203–207, 2011.
  • Lebedev, S., J. Boonen, J. Trampert. Seismic structure of Precambrian lithosphere: New constraints from broadband surface-wave dispersion,  Lithos, Special Issue "Continental Lithospheric Mantle: the Petro-Geophysical Approach", 109, 96-111, 2009.
  • Lebedev, S., R. D. van der Hilst. Global upper-mantle tomography with the automated multimode inversion of surface and S-wave forms, Geophys. J. Int., 173, 505–518, 2008.
  • Lebedev, S., T. Meier, R. D. van der Hilst. Asthenospheric flow and origin of volcanism in the Baikal Rift area, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 249, 415--424, 2006.
  • Lebedev, S., G. Nolet, T. Meier, R. D. van der Hilst. Automated multimode inversion of surface and S waveforms, Geophys. J. Int., 162, 951--964, 2005.
  • Lebedev, S., G. Nolet. Upper mantle beneath Southeast Asia from S velocity tomography,  J. Geophys. Res., 108(B1), 2048, doi:10.1029/2000JB000073, 2003.
  • Lebedev, S., S. Chevrot, R. D. van der Hilst. Seismic evidence for olivine phase changes at the 410- and 660-kilometer discontinuities, Science, 296, 1300--1302, 2002.
Professor of Geophysics
Sergei Lebedev

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