Professor J Huw Davies

Professor J Huw Davies

Director of Research

daviesjh2 @
+44 (0)29 2087 5182
+44 (0)29 2087 4326
2.37B, Main Building


I have an interest in understanding global solid Earth processes, especially ones related to the mantle (the region between the crust and the core). I undertake this research through a combination of numerical modelling and data processing, especially by bringing strong observations to bear on numerical models. The models frequently utilise High-Performance Computing. They have included proposing slab break-off, assessing source region of subduction zone magmatism, subduction zone dynamics, mantle seismic structure, mantle heat flux, mantle circulation modelling and models of mantle dynamics underpinning mantle geochemistry. I also have a strong interest in supporting early career researchers interested in related research.

  • Mantle
  • Geodynamics
  • Geophysics
  • Subduction zone dynamics
  • Numerical modelling

Honours and awards

Honours and Awards (excluding Grants)

  • Executive Editor, for Geodynamics/Geodesy, Solid Earth journal, 2015 - present.
  • President, Geodynamics Division, European Geosciences Union, 2009-11, 2011-13
  • Member NERC Peer Review College 2007-2010, 2012-present
  • Member Editorial Board - Tectonophysics (1998 - present)
  • Member Editorial Board - Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors (1998 - present)
  • NERC Research Fellowship 1990-1992
  • NERC Research Fellowship (renewed) 1992
  • Scholarship, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, USA 1984-1989
  • Senior Scholarship for First Class Performance, St. John's College, Cambridge 1982

Professional memberships

  • Fellow - Royal Astronomical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union
  • Cymdeithas Wyddonol Caerdydd
  • British Geophysical Association

Previous academic positions

  • 2001-present: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer / Reader /Professor – Cardiff University
  • 1992-2001: Theoretical Geophysics Lecturer - University of Liverpool
  • 1990-1992: NERC Research Fellow, Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, University of Cambridge
  • 1984-1989: Research Assistant, Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Speaking engagements

Recent invited conference presentations

  • Recent Keynote - Davies, JH, Webb PJ and DR Davies, Tethyan dynamic topography over the past 300Ma, International Geological Congress, Brisbane, 8 August, 2012
  • Recent Invited - Davies JH, Garel F, Goes S, Davies DR, Kramer S, Wilson C; Overriding plate deformation during subduction evolution; American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 18 December, 2015

Recent invited seminars

  • University of Sydney, Sydney, Nov 2014
  • Australian National University, Nov 2014
  • Macquarie University, Nov 2014
  • University of California, Berkeley, Dec 2014
  • Lille University, June 2015
  • Utrecht University, June 2015
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, July, 2015
  • Yale University, July 2015
  • Princeton University, July 2015
  • Columbia Universtity, July 2015

University committees

University Committees

  • 2008 - present: Advanced Research Computing at Cardiff (ARCCA) – Oversight Committee
  • 2009 - present: Advanced Research Computing at Cardiff (ARCCA) - Operational and User Group Committee

    External Committees

  • 2013 - present: Member Geophysics Forum (Geological Society of London and Royal Astronomcal Society)

Career overview

  • Professor in Geodynamics - School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (2015 - present)
  • Reader in Earth and Ocean Sciences – School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (2008  - 2015)
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciecnes – School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (2001 - 2008)
  • Lecturer in Geophysics – Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Liverpool (1992-2001)
  • NERC Research Fellow – Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, University of Cambridge (1990-1992)

Education and Qualifications

  • PhD – Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (1989)
  • MS – Geophysics, California Institute of Technology (1988)
  • BA  Natural Sciences – Physics and Theoretical Physics -  University of Cambridge (1983)

I lecture on modules Plate Tectonics, Dynamic Earth and Geodynamics. I previously lectured on Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

I lead the Solid Earth Research Group, and one of its sub-constituent groups, the Mantle Geodynamics Group (MGG).  The MGG tries to understand how the region between the crust and the core, called the mantle, drives Earth dynamics including plate tectonics. We primarily do this using advanced numerical models on high performance computers. We constrain the models using observational data from many disciplines ranging from seismology and geodesy to geochemistry, geology and petrology.