Head of Geodynamic Modelling Section.
Head of Helmholtz Young Investigators Group CRYSTALS.
Elected member and vice chair of GFZ's Internal Scientific Council.
My general scientific interests comprise lithosphere dynamics, natural hazards, plate tectonics, climate and their intricate links. My current main focus lies on the dynamics of rifting and continental breakup across the scales: from the localisation of faults and shear zones to lithospheric necking and the interaction with mantle convection and large-scale plate tectonics. To study these processes, I use a diverse set of modelling tools and integrate observations from structural geology, geophysical imaging, rheology, and plate reconstructions.
A list of more detailed research topics and representative papers is shown below.
Rifted continental margins
Global plate tectonics
CO2 degassing and long-term climate change
Rheology and strain localization
Interaction of tectonics and surface processes
Surface expressions of mantle convection
Tsunamis and submarine landslides
Since 12/2019: Head of Geodynamic Modelling Section (GFZ Potsdam)
Since 11/2019: Privatdozent (University of Potsdam)
07/2019: Habilitation in Geosciences (University of Potsdam)
06/2016 - 05/2021: Helmholtz Young Investigators Group Leader (GFZ Potsdam)
06/2013 - 05/2016: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015: EarthByte Group, Sydney, Australia; 2015-2016: Geodynamic Modelling Section, GFZ Potsdam)
10/2009 - 05/2013: PostDoc, Geodynamic Modelling Section (GFZ Potsdam)
04/2007 - 06/2007: Visiting scientist, Hydrodynamic Modelling Group (Texas A&M University, USA)
02/2006 - 09/2009: PhD candidate, Geodynamic Modelling Section (GFZ Potsdam)
10/1999 - 01/2006: Student of Physics, Diploma thesis in Biophysics, Humboldt University, Berlin (2002-2003: Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France)
2020: How did the asymmetric conjugate continental margins of the South China Sea form? – Quantitative insights from high-resolution numerical modeling. Funding institution: Chinese Scientific Council, Role: Co-PI
2019-2022: The seismic cycle of great earthquakes: Numerical multi-scale modelling of transients and tipping points. Funding institution: Geo.X, Role: PI
2019-2021: Machine learning of geological structures in 3-D seismic reflection data and numerical models. Funding institution: Geo.X, Role: PI
2019-2020: Structures and Dynamics of Continental Rift Systems. Funding institution: HLRN, Role: PI
2019: Regional-scale CO2 degassing in the Eger rift, Czech Republic. Funding institution: GFZ, Role: PI
2019: Rheology of Continental Rifting, Funding institution: TWAS-DFG, Role: Co-PI
2018-2020: Plume-induced subduction initiation: Insights from the south-western margin of the Caribbean, Funding institution: DFG, Role: PI
2018-2021: How the complexity of continental breakup controls ocean circulation, Funding institution: ARC, Role: Co-PI
2017-2018: Linking continental breakup dynamics to climate changes, Funding institution: DAAD, Role: PI
2016-2021: CRYSTALS (Continental Rift Dynamics Across the Scales), Funding institution: Helmholtz Association, Role: PI
2013-2016: GLORY (Global Tectonics with Realistic Rheology), Funding institution: European Union, Role: PI
2009-2013: SAMPLE (South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution)
2006-2009: GITEWS (German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System)
2018: Research Grant - Basic Module of German Research Foundation (DFG)
2016: Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Grant (German Academic Exchange Service - DAAD)
2015: Helmholtz Young Investigators Grant (Helmholtz Association)
2013: Marie Curie Grant (European Research Executive Agency)
2013: GFZ PostDoc Award (Annual PostDoc Price at GFZ Potsdam).
2010: DGG Young Scientist Poster Award (Poster Price of the Annual Meeting of the German Geophysical Society)
12/2020: n-tv - Afrika bricht langsam auseinander (German interview)
06/2020: Sueddeutsche Zeitung - In Ostafrika könnte ein neuer Ozean entstehen
04/2019: WDR 5 "Quarks Wissenschaft und mehr" - German radio interview about the temperature of Earth's core (starting at 16 min 30s)
11/2017: Bild der Wissenschaft - Wenn Kontinente brechen, wird`s warm
11/2017: Cosmos - Continent break-up fuelled early climate change
12/2016: EARTH Magazine - Why tectonic plates lurch forward when they break
07/2016: Spektrum der Wissenschaft - Kontinente zerreißen wie Brotteig
07/2016: New York Times - Continents Split Up at the Same Speed Finger Nails Grow. And That’s Fast.
08/2015: Bild der Wissenschaft - Die Geburt eines Ozeans
06/2015: Der Standard - Der Monsun beeinflusst sogar die Tektonik
03/2014: Yahoo.com - Tectonic Puzzle: Why West Africa Didn't Follow South America
03/2014: Spiegel Online - Die unmögliche Nase Südamerikas
03/2014: Süddeutsche Zeitung - Die Welt, die niemals war
03/2014: Nature World News - Sahara Desert Could Have Been an Ocean.
12/2020: Brune, S, Glerum, A., Neuharth, D., Heine, C.: "Numerical modeling of continental microplate dynamics: São Paulo Plateau (South Atlantic) and Victoria (East Africa)" Transform margins workshop 2, Smolenice, Slovakia
03/2020: Brune, S. “The interplay between rift dynamics and plate motions” 36th IGC, Delhi, India (postponed due to Corona pandemic)
10/2019: Brune, S. "Modelling continental rift dynamics across the scales" IMAGinING RIFTING Workshop II, Biarritz, France
04/2019: Brune, S.; Williams, S., Wong, K.; Mason, E.; Edmonds, M.; Zahirovic, S.; East, M.; Müller, D. "CO₂ Degassing at Continental Rifts and other Tectonic Settings: Towards Quantifying Plate Tectonic Control on Long-term Climate Change" EGU General Assembly, Vienna
04/2018: Brune, S. “Potential links between continental rifting, CO2 degassing and climate change through time” Deep Carbon Observatory Workshop, Cambridge, UK
12/2017: Brune, S. "Thermomechanical Controls on the Success and Failure of Continental Rift Systems" AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
08/2017: Brune, S., S. Williams, G. Corti, R.D. Müller, G. Ranalli "Continental Rifting: From Plate Boundary Processes to Global Geodynamics" Invited Keynote, NetherMod - the XV International Workshop on Numerical Modelling of Mantle and Lithosphere Dynamics, Putten, Netherlands
04/2017: Brune, S., S. Williams, N. Butterworth, R.D. Müller "Abrupt plate acceleration during rifted margin formation: Cause and effect" EGU General Assembly, Vienna
12/2016: Brune, S. "Abrupt plate acceleration through oblique rifting: Geodynamic aspects of Gulf of California evolution." AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
05/2016: Brune, S.: "Dynamics of Active Rifts and Rifted Margins: Insights from Numerical Experiments." 78th EAGE Conference, Vienna, Austria
03/2016: Brune, S. "Numerical Modelling of Rift Dynamics: Linking Observations on Fault, Basin and Global Scale." Invited Keynote. RIFTS III Conference at the Geological Society of London
04/2015: Brune, S. "Crustal Rheology and Rifted Margin Architecture: Comparing Iberia-Newfoundland, Central South Atlantic, and South China Sea." EGU General Assembly, Vienna
06/2010: Brune, S. "Landslide generated tsunamis and methods for early warning." CBC Workshop on Tsunami Modelling, Oslo
since 2018: Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth
2016: Guest Editor for Tectonophysics Special Volume “Tectonics of Oblique Plate Boundary Systems”
2019/20: University of Potsdam, Topic: “Geothermics and Geodynamics: Observations, models, and processes between drill core and global scale" (MGEW34/GEW-OBS11, 4 SWS) with Sven Fuchs, Anne Glerum, and Ben Norden.
2018/19: University of Potsdam, Topic: “Modelling structure and dynamics of the lithosphere” (MGEW34/GEW-OBS11, 4 SWS) with Judith Bott and Anne Glerum.
2018: University of Potsdam, Topic: “Introduction to Geodynamic Modelling” (Block course in graduate school StRATEGy, 2 SWS) with Anne Glerum.
2018: University of Oslo, Guest lectures (2 units) in the DEEP school postgraduate course “Solid Earth – Fluid Earth interactions” organized by Carmen Gaina.
2016 & 2017: Bochum University, Guest lectures (2 units per year) within the course “Tectonics and basin analysis for hydrocarbon exploration: from plate to prospect scale” of Christian Heine.
2016 & 2017: Potsdam University, Guest lectures (4 units per year) within the course “Advanced Geodynamics” of Stephan Sobolev and Michael Riedel.
2015 & 2016: Potsdam University, Regular lectures (8 units per year) within the courses “Geological 3D Modelling” and “Special Topics in Basin Analysis” with Maria Mutti, Judith Sippel and Mauro Cacace.
2013 – 2015: Sydney University, Regular lectures (8 units per year) within the course „Geophysical Methods” with Dietmar Müller, Patrice Rey, Simon Williams, Christian Heine, Nicolas Flament.
since 06/2020: Convener, "Rifts and Rifted Margins Online Seminar Series". Bi-weekly seminar sessions take place as one-hour Zoom Meetings with 3 short talks (13-15 min) belonging to one scientific topic. Recordings of all previous talks are available here. Subscribe to our mailing list, to stay informed about the programme and to join live.
2020: Convener, "Advances in the extensional tectonics of continental margins", Symposium at the 36th International Geological Congress (IGC), 2-8 March, Delhi, India
2019: Co-Convener, "Observations and models of continental rifts, pull-apart basins, backarc basins, and rifted margins", AGU Fall Meeting
2019: Convener, "Continental Rift Evolution: Tectonics, Topography, Transients", EGU General Assembly, Vienna
2018: Co-Organizer, "Interplay of heatflow, subsidence and continental break-up: a case study workshop" Geological Society, Burlington House, London
2017: Convener, "Continental Rifts and Passive Margins: Geology, Geophysics, Geodynamics", AGU Fall Meeting
2016: Co-Convener, "Origin, architecture, and dynamics of extensional basins", AGU Fall Meeting
2016: Co-Convener, “Rifted basins and margins: architecture and evolution“, 35th IGC, Capetown
2015: Convener, “Rifts and Passive Margins: Tectonics, Dynamics, Processes“, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
2015: Co-Convener, “Plate tectonics and plate boundary deformation: Observations and models on global, regional and basin scales”, GeoBerlin
2014: Convener, “Oblique Deformation: The 3D Challenge“, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
2012: Co-Convener, “ Plate kinematics, mantle convection, paleogeography and sea level“, EGU General Assembly, Vienna