Team members

Aaron Micallef (AM) is the leader of the Marine Geology & Seafloor Surveying (MGSS) group at the University of Malta. He is a marine geologist with expertise in seafloor geomorphology, marine hydrogeology and seafloor surveying. Aaron leads a related groundwater project funded by the ERC called MARCAN. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master’s degree in geomorphology, and completed his PhD in marine geology at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Amir Haroon (AH) developed the Differential Electrical Dipole (DED) system for groundwater research in shallow marine environments. His expertise include time-domain EM data acquisition, processing and interpretation. He joined GEOMAR for a three-month employment between July and September 2017, where he collaborated with. S. Hölz & M. Jegen to process and interpret the coincident-loop transient EM data from the JC138 cruise. Before re-joining GEOMAR in January 2018, Haroon worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the EM Group of the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. His current research interest focuses on 3D forward modeling of CSEM data and 2D inversion of time-domain EM data for groundwater research. Currently, AH is employed on his own DFG project to develop a 2D adaptive finite element inversion algorithm for time-domain electromagnetic applications.

Bradley Weymer (BW) is a postdoctoral researcher in the marine electromagnetics group at GEOMAR. He is the project leader of SMART and is in charge of the day-to-day management and coordination of the project. BW is a coastal geologist by training and has experience in investigating the hydrogeology of coastal systems ranging from; barrier islands in southern Texas, USA to gravel beaches of the Canterbury plains in New Zealand, to carbonate coastlines in Malta. BW has participated in 5 International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions (IODP EXP’s: 307, 309/312, 342, 356), and the National Gas Hydrate Program of India (NGHP EXP 1, legs 3a, 3b, and 4) onboard the D/V JOIDES Resolution. He has experience sailing (in different capacities) on various research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, northern Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Christian Berndt (CB) is professor of marine geophysics at GEOMAR and Head of the Research Unit Marine Geodynamics. In addition to these thematic contributions CB was also engaged in technological developments that will be put to work in the proposed project. CB is one of two inventors of the P-Cable 3D-Seismic System. This system provides very efficiently high-resolution 3D seismic data. He has been working on different aspects of fluid migration in the sea-floor for the past 20 years including gas hydrate dynamics, sea-floor stability, and subsurface sediment deformation, and published widely on these topics. He was chief scientist on 18 major research cruises and participant in more than 30 cruises. 

Christian Hensen (CH) is senior researcher in the Research Unit Marine Geosystems. He is a marine geochemist with specific focus on fluid geochemistry, early diagenetic processes and modelling of transport-reaction processes in marine sediments. His central interest is to deepen the understanding of how deep-sourced geochemical processes are related to fluid generation and fluid flow. CH is currently coordinating the EU-funded COST Action FLOWS (Impact of Fluid circulation in old oceanic Lithosphere on the seismicity of transfOrm-type plate boundaries: neW solutions for early seismic monitoring of major European Seismogenic zones), where he is addressing the role of seismic activity affecting fluid migration and seafloor seepage.

Hela Mehrtens (HM) is the Equal Opportunity Commissioner at GEOMAR since 2015. Being a marine meteorologist by education, she moved onto working as a scientific data manager, supporting interdisciplinary and large-scale projects in internal communication, data description, data exchange and publication.

Jens Karstens (JK) is a postdoctoral researcher in the marine geodynamics group at Geomar. JK is a marine geophysicists with a focus on the analysis of various aspects of sub-seafloor fluid flow using reflection seismics. His research covers the evolution of fluid flow and gas hydrate systems, Carbon Capture and Storage as well as the formation of blowouts and their natural analogues. In addition, he is working on volcanogenic tsunamis and is developing geophysical seafloor sensors. JK has participated in 15 research cruises and was the chief scientist on 2 of them.

Marion Jegen (MJ) has 25 years of experience in designing and building marine EM instrumentation and carrying out marine electromagnetic experiments. Focus of her recent studies involves imaging shallow seafloor processes (methane hydrates, offshore aquifers and massive sulfide deposits) using controlled source electromagnetics. An integral part of her work is the integration of electromagnetics with other geophysical methodology. A longstanding interest is tectonic research, i.e. subduction zones, hot-spots and rifting structures. MJ has built up and heads the marine electromagnetic group at GEOMAR since 2006.

Mark Everett (ME) is a professor of geophysics at Texas A&M University, USA. Mark holds BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from York University, Canada and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Toronto. He is the author of a recently published book on Near- Surface Applied Geophysics and is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Geophysics. In SMART, ME will provide expertise on land-based geophysical measurements, processing, and interpretation and will participate field and teaching workshops at the University of Malta.

Mark Schmidt (MS) is a member of the Marine Biogeochemistry Division of the German research institute GEOMAR and Associate Professor at the University of Kiel (“Privatdozent”). He started his scientific career in the 90’s as an environmental/physical chemist (PhD in atmospheric chemistry), and then changed to earth sciences (habilitation in geosciences in 2006). Over the last decades his research interests concentrated on investigating fluid geochemistry in the water column and sediments to reconstruct subsurface processes. Actually a more applied and industry-related research is in focus, i.e. gas sensor development, under-water mass spectrometry, autonomous sensor platforms. MS participated on more than 40 international research cruises including offshore submersible, ROV, AUV, CTD, coring, and Lander operations. 

Volker Liebetrau (VL) is a geochemist with a 20 year-track record working on sediment geochemistry with an emphasis on carbonate systems. Moreover he is an expert in geochronology using stable- and radioisotopes. He is operating the radio-decay counting laboratory at GEOMAR and will supervise the analysis within SMART.