Gualtieri Receives 2017 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

Lucia Gualtieri will receive the 2017 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award recognizes “scientific accomplishments of young scientists in the field of seismology.”



Lucia Gualtieri earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. cum laude in physics from the University of Bologna (Italy) and a double Ph.D. degree from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (France) and University of Bologna (Italy) in 2014. As a graduate student, she was the recipient of a Marie Curie Fellowship in the framework of the EU Initial Training Network QUEST (Quantitative Estimation of Earth’s Seismic Sources and Structure). Since 2015, she has worked at Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where she holds a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Earth, environmental, and ocean sciences.

Lucia works on a variety of topics, such as seismic tomography, ambient seismic noise, and seismic signals due to mass-wasting events. Lucia’s research encompasses theory, computational simulation, and data analysis and makes use of different geophysical data sets (notably, seismic and oceanographic data sets). During her Ph.D., she did some original work on the understanding of the generation mechanism of ambient seismic noise, contributing to showing how ocean wave models can be used deterministically to predict the time–space varying spectrum of seismic ambient noise. She has obtained novel results that clarified theoretical fundamental issues about the generation mechanisms of seismic ambient noise and the coupling between the oceans and the solid Earth. As a postdoctoral fellow, she expanded her research interests and started working in another interdisciplinary field, the characterization and modeling of seismic signals generated by mass-wasting events.

Lucia is an excellent young scientist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of the time–space varying spectrum of seismic ambient noise. She is a worthy choice for the Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, which recognizes the significance of her early-career accomplishments and anticipates further outstanding contributions in the future.


—Eléonore Stutzmann, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France


I am humbled to receive the 2017 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, and I thank the section for this recognition. I have always been impressed by the breadth of Keiiti Aki’s pioneering work and inspired by his skill in combining observations and theory. It goes without saying that it is an incredible honor to receive this award bearing his name. It is also a great privilege to be put in the company of the previous recipients of the award.

I am truly grateful to my family, friends, and colleagues who have contributed to my personal and scientific growth so far. In particular, I would like to thank my Ph.D. advisor, Eléonore Stutzmann, for her constant guidance and for motivating me to pursue exciting research, and my Ph.D. co-advisor, Andrea Morelli, for providing me with my very first look at seismology and with continuous support throughout the years. I would also like to thank Göran Ekström, my postdoctoral advisor, for giving me freedom to develop my own ideas and for helping me to grow as a scientist. I was very fortunate to be a Ph.D. student within the framework of the EU Initial Training Network QUEST, which gave me the opportunity to establish several international connections and meet many colleagues around the world. I am grateful to all of them.

I consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to work in different countries and institutes, and to have been often challenged to get out of my personal and scientific comfort zone. The research I have been doing often overcomes the boundaries of traditional seismology and brings me into contact with people in diverse fields. I believe that interdisciplinary research involving seismology and other fields in geophysics will have the potential to substantially advance our knowledge of the Earth moving forward.


—Lucia Gualtieri, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ