Prof. Juan Carlos Afonso

Prof. Juan C. Afonso is a theoretical geophysicist and geodynamicist. His research focuses on the thermochemical structure and evolution of the lithosphere, the mechanical and geochemical interactions between tectonic plates and the sublithospheric upper mantle, and their effects on small- and large-scale tectonic processes. His most recent research combines multiscale probabilistic inversion and numerical modelling techniques to address some of the most fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the lithosphere and upper mantle using a formal combination of multiple satellite- (e.g. gravity, magnetic field) and land-based (e.g. geochemistry, seismic) data sets. He also works on the development of numerical algorithms to model the complex couplings between geochemical and geodynamic processes inside planets at multiple scales.

Organic Chemistry
The National Chemistry


- Excited to start another collaboration project with Geoscience Australia on state-of-the-art techniques for joint inversion of massive geophysical and geochemical datasets. Welcome to Fatimah, our new PhD student!
- CONGRATULATIONS! to Dr. Constanza Manassero, whose PhD thesis "A Reduced Order Approach for Probabilistic Inversions of 3D Magnetotelluric Data" received fantastic reviews! Well done Coti! Check related paper here:
- Welcome to Mr Marti Burcet, our new PhD cotutelle student with the UPC (Barcelona) and funded by CSIRO.
- Honored to be a keynote speaker at the 2020 Gordon Research Conference on Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits (
- We just got another ARC DP Project with my colleagues Y. Yang, N. Rawlinson and M. Ritzwoller to start in 2019!!! 
- Really nice news to have been selected as the recipient of the 2019 IUGG Early Career Scientist Award and the 2018 FSE Leadership in Research Award!
- We just got an ARC Linkage Project for over $1M to collaborate with UNW, GA, and a number of Geological Surveys! 
- Welcome to Dr. Ilya Fomin (PhD ETH) and Dr Walid Mansour (PhD Leicester) who have recently joined our group (2018) as a postdocs to work on 3D probabilistic inversions of multiple geophysical and petrological data sets in projects co-funded by Geoscience Australia and DeBeers.
- We are always looking for outstanding motivated students to join our PhD cohort. Send me an email if you are interested in doing a PhD with us.

Some of the members of the Macquarie's Geophysics and Geodynamics Group (MG3) in early 2018. 


  • Manassero, M. C., Afonso, J. C., Zyserman, F., Zlotnik, S., & Fomin, I. (2020). A Reduced Order Approach for Probabilistic Inversions of 3D Magnetotelluric Data I: General Formulation.

  • Kumar et al., (2020) LitMod2D_2.0: An improved integrated geophysical-petrological modeling tool for the physical interpretation of upper mantle anomalies, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, e2019GC008777.

  • Oliveira, B., Afonso, J.C., Tilhac, R (2020), A disequilibrium reactive transport model for mantle magmatism, J. Petrol. egaa067,

  • Zhang, A., Guo, Z., Afonso, J.C. , Yang., Y., Yang, B., Xu, Y., (2020) The deep thermochemical structure of the Dabie Orogenic Belt from multi-observable probabilistic inversion. Tectonophysics, 787,

  • Galabert, O., Zlotnik, S., Afonso, J.C., Diez, P. (2020) Fast Stokes flow simulations for geophysical-geodynamic inverse problems and sensitivity analyses based on reduced order modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125, e2019JB018314.

  • Tilhac, R. Oliveira, B., Griffin, W.L., O'Reilly, S.Y., Schaefer, B., Alard, O., Culeneer, G., Afonso, J.C., Grégoire, M. (2020), Reworking of old continental lithosphere: Unradiogenic Os and decoupled HfNd isotopes in sub-arc mantle pyroxenites, Lithos, 354–355,

  • Zhang, A., Afonso, J.C., Xu, Y., Wu, S., Yang, Y., Yang, B (2019),The deep lithospheric structure of the Junggar terrane, NW China: Implications for its origin and tectonic evolution. J. Geophys. Res.,124, 11615-11638,

  • Grose, C.J. and  Afonso, J.C. (2019), Chemical disequilibria, lithospheric thickness and the source of ocean island basalts. J. Petrol.,Volume 60, Issue 4, April 2019, Pages 755–790,

  • Grose, C.J. and  Afonso, J.C. (2019), New Constraints on the Thermal Conductivity of the Upper Mantle from Numerical Models of Radiation Transport. Geochem., Geophys.,Geosys., 20, 2378–-2394. 

  • Afonso, J.C., Salajeghegh, F., Szwillus, W., Ebbing, J., Gaina, C. (2019), A global reference model of the lithosphere and upper mantle from joint inversion and analysis of multiple data sets, Geophys. J. Int.  ggz094,

  • Szwillus, W., Afonso, J.C., Ebbing, J., Mooney, W. (2019), Global crustal thickness and velocity structure from geostatistical analysis of seismic data, J. Geophys. Res. 124.  

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Macquarie University

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