Brendan J. Meade

Brendan J. Meade

  • Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Affiliate in Computer Science


From Mexico City to Lisbon, San Francisco to Tokyo, earthquakes have shattered the ground beneath our feet and shaped both the surface of our planet and the development of civilizations. Today nearly one billion people live within 300 kilometers of a seismically active fault zone and a simple truth is that the devastating effects of earthquakes will become more frequent and widespread as urban populations continue to increase. It is within this human context that we work to predict the size, location, and timing of future earthquakes: a fundamental scientific goal that has remained elusive for centuries.
A new era of earthquake understanding is emerging with the development of massive satellite and terrestrial earth monitoring networks, the rise of machine learning techniques, and innovations in the computational modeling of fault systems. Observations, both satellite and terrestrial, now enable us to constrain the state of geometrically complex fault systems around the globe. Combined with HPC simulations of earthquake physics work to deconvolve tectonic/hydrologic/anthropogenic signals from the telltale signatures earthquake cycle evolution with the goal of imaging future earthquakes before they happen
Brendan holds Ph.D. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.A. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University has spent sabbaticals as a visiting researcher at Google

Contact Information

Office:Geological Museum 221
Office Phone:(617) 495-8921


Positions & Employment

Professor (2013-present), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Associate Professor of (2009-2013), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Assistant Professor of (2005-2009), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Daly Postdoctoral Fellow (2004-2005), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Faculty Associate (2018-) Computer Science, Harvard University

Visiting Researcher (2014, 2017), Google