Dr Amy Gilligan

Dr Amy Gilligan
Dr Amy Gilligan

Dr Amy Gilligan

MEarthSci (Oxford), PhD (Cambridge)




I am a Lecturer in Geophysics at the University of Aberdeen, interested in using seismic data to understand tectonic processes that are happening on Earth today, and how these have evolved over geological history.

My current research is focussed on North Borneo where I am using seismic data from the newly deployed nBOSS network to understand what happens in the lithosphere after subduction stops. The nBOSS network is a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen, University of Cambridge, and the Universiti Malaysia Sabah with support from the Malaysian Metrological Service and SeisUK. I use a variety of passive seismic imaging techniques, including receiver functions, surfaces waves and shear-wave splitting to develop models of the crust and mantle, which can then be interpreted in light of tectonic processes that are, or have, taken place. I use these models to help better pinpoint the location of earthquakes that have occurred in North Borneo both to help understand the tectonics in this region and the potential seismic hazard. 

Prior to arriving at Aberdeen as a post-doc in 2016, I worked at Imperial College London. There my research focused on the seismic structure of the lithosphere in Eastern Canada. I was involved in the QM-III project (Québec-Maine across three sutures) and managed the network of 10 seismic stations that Imperial College had deployed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

In my PhD research at the University of Cambridge I imaged the structure of the crust and upper mantle in central Asia, with a particular focus on intracontinental deformation taking place in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan and deformation related to the India-Eurasia collision in the Western Himalayas and Western Tibet. These images were made using receiver function, surface waves from earthquakes and ambient noise data to construct shear velocity models for a region covering India, the Tibetan Plateau, the Tarim Basin and the Tien Shan.


  • MEarthSci Earth Sciences 
    2010 - University of Oxford 
  • PhD Seismology 
    2014 - University of Cambridge 

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