Frederik J. Simons Vita

His research encompasses various aspects of solid-earth geophysics. More specifically, he studies the physical properties of the terrestrial lithosphere, focusing in particular on the elastic and thermo-mechanical properties of the continents, by seismic tomography and the (cross-)spectral analysis of gravity and topography. With his group, Frederik has developed mathematical methods for the localized analysis of scalar and vectorial fields on the sphere, for satellite geodesy, geomagnetism, and cosmology, designed wavelet-based signal processing methods for global and exploration seismology, and developed oceanic instrumentation to close the seismic coverage gap over the Earth's oceans.

Read more about projects Mermaid here and Son-O-Mermaid here, in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, in The Economist, in NERC's magazine Planet Earth, and in Nature Magazine.

Find out more about Slepian functions and spherical wavelets in the video from a lecture given at Northwestern University, on "promoting sparsity and localization in geophysical inverse problems." See also the video material from a lecture given at Harvard University and a lecture at the University of Oxford.

With former post-doc Chris Harig, Frederik wrote widely publicized articles in PNAS and EPSL about the temporal and geographic distribution of the ice mass melting off Greenland and Antarctica, as recorded by time-variable satellite gravity. Read more about this work in layman's terms in the Princeton News releases about Greenland and Antarctica, and in many other international publications in print and on the web. A dedicated website contextualizes and further disseminates the latest research results.

With former post-doc Bob Kopp, Princeton colleagues Adam Maloof and Michael Oppenheimer and Harvard's Jerry Mitrovica, Frederik wrote a widely publicized article in Nature reconstructing the history of sea level fluctuations during the Last Interglacial (about 125 thousand years ago, and thought to be a good analogue for Earth's immediate future), using a probabilistic approach informed by geologic indicators and by the geophysics of sea level change. Read more about this work here, on the Princeton Web News homepage, in The Guardian, The Independent, NewsweekTime Magazine, U.S.News & World Report, and in many other international publications in print and on the web.

At Princeton, Frederik has taught Global and Introductory Geophysics (GEO320 & GEO371/PHY371), Data, Models & Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences (GEO422), and co-taught Fundamentals of the Geosciences (GEO506), Origin and Evolution of the Continental Lithosphere (GEO556) with Blair Schoene, and the Freshman Seminars Earth's Changing Surface & Climate (FRS149 & FRS145), Earth's Environments & Ancient Civilizations  (FRS171 & FRS187), and State of the Earth: Shifts & Cycles (FRS135 & FRS124) , the latter with Adam Maloof. Frederik has given guest lectures for APC524, ART291 and ART401.

Frederik Simons
Last modified: Thu Oct 1 00:24:34 EDT 2020

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