Dr Waszek is a global seismologist, researching the seismic properties of Earth’s deep interior from the inner core to the upper mantle. She is particularly interested in the relationship between seismic structures and their geodynamical origin. She is currently investigating the properties and characteristics of mantle transition zone and mid-mantle discontinuities, and their relationship to mantle convection and composition.

  • PH1005: Advanced Stream Physics 1 (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • PH1007: Advanced Stream Physics 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH2019: Introduction to Electromagnetism Optics and Early Quantum (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • PH3021: Physics of the Earth, Solar System, and Universe (Level 3; TSV)
  • Observations and thermochemical modelling of crustal and upper mantle discontinuities beneath the Australian tectonic plate
  • Discontinuities in the mantle transition zone and mid-mantle: linking seismic observables to mineral physics properties and geodynamical processes
  • Structure and dynamical evolution of Earth's inner core
  • Machine learning applications to automatic signal processing and waveform identification methods
  • 2024 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2020 to 2023 - Lecturer and Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2016 to 2021 - Assistant Professor, New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)
  • 2017 to 2020 - Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow, Australian National University (Canberra, ACT)
  • 2015 to 2016 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
  • 2015 - Honorary Research Fellow, University of Liverpool (Liverpool, UK)
  • 2012 to 2015 - Junior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)
  • 2008 to 2012 - PhD, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)
  • 2004 to 2008 - BA, MSci, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2017 to 2022 - Discovery Early Career Research Award fellowship DE170100329: Constraining the relationship between mantle discontinuities and convection processes beneath the Australian tectonic plate
  • 2012 to 2015 - Junior Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge, Homerton College
  • 2023 to 2027 - Vice Chair, Study of Earth's Deep Interior
  • 2022 to 2025 - Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP220102815: A new journey to the Earth's inner core: a planet within a planet (co-PI)
  • 2019 to 2022 - National Science Foundation grant EAR-1853662: Seismic imaging of mid-mantle reflectors associated with geodynamical processes and compositional heterogeneity (PI)
  • 2017 to 2018 - National Science Foundation grant EAR-1661985: Acquisition of a high performance computing cluster for the Geophysics group at New Mexico State University (PI)
  • 2013 - Waszek et al., 2011: Nature Geoscience five-year anniversary top 10 favourite papers

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 20+ research outputs authored by Dr Lauren Waszek from 2011 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

A new Journey to the Earth's Inner Core: a Planet Within a Planet

Indicative Funding
$12,000 over 3 years
This project aims to address critical unsolved problems in global geophysics by probing the structure and dynamics of the inner core, the Earth?s time capsule. It will elucidate the inner core?s nature with improved tomographic images, critically testing our current understanding of how the inner core is assembled and grows, its thermodynamic state, crystallographic structure, and connection with the Earth?s upper layers and geomagnetic field. Answering these questions has far-reaching consequences for current knowledge of fundamental geophysics. Expected benefits include training students and researchers in geophysics and data processing, contributing to a skilled STEM workforce and creating leadership for Australia.
Lauren Waszek and Hrvoje Tkalcic (College of Science & Engineering and Australian National University)
Geophysics; Seismology

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

Seismic Interpretation of NE QLD

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
This project will update the interpretation of deep seismic lines across NE QLD, from Georgetown to Thomson and Hodkinson provinces. Work carried out at JCU with regard to tectonic models of the development of the eastern margin of the north Australian craton and new processing techniques should allow a better understanding of the fundamental geological and tectonic structure of NE Queensland. Understanding of the large scale distribution of geological provinces in 3 dimensions will underpin other works in the region such as geological mapping and lead to better understanding of mineral systems which include significant potential for critical minerals.
Ioan Sanislav, Lauren Waszek and Melanie Finch (College of Science & Engineering)
Deep seismic lines; North Australian craton; Seismic interpretation; Geological provinces; Tectonic provinces; Georgetown inlier

Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Constraining the relationship between mantle discontinuities and convection processes beneath the Australian Plate

Indicative Funding
$68,436 over 6 years
Earth?s mantle is characterised by hot upwelling plumes and cold downgoing slabs, some of which are deflected at various depths in the upper mantle. The deflection shows some relationship to seismic discontinuities. which arise from mineral and compositional changes, but this is poorly understood. Consequently, the cause of deflection remains debated. The edges of the Australian tectonic plate display a range of subduction processes, providing an ideal natural laboratory. This project will establish any link between the behaviour of slabs and properties of mantle discontinuities, determine the influence of convection on discontinuities, and investigate correlations between deep and shallow structures.
Lauren Waszek in collaboration with Hrvoje Tkalcic, Thuany Costa de Lima and Sanne Cottaar (College of Science & Engineering, Australian National University and University of Cambridge)
Geophysics; natural hazards; seismology

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Deep Seismic Lines in North Queensland: Revealing the Geological and Tectonic structure for a better understanding of Mineral Systems and Critical Mineral Potential (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 14.110A, Engineering & Physical Sciences 2 (Townsville campus)
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