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EGU Award Ceremony (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Awards 2024 Stephen P. Hicks

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European Geosciences Union

Stephen P. Hicks

Stephen P. Hicks
Stephen P. Hicks

SM Seismology

The 2024 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Stephen P. Hicks for exceptional contributions to seismology, including innovative seismic imaging techniques, studies of earthquake processes as well as Earth structure, science communication and community building.

Stephen P. Hicks is awarded the 2024 Seismology Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award for his remarkable contributions to the field of seismology. His broad contributions range from focusing on the crust to the core mantle boundary, to enhancing our understanding of Earth’s structure, as well as of earthquake processes.

Hicks’ doctoral research on subduction zone earthquakes along the Chilean megathrust has yielded a series of highly referenced papers, signifying his early emergence as a leading scholar in the field. After an interlude in industry, Hicks returned to academia, where he continued to make groundbreaking contributions. His innovative approach to seismic imaging of the Eastern Caribbean subduction zone, combining ocean bottom seismometer and land seismic data, represents a significant advancement in our understanding of these complex geological structures. Additionally, his application of machine learning techniques to the study of induced earthquakes, and the development of new seismic imaging techniques using data from the Azores-Madeira-Canary islands region, demonstrate his ability to integrate emerging technologies into seismological research.

Hicks’ broad knowledge in seismology, coupled with his exceptional problem-solving skills and creativity, has led to several innovative contributions. These include his observations of a back-propagating supershear earthquake rupture and a multidisciplinary interpretation of fluid and melt pathways in the mantle. His exceptional publication record, including multiple papers in top-tier journals like Nature and Science, highlights his significant impact on the field.

Beyond his research, Hicks has shown a strong commitment to outreach and engagement with non-scientists. His active presence on social media and regular contributions to media outlets demonstrate his dedication to science communication. His leadership in analyzing the impact of reduced noise during the COVID-19 lockdown on earthquake detection and his role in founding the community-driven journal Seismica highlights his contributions to the broader scientific community.

In summary, Stephen P. Hicks stands out not only for his scientific excellence but also for his leadership in research and commitment to public engagement in science. His contributions to seismology have not only advanced our understanding of earthquake dynamics and Earth structure but also set an example for all scientists in our division (and beyond).