Lingling Ye

Lingling Ye earned her bachelor’s degree in geophysics at the University of Science and Technology of China and her M.S. degree in geophysics from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015, she received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), having received the UCSC Aaron C. Waters Award for the most outstanding Ph.D. proposal. She was a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology Seismological Laboratory from 2015 to 2018. She is currently a visiting researcher at the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo and a professor at Sun Yat-sen University, where she is a recipient of a Junior Thousand Talents Plan of China award.

Dr. Ye’s primary research areas are earthquake seismology and seismotectonics. All 37 of her peer-viewed publications, including 18 first-authored papers, have appeared since 2011. Her Ph.D. research addressed a diverse range of earthquake processes for large shallow and deep-focus earthquakes, including finite fault slip model inversions of seismic and geodetic data, stress transfer around faults, source parameter scaling, strong ground shaking hazards, and quantification of tectonic processes. A unifying theme of her work has been the energy release of large earthquakes, quantified by seismic waves and placed into the context of tectonic plate motions driving the earthquake deformation. She applies state-of-the-art analysis tools while innovatively developing new procedures for exploiting the rapidly expanding data sets available to geophysicists for quantifying earthquake processes. Her recent directions of research include new efforts in site response characterization, analysis of rupture initiation, and quantification of volcanic earthquake processes.

Early-career researchers seldom approach the level and breadth of creative accomplishments attained by Dr. Lingling Ye, and thus it is very fitting for AGU to recognize her contributions and future potential by her selection for the 2018 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award.

—Thorne Lay, University of California, Santa Cruz


I am truly honored to receive the Aki Award and to be placed in such outstanding ranks as those of the past awardees. I would not be receiving this award without many supportive and generous mentors, collaborators, and friends over the years, of whom I can only name a few here. Special thanks are due Thorne Lay and Hiroo Kanamori, not only for their incredible patience and excellent supervision for a student but also for infecting me with their passion for science and their love for seismology. I would also like to thank Keith Koper, Luis Rivera, Emily Brodsky, Nadia Lapusta, Jean-Philippe Avouac, Tom Heaton, Victor Tsai, and Kenji Satake for their inspiring collaborations and generous support of my research. I am also grateful for the supportive environments at University of California, Santa Cruz, the Seismo Lab at Caltech, and Sun Yat-sen University.

I feel fortunate to be an observational seismologist with extensive observations available to understand the fundamental physics of natural phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes, thanks to the unselfish and open-minded seismology community and advances in observation techniques. It is the beauty of doing research to disentangle complicated observations with simple theory. As a personal belief, without definitive observational (seismological) evidence, geophysics leads nowhere. With the explosion of high-quality data, I look forward to continuing to work toward more understanding of our dynamic Earth.

—Lingling Ye, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China


(2018), Ye receives 2018 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, Eos, 99, Published on 21 November 2018.

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