Welcome to my webpage! I am Behrooz Ferdowsi, currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Geosciences, Princeton University. Previously, I was a Harry H. Hess Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019) at Princeton Geosciences. I am primarily working with Prof. Allan M. Rubin on constitutive laws for rock friction, also known as rate- and state-dependent friction laws. My work is currently supported by funds from the United States National Science Foundation, and the United States Geological Survey.

Before coming to Princeton in June 2017, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, Sediment Dynamics Laboratory (PennSeD) and a Synthesis Postdoctoral Fellow of the National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics (NCED) (February 2015 to May 2017). At PennSeD, I worked with Prof. Douglas J. Jerolmack (UPenn, Earth and Environmental Science) on bimodal sediment transport, subsurface to surface evolution of riverbeds and also granular controls of hillslope creep and geophysical landscape evolution. I received my PhD (Dr. sc.) in September 2014, from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. For my PhD research, I studied the influence of vibrations on the frictional behavior of sheared granular layers.

As a person whose research and academic endeavors have been affected by exclusivity (because of my national origin, I experienced a one-year-long postdoc visa delay when moving for my first postdoc to the US. I have been then subject to the US Travel Ban from January 2017, because of my national origin, while I was studying and doing research for my first postdoctoral appointment in the US. This situation continues until nowadays, which means that I cannot travel for visits, meetings and conferences anywhere outside the United States of America.), I am strongly committed to inclusivity, increasing of diversity, and broadening the participation of and advancement of under-represented groups and minoritized people in the academic and research environments.

Please send me an email at the address (behrooz @ princeton.edu), if you need an updated copy of my academic resume.


My more up-to-date website: http://behroozf.github.io 

My publication list including in progress and submitted papers are accessible here.


Information for ReMatch and prospective ReMatch+ Summer Programs participants

I am participating as a mentor for first and second-year undergraduate students, in the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP) of the Office of the Dean of the College, and ReMatch program of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Princeton University. The student participants of the SIF and ReMatch programs should feel free to reach out to me (at my email address below) if they have any questions.

I would like to take in a student, with my mentor Prof. Allan M. Rubin as the official department advisor, for research opportunities in summer 2020. I will be glad to help students with developing their research proposals for the ReMatch+ Summer Program, with target dates for the proposal workshop on January 22, 2020, and for proposal submission on February 10, 2020. My current topics of interest include but are not limited to, better understanding the mechanisms and processes that shape the surface and near-surface of the Earth and other planets (and asteroids) on a wide range of time (and space) scales, i.e., from the scale of immediate interest for humans and life (decades to some centuries), to geologic time scale (millions of years). Please note that my research interests are broad and I am flexible to help and be a mentor in a variety of topics that students find most interesting -- as long as we share some common scientific interests. 


Research interests

My research activities are at the interface of Mechanics of MaterialsGeophysicsGeology, and Soft and Granular Matter Physics. Until nowadays, I have worked on problems in rock friction and fault mechanics, geophysical landscape evolution, and soil and sediment transport in rivers and hillslopes, among others. I am generally interested in using a broad set of tools, for connecting observations in the area of Solid Earth Geosciences broadly, i.e. Earth's surface and subsurface processes, to their physical and chemical origins as quantitatively as possible, across the scales. The immediate applications are in prediction and modeling of geohazards (earthquakes, earthflows, and landslides, as some examples), flow and failure of geomaterials at different environmental conditions, and better understanding of the processes that shape the surface and subsurface of the Earth (and other planets). At some stage, this broad and important goal would also require new developments in applied mathematics and applied mechanics, as well as advances in observational methods, through laboratory and field-based experiments. That is the direction I am moving toward. Some of my more specific interests include but are not limited to:

  • Development of constitutive laws and Equations of State for Earth and planetary materials at the Earth's surface, near surface, and subsurface;
  • Applications of soft condensed matter phyiscs in geosciences, from lab and theory to the (geological) field: sediment transport, frictional behavior and rheology of Earth materials;
  • Experimentally-based analytical/computational and multiscale modeling for geoscientific problems; asymptotic analysis;
  • Continuum (finite elemenet method), discontinuum (discrete element method, molecular dynamics), and coupled modeling approaches;
  • Physics of granular and disordered media.