Dr Ping Zhang

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I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU). I earned my Ph.D. in 2023, M.S. in 2017, B.S. in 2014, all in Geophysics, from ANU, University of Science and Techonology of China (USTC), and Jilin University, respectively. 

My primary research interests lie in structural and observational seismology, specifically focusing on understanding the lithospheric structure and evolution of active arc-continent collisions along convergent plate boundaries (e.g. Indonesia and Timor Leste) and the stable Cratons within the continents (e.g. Yilgarn Craton in West Australia and North China Craton). Both systems pose complexities that the classic modern-styple plate tectonics fails to satisfactorily explain. I am dedicating to addressing these outstanding tectonic challenges by not only developing novel seismic imaging method and integrating multiple seismological data (receiver functions, autocorrelations, surface wave data, and body wave data), but also by complementing them with a wide range of independent observations from geophysics, geology, geodynamics, geochemistry, and petrology. 


June 2022 - present: Postdoctoral Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES), Australian National University (ANU), Australia


2018-2022: Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, Australian National University (ANU), Australia

Thesis: Understanding the Banda Arc-Continent Collision through 3-D Seismic Imaging

Select Publications: Zhang et al. EPSL (2022), Zhang et al. G-cubed (2022), Zhang and Miller GRL (2021)

2014-2017: M.S. in Geophysics, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China

Thesis:  Receiver Function Imaging and Joint Inversion Method: Theory and Application (in Chinese)

Select Publications: Zhang et al. JGR (2019) & Zhang and Yao (2017)

2010-2014: B.S. in Geophysics (Graduate with Honors), Jilin University, China


  • 05/2024 - 08/2024: Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (upcoming)
  • 01/2021 - 06/2021: Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China
  • 08/2020 - 12/2020: University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 07/2019 & 12/2019, & 12/2022: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, U.S.
  • 12/2018 & 12/2019: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, U.S.
  • 11/2018: University of Texas at Austin, Austin, U.S.
  • 03/2016 - 07/2016: Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China            
  • 09/2013: Kangwon National University, Gangwon, South Korea


  • 01/2024: Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • 01/2024: The Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Resources of China, Hangzhou, China
  • 01/2024: University of Sciences and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 01/2024: Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 12/2023: College of Geo-exploration Science and Technology, Jilin University, Changchun, China. Title: Unveiling the Banda Arc-Australian Continent Collision Zone: New Insights from Passive Seismic Imaging. Invited School Seminar.
  • 12/2023: 2023 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco U.S. Title: Lithospheric structure of the Archean Yilgarn Craton: new insights from the Southwest Australian Seismic Network (SWAN). Invited talk.
  • 02/2021: 2021 Australian Earth Sciences Convention, Australia. Title: Seismic Imaging of the Subducted Australian Continental Margin beneath Timor and Banda Arc Collision Zone. Keynote speaker.


science Research area

Teaching information

Lecturer at ANU:

Student Supervison and Mentoring at ANU & USTC

  • Putri Ratna (2023): Earth Science Research Project (EMSC3050) of Master Program at ANU. Project: Ambient Noise Tomography in Palu Basin, Indonesia (HIGH DISTINCTION). 
  • Hanxiao Wu (2019-2020), Master student at USTC. Project: Crustal Vp/Vs model by joint seismological inversion (Paper published in Geophysical Journal International and one poster at 2020 AGU Fall Meeting). Now PhD candidate at Stony Brook University.
  • Junzhu Shen (2017), Bachelor Thesis at USTC. Title: Exploring Moho sharpness in the North China Craton (One Poster at 2017 AGU Fall Meeting). Now PhD candidate at The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Yan Yang (2016-2019). Master student at USTC. Project #1: Joint seismological inversion for crustal Vs model in SW China (Paper published in Geophysical Journal International); Project #2: Crustal azimuthal anisotropy in North China Craton using receiver functions (Paper published in Science China: Earth Sciences). Now PhD candidate at Caltech

Demonstrator (Teaching Assistant) at ANU:

  • Demonstrator for EMSC2023 Fundamentals of Geology Field Trip to Wee Jasper (2nd year undergraduate level), Australian National University (S1 2023).
  • Demonstrator to EMSC1066 Blue Planet Field Trip to Mt Kosciuszko (1st year undergraduate level), Australian National University (S1 2023).
  • Demonstrator for EMSC3033 Applied Geophysics (3rd year undergraduate level), Australian National University, Australia (S1 2021; The course won the Bear McPhail Teaching Excellence Award)
  • Demonstrator for EMSC2022 Introduction to Global Geophysics (undergraduate level), Australian National University, Australia (S1, 2020 and S1, 2021)

Tutor at USTC:

  • Tutor for Geophysical Inversion (in English, Postgraduate-level) (Semester 2, 2015)

Professional Services:

Organization of workshops/symposia/seminars

  • 07/2023: Chair of the session: Cratons and craton margins: structure, composition, and tectonic history for the 6th International Archean Symposium (6IAS), Perth, Australia.
  • 06/2023: Convener and chair of session: The Composition and Dynamics of the Australian Upper Mantle session at the 2023 Australian Earth Sciences Convention (AESC), Perth, Australia.
  • 05/2023: Session Convener for Brian Kennett's Symposium, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, Australia.
  • 12/2022: Co-convener and chair of the session: Unusual Subduction Zone, 2022 AGU Fall Meeting, Chicago, U.S.
  • 2022 - 2023: Convener and chair of the Geophysics Seminars (weekly) at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Reviewer responsibilities

  • 2018-present: Reviewer for <Geophysics Research Letter>, <Tectonics>, <Geology>, <Geophysics Journal International>, <Earth and Planetary Science Letters>, <Precambrian Research>, <Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors> and <Scientific Reports> journals
  • Outstanding Student Poster Award (OSPA) judge: 2022 AGU Fall Meeting

Academic community & membership

  • Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU)
  • American Geophysics Union (AGU)
  • Seismological Society of America (SSA)
  • Subduction Zone in four Dimensions (SZ4D)
  • Women in Earth and Environmental Sciences in Australiasia (WOMEESA)
  • Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN)




ORCID ID     Google Scholar

Journal Articles (* corresponding author)

14. Sudholz, Z.J. *, Zhang, P.*, Eakin, C.M., Yaxley, G.M., Jaques, A.L., Frigo, C., Czarnota, K. (2024) Ancient craton-wide mid-lithosphere discontinuity controlled by pargasite channels. Geophysical Research Letters. 51(9), e2024GL108433. https://doi.org/10.1029/2024GL108433.

13. Bi, H., Fang, H.J.*, Zhang, P., Sudholz, Z., Miller, M.S., Yu, P., Gao, R., (2023) Seismic evidence for a transcrustal magmatic pathway contributing to critical metal deposits. Geophysical Research Letters. 51(1), e2023GL104935, doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2023GL104935.

12. Zhang, P.*, Miller, M.S., Eakin, C.M. (2022) Unraveling an enigmatic boundary along the Sunda-Banda volcanic arc. Earth and Planetary Science Letters599, 117860, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117860.

11. Zhang, P.*, Miller, M.S., Schulte-Pelkum, V., (2022) Tectonic Fabric in the Banda Arc-Australian Continent Collisional Zone Imaged by Teleseismic Receiver Functions. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 23(6), e2021GC010262, doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GC010262.

10. ​​​​Jiang C.X.*, Zhang, P., White M.C.A, Pickle R., Miller, M.S. (2022) A detailed earthquake catalogue for Banda arc – Australian plate collision zone using machine-learning phase picker and an automated workflow. The Seismic Record. 2(1), 1-10, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0320210041.

9. Zhang, P.*, Miller, M.S. (2021) Seismic Imaging of the Subducted Australian Continental Margin Beneath Timor and the Banda Arc Collision Zone. Geophysical Research Letters. 48(4), e2020GL089632. doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL089632.

8. Miller, M.S.*, Zhang, P., Dahlquist M.P., West, A.J., Beck, T.W., Harris, C.W. (2021) Inherited lithospheric structures control arc-continent collisional heterogeneity. Geology. 49(6), 652-656. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G48246.1.

7. Zhang P., Yao, H.J.*, Chen, L.*, Fang, L.H., Wu, Y., & Feng, J.K. (2019) Moho depth variations from receiver function imaging in the Northeastern North China Craton and its tectonic implications. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB016122.

6. Zhang P., Yao H.J.*, (2017) Stepwise joint inversion of surface wave dispersion, ZH ratio and receiver function data for 1-D crustal shear wave velocity structure. Earthquake Science, 1-10, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11589-017-0197-0.

5. Yang, Y., Yao, H.J.*, Wu, H.X., Zhang, P., & Wang, M.M. (2019). A new crustal shear-velocity model in Southwest China from joint seismological inversion and its implications for regional crustal dynamics. Geophysical Journal International. 220(2), 1379-1393. https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz514.

4. Yang, Y., Yao, H.J.*, Zhang, P., & Chen, L. (2018). Crustal azimuthal anisotropy in the trans-North China orogen and adjacent regions from receiver functions. Science China Earth Sciences, 1-11, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-017-9209-9.

3. Zhang C., Yao H.J.*, Liu Q.Y., Zhang P., Yuan Y., Feng J.K., Fang L.H., (2018) Linear array ambient noise adjoint tomography reveals intense crust-mantle interactions in North China Craton. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth123(1), 368-383, doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JB015019.

2. Qiao, L., Yao, H.J.*, Lai, Y. C., Huang, B. S., & Zhang, P., (2018) Crustal structure of southwest China and northern Vietnam from ambient noise tomography: implication for the large‐scale material transport model in SE Tibet. Tectonics, doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2018TC004957.

1. Feng J.K., Yao H.J.*, Poli P., Fang L.H., Wu Y., Zhang P., (2017). Depth variations of 410 km and 660 km discontinuities in Eastern North China Craton revealed by ambient noise interferometry. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(16), 8323-8335, doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074263.

Select Conference Presentations of Ongoing Projects

Project #1: Enhanced 3-D Seismic Structure of Southwest Australia

2023.07: Oral, 6th International Archean Symposium 2023, Perth, Australia

2023.06: Oral, 2023 Australian Earth Sciences Convention, Perth, Australia

2023.05.09: Poster, Kennett’s Symposium, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2022.12.13: Poster, 2022 AGU Fall Meeting, Chicago U.S. & online everywhere

Project #2: Seismic Imaging in the Banda Arc-Australian Continent Collisional Zone

2023.12: Oral, 2023 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, U.S.

2022.12.14: Poster, 2022 AGU Fall Meeting, Chicago U.S. & online everywhere

2020.12.15: Oral, 2020 AGU Fall Meeting, Online Everywhere

2020.03.16: Poster, Congested Subduction Zone Workshop, Canberra, Australia

2019.12.10: Oral, 2019 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, U.S.

2019.10.08: Poster, SAGE/GAGE workshop, Portland, U.S.

2019.09.16: Poster, Passive Imaging Summer School, Cargese, France

Project #3: Crustal structure imaging in North China Craton

2016.12.15: Poster, 2016 AGU Fall Meeting 2016, San Francisco, USA.

2016.10.15: Oral, 2016 CGU Annual Meeting, Beijing, China.

Project #4: Joint seismological inversion with surface wave data, ZH ratio, and receiver function for 1-D crustal Vs and Vp/Vs models

2016.12.14: Oral, 2016 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

2016.08.05: Oral, AOGS 13th Annual Meeting, Beijing, China.

2015.10.13: Oral (in Chinese), 2015 CGU Annual Meeting, Beijing, China.

2015.09.13: Oral, SEG-SUM (Stanford & USTC & MIT) Summer Workshop, Beijing, China.