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PD Dr. Alexander Grayver

Address Pohligstr. 3, 50969 Köln
Room 3.204
Phone +49 (0)221 470-3679
Fax +49 (0)221 470-5161




Alexander Grayver is geophysicist and currently a Heisenberg Research Fellow at the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne.


I am interested in understanding structure and physical properties of the Earth’s crust and mantle across scales and apply this knowledge to open questions in

  • subsurface CO2 storage,
  • geothermal exploration,
  • study of mineral systems,
  • volcano imaging and
  • mantle hydration and melting.


To achieve this, I use electromagnetic and potential field geophysical observations and also develop 3-D inverse modelling methods and software for Earth's system imaging.


I work across disciplines and try to keep abreast of developments within all branches of the solid Earth geophysics as well as new advances in Numerical methods and Inverse problems. My broad expertise and methods also help provide new insights into other planets and moons.

I strive for Open Science principles in my research. Most of my research output and models can be found as supplementary data in published papers or from repositories in my GitHub profile.

Research topics and Methods:

  • Field measurements using Electromagnetic methods (Magnetotellurics, CSEM, geomagnetic depth sounding).
  • Inverse Problems and Data Assimilation (theory, methods and software development).
  • Numerical solution of PDEs using Finite-Element methods.
  • Geomagnetic field modelling with ground and satellite-based observations.
  • Remote Sensing.

Selected projects:

  • DFG Heisenberg Grant “EMTERRA: Electrical structure of the Earth”.
  • ESA Swarm mission Science Products on Earth’s reference Electrical Conductivity model and Oceanic Tidal magnetic Signals.
  • Science Advisory group member for the ESA-Scout NanoMagSat mission.

Scientific Publications and Output:


University of Cologne:

  • „Inverse Modelling“, Lectures and Python Jupyter-enabled practical sessions, SS 2024
  • „Einführung in die Geophysik“, SS 2023, Geomagnetism block
  • „Geomagnetism and Space Weather“ with Python Jupyter-enabled exercises run within the ESA Virtual Research Environment, WS 2023-2024

ETH Zurich (2014-2022):

  • „Mathematical Methods in Geophysics“ for Master students in Earth and Environmental Sciences.
  • „Deep Electromagnetic Sounding of Earth and Planetary Interiors“ for Master students specializing in solid Earth’s physics.

Other activities:

  • Contributions to the open-source software deal.II
  • Validation Committee for the 14th International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF)
  • Associate Editor “Earth, Planets and Space”
  • Developing cheap RaspberryPi-based magnetometer suitable for teaching geophysics at Schools.