Jim Ansell Geophysics Scholarship

2021 Jim Ansell Geophysics Scholarship winner:

El Mestel


El’s PhD research involves detailed characterisation of local seismicity and ambient noise tomography to investigate the current state of the magma system and volcano-tectonic interactions at Taupō. As part of this, she is designing, deploying, and managing a regional network of 13 broadband seismometers.

You can watch El's acceptance message here.






Past Jim Ansell Geophysics Scholarship winners

Year Person University
2020 Bryant Chow Victoria
2019 Tayla Hill Otago
2018 Shreya Kanakiya Auckland
2017 Clarrie Macklin Victoria
2016 Hubert Zal Victoria
2015 Steven Sewell Victoria
2014 Calum Chamberlain Victoria
2013 Rachel Heckels Victoria
2011 Carolin Boese Victoria
2010 Zara Rawlinson Victoria
2009 Jessica Johnson Victoria
2008 Daniel Bassett Victoria
2007 Gareth Crutchley Otago
2006 Katherine Bodger Canterbury
2005 Stacey Dravitski Victoria
2004 Frank Drost Victoria
2002 Jennifer Eccles Auckland
2001 Wanda Stratford Victoria
2000 Anna Pulford Victoria
1999 Niels Bormann Victoria
1998 Darryn Wise Auckland
1997 Stefan Kleffmann Victoria
1996 Andrew Cavill Victoria
1995 Vaughan Stagpoole Victoria



Jim Ansell

Hailing from Hawkes Bay Jim studied Maths at Victoria University of Wellington before travelling to Cambridge, England to complete his PhD in applied Mathematics.  It was there, not in shaky New Zealand, that it was suggested he study seismology. He is quoted in the VUW News in 1993 saying: "It's a bit ironic that I was born in Napier and went to university in Wellington, yet the impetus for me to get involved in earthquake research came from the people at Cambridge - they suggested it as an appropriate subject for my PhD thesis".

Upon his return to Victoria University of Wellington, Jim lectured in mathematics.  He also became part of the Institute of Geophysics and helped to establish the NZ Geophysics Society. He was appointed Professor of Geophysics in 1989, and until late 1992 was Chair of the Research School of Earth Sciences.

The Jim Ansell Geophysics Scholarship was founded by major grants from the Ansell family, IASPEI94 conference, Research School of Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, and GNS.  Significant individual contributions were received from members of the New Zealand Geophysical Society and academic colleagues and friends of Jim Ansell.


Thank you to the NZ Mathematical Society for providing biographical information on Jim.